Plano Is Trying Not to Gloat Over Dallas' $900 Million Street-Repair Tab

Categories: City Hall

DowntownPlano.jpg
North Central Texas Council of Governments
Plano, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the streets are adequately paved.
Dallas has three options to address its $900 million in street repair needs, all of them terrible. Here's how Councilwoman Sandy Greyson laid them out during the transporation committee's come-to-Jesus meeting on Monday:

"We can put these things in our bond program and keep increasing our debt service. We can put this in our general fund ... and are you willing to accept the tax increase that comes along with that? ... The third option is, our streets keep deteriorating."

Meanwhile in Plano, one guy is mildly frustrated -- albeit very appreciative of the long-term benefit -- with how gosh darn fast his city is repairing its roads. They have 20 separate projects underway, prompting a modest increase in traffic rerouting through his neighborhood.

See also: Dallas Streets Keep Getting Worse and Worse

NBC 5 searched this guy out yesterday in its apparent quest to prove how much more awesome Plano is at maintaining its infrastructure than Dallas. Spoiler alert: The quest was a success, though you can probably glean as much by the "Plano: City of Excellence" logo they use in their lead-in.

Here's Plano Public Works director Jerry Cosgrove, explaining how the city's innovative strategy of repairing roads before they are riddled with elephant-sized potholes:

"We're getting to the point where if we don't take care of this problem now we'll get to the point where we get farther and farther behind, and once you get too far behind, there is no catching up."

Ah, but there's a catch. As every Dallasite knows, basic infrastructure maintenance requires a municipality to saddle itself with debt, and Plano is no different. Last year, voters there approved a bond package that included $61 million in street repairs.

But there's also a catch to the catch. According to the Texas Comptroller's office, Dallas' outstanding debt is $5,246 per resident. Plano's, when you add in the 2013 bond package, is $1,731, or roughly a third. Also, their streets are better.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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138 comments
Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Honestly, Dallas is a third-rate city surrounded by third-rate suburbs, so all this squabbling about Plano vs. Dallas is pretty silly. There's plenty of suckfulness to go around.

ruddski
ruddski

Of the twelve states, countries and commonwealths I've lived in, Texas is the only one I would never bother returning to unless it's a family demand. Not to insult the place, or the people, but it's just plain boring.

But as my late, ex father-in-law used to say: "everything is just a plane ride away", to which I'd reply: "exactly!".

access7777777
access7777777

Dallas is a cesspool with a corrupt government, corrupt and ineffective police force, and an horribly corrupt school district. There's very little that Dallas does right... and it builds some incredibly dumb things for incredibly dumb reasons. So, what does this have to do with Plano? .... nothing.

d-may
d-may

Not appropriate analysis. Plano's roads are less than two generations old. Sure, they can nah about their roads because their roads are brand new. Cities and communities regularly follow a five generation life cycle. Wait a generation for the late boomers and early x-ers start dying, and the city begins to fall into decline, then let's talk about their streets.

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

Hey, what a concept: when city leadership governs instead of playing corrupt mickey mouse games, things get done.  

Sammy
Sammy

I'd rather deal with potholes than live out in Plano.

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

1. The further east of 75 you go, the worse the streets in Plano get. Drive the streets east of downtown Plano and see how little they have to brag about.

2. Why is there always this assumption that everyone works in Dallas? There are a lot of well paid jobs in Plano and Richardson.

ruddski
ruddski

Before the Fascist Guliani destroyed the market, NYC had some of the cleanest, greasiest windshields of any major American city.

Can't we put the same idea into Dallas roads? Give the homeless buckets of asphalt, shovels, hoes and tamping devices. All those homeless street urchins can hold said buckets while mum and dad do their duty.

Take it a step further - topless, toothless crackheads, then the famed Bimmer D'bags would shower them with tips and mollys.

James080
James080

But, but, but....Plano doesn't have no stinking million dollar Dog Park, now does it?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Just saw on the Dallas Council docket - a move to farm out Dallas street maintenance to Plano.  

See, this way the Council can concentrate on the burning questions of the day - social issues.

For Jesus wept

with two fistfulls of condoms in his hands whilst issuing sobbing platitudes on the rights of the transgendered.

nathanlovelace
nathanlovelace

half of plano drives on dallas streets everyday. dallas residents dont go to plano often.

ruddski
ruddski

Reportedly, Plano crushes souls, and as a suburb, is unsustainable. The more people that move there, the smaller it gets. Eventually, when it hits a population close to Dallas' it'll just disappear into a black hole.

So why bother fixing the roads?

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@access7777777  


Here is a very incomplete list of some categories in which Dallas is superior to Plano:


1) Museums

2) Music

3) History

4) Architecture

5) Parks

6) Sports venues

7) Fine dining

8) Bars

8) Private and TAG secondary schools

9) Universities

10) Retail

11) Street and music festivals

12) Public art

13) Public transportation

14) Hospitals and Medical Research Centers

15) Hotels

16) Convention venues

17) Airports

18) Zoos

19) Aquariums

20) Libraries

21) Fairgrounds

22) Theaters

23) Media

24) Bike and jogging trails

25) Arboretums

26) Finance (investment banking, private equity etc.)

27) Business

28) Lakes and rivers

29) Farmers markets

30) Law firms


Etc., etc., etc.


Pretty much the only thing Plano has over Dallas is relatively dirt cheap land.  And you know why the land there is so much cheaper?  Refer to the list above.  

access7777777
access7777777

@d-may  Dallas has been a model of how to mismanage growth for at least 50 years. This has nothing to do with Plano. Dallas is an unmitigated disaster.

access7777777
access7777777

@Tim.Covington  Compared to what Tim? I know what you're talking about by the way... yes, those older, narrow streets aren't exactly Willow Bend, but they're fine compared to most larger suburban areas and certainly far better than Dallas. It's a project to improve them as well - you can't simply do spot fixes - you have to close roads that can't be easily re-routed. They're not really in a state of disrepair, but their time is coming - in my opinion.

doublecheese
doublecheese

@Tim.Covington  Seriously.  Dallas probably doesn't host even half of the jobs in the Dallas side of the metroplex.  Plenty of Dallasites commute to the suburbs for work.

James080
James080

@ruddski  

Maybe if Dallas required contractors to hire the homeless to repair the streets, we could solve two problems with one action.


Don't the Dallas County Commissioners each have road and bridge operations and budgets? What roads and repairs are they responsible for, and who determine where they spend their money?

ruddski
ruddski

Dallas has no million-dollar dogs.

access7777777
access7777777

@nathanlovelace  I live in Plano. I know exactly two people that work in Dallas. I'm married to one of them. The roads aren't bad because people drive on them. The roads are bad because of corruption, poor planning, improper care and maintenance, bad city works projects, and priorities that don't align with the needs of the residents or businesses governed. Dallas is a cesspool.

astrojr1
astrojr1

@ruddski Dude, that is the most soul-shaking sarcasm I've ever seen or....well, that is the most soul-shaking sarcasm I've ever seen.  I live in Plano.  But I culture in Dallas.  They are working on the road just off my house LOL.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@MikeDunlap @access7777777I generally like your list.  However; you are clueless if you think the land in Plano is dirt cheap.  Dallas has some incredibly expensive land but it also has some land that you can't give away.  First, people that live in northern burbs have the option to go to other places.  In north Texas there really is a world outside of Dallas.  For example although Dallas has some nice museums if I really needed a museum fix I would go to Fort Worth.  Second, Dallas is like a beautiful aged marbled 2 inch steak that someone pissed and shat on.  You can go on and on about how wonderful and so much better your steak is but sorry nobody is willing to pay a premium price for the scat seasoning.  Sorry but a lesser cut of steak sans the scat really is more desirable.

ruddski
ruddski

When you have to compile a list of stuff a major city has more of than one of its suburbs, you've got a city with an inferiority complex.

d-may
d-may

And apparently people in Plano, as with most suburbanites, think their their city is immune from the laws of entropy.

Because things are new and clean and shiny right now, they will always be new and clean and shiny. Forever. Because we have good schools and big houses, or something.

doublecheese
doublecheese

@Tim.Covington  And much of the traffic you see on the highways through Dallas is commuters traveling from one suburb to another for work.


Dallas really isn't that special, and there really isn't some central hub where all the jobs are.  It's spread out pretty evenly all over the metroplex.  Which also explains the difficulty of public transportation.  It doesn't get most people to where they work in a reasonable amount of time.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@ruddski  Mike definitely has one, but thats ok, it was nice to see him defend Dallas for once

ruddski
ruddski

@accesss7777

One thing Dallas has that I truly enjoyed was the most entertaining drivers of any American city I've lived or commuted in.

I-30 between Dallas and Foat Wuth after 1AM was simply a wonder to behold.

Mostly due to alcohol, lack of a passing lane, easily angered drivers and not a cop in sight. Great place to carry a video cam in the car.

access7777777
access7777777

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @TheCredibleHulk  ehh.... there's nothing wrong with Plano. I guess I'd see your point if Dallas had anything to offer at all in comparison to any other large metropolitan area in the US - but it doesn't. Dallas is a poor excuse for a large city. It does literally nothing right. Culture is bad, nightlife is bad, opportunity is vanilla... Dallas has NOTHING to offer. Plano, in comparison with other suburban communities is safe, well managed, prosperous, and used as a model for many cities across the country.


Sorry... but if you think Dallas is special, you've just never lived anywhere but Dallas.

access7777777
access7777777

@nathanlovelace @ScottsMerkin @WhiteWhale  @nathanlovelace - you might want to do a little research before you go making statements like that..... Then you can come back and apologize. The expenditure for Olympic games is seldom recouped. Some businesses bubble, infrastructure gets built and stays vacant, and the municipality frequently approaches collapse as a result. It's a fools' game. For Joe Schmoe, it's just a tax bill that will not be paid in his lifetime. How's the Cotton Bowl doing these days? How did the Super Bowl go out in Arlington? yea. good idea

access7777777
access7777777

@ScottsMerkin @nathanlovelace @WhiteWhale  It sure as hell is. Aside from that, Dallas isn't financially viable as a candidate for the olympics. It's unfortunate, but true. Dallas simply can't afford to host the games. Plus, it's too hot in the summer and no snow in the Winter. It has quite literally no chance of being selected - even if it were the ideal venue.

access7777777
access7777777

@nathanlovelace @WhiteWhale  LOL @ "Proper Downtown" I guess you've never been to a real city. Dallas has THE WORST DOWNTOWN OF ANY MAJOR CITY IN THE WORLD. I swear, I don't think you guys get out much.

access7777777
access7777777

@nathanlovelace @WhiteWhale  Why would anyone move to the cesspool. Have you checked the construction along the 121/tollway corridor?? That's folks that don't want to work in Dallas.... if they don't want to work there, they certainly don't want to live there. Dallas is a model of ineffective government and waste. There already is a suburban commuter tax - it's a use tax, otherwise known as toll roads. Nice try though. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @ScottsMerkin  what'd you. want?  me to call you a pussy or some such.  Surprised its allowed to stay considering that my comments here lateley have been getting eaten by the boogie man

James080
James080

@nathanlovelace @WhiteWhale 

Collin County Regional Airport is able to accommodate most private jet traffic, and they are planning a longer runway to accommodate passenger jets.  It's minutes from downtown Plano.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Hey Myrna


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....................,/¯../ 
.................../..../ 
............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸ 
........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\ 
........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...') 
.........\.................'...../ 
..........''...\.......... _.·´ 
............\..............( 

ruddski
ruddski

@Myrna

Link for what? These comments don't nest properly on modern computing equipment, you know that.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @ScottsMerkin  well confusing Plano IL for Plano TX is a far bigger mistake than a typo error.  Especially since you were trying to make fun of the town by saying they had nothing then realizing your map was wrong

ruddski
ruddski

If Dallas gets the Olympics, most of the events will be held outside Dallas, most likely

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@nathanlovelace @WhiteWhaleAnd the gates are limited at Love.  Sorry but Kay Baily and the Dallas leadership sold you out.  Love will never really grow to what it should have been

nathanlovelace
nathanlovelace

@WhiteWhale @nathanlovelace  no one said that. i said suburbanan living is unsustainable. dallas gets more world class every year, hopefully we get that olympic bid and they dump a huge amount into light rail and infrastructure, like free wi-fi downtown FFS

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