San Antonio Wants To Mock Dallas' Death-River. How Cute.

TrinityRiverSteveithak.jpg
Steve Rainwater
Two days ago, Mark Cuban took time out of his busy schedule to acknowledge the existence of San Antonio and its "muddy ugly-ass River Walk."

The proper response would have a polite curtsy, if not gushing praise, from San Antonio, thanking Cuban for deigning to mention their humble burg and for his uncanny ability to state facts about bodies of water. Instead, we get this, a bitter attack on the Trinity River.

"At least the San Antonio River doesn't reek of wastewater and dead animals," reporter Kolten Parker wrote yesterday in the San Antonio Express-News. He also quotes a 1925 assessment by the Texas Department of Health, labeling the Trinity a "mythological river of death."

See also: Dallas' Wastewater Is Actually Making the Trinity River Cleaner

Parker is wrong: Dallas' wastewater actually makes the Trinity smell better. Houston should be happy to be gulping down increasing quantities of our (treated) urine. The pollution is what you're smelling.

On the rest of it, Parker's pretty spot-on, though we quibble with his suggestion that the Trinity's unappealing reputation is somehow a drawback when actually it's part of a conscious strategy. We don't want people recreating by our river. If we did, why would we build a multi-lane highway right beside it?

No, hordes of fanny-pack-wearing tourists would only spoil natives' enjoyment of the Trinity's majestic scrap-tire forests and unique underwater stolen-car ecosystem. (Plus: actual nature.)

Also: Mythological River of Death would annihilate River Walk in a battle of the bands.

See also: It'll Cost Dallas $3.3 Million to Pull Tires and Trash From the Trinity and Lake Ray Hubbard

So bag on the Trinity all you want, San Antonio. You can keep the tourists and their wads of cash. We'll keep not building the amenities voters were promised 16 years ago. Just hope that, when the South Texas drought gets worse, Dallas will be forgiving enough to flush some of our wastewater your way.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

My Voice Nation Help
35 comments
moore583
moore583

IT seems that Dallas could do something with the Trinity with a series of dams. By something I mean at least turn it into something people would want to spend a little time next to. It's something to be avoided now at all cost. White Rock Lake is a wonderful resource and jewel in this city. Why the mental block on the Trinity? I don't get it.

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

A few months ago, a buddy decided to show me the Great Grand World-Class Amazement Constructed By A Spanish Dude With Fashionable Elegance, a.k.a. the Calatrava bridge.  Well, if Milwaukee's got one--dangit!--Dallas got's to got's one too.  I was not impressed.  


Why?  Sure, a freaking bridge can indeed be beautiful, but not always all-that-necessary, and given Dallas's chalky OCD over Dallas's own past, I find it difficult to believe the City would spend so much to span what essentially happens to be a dry old ditch that does tend to swell up when the floods arrive.  But heck, Dallas is the kind of histrionic woman of drama that will put us all on ALERT if a raindrop is spotted in August. 

I am not "against" the bridge, but isn't bridge also a card game? 

As Congress in Washington D.C. gets all slap-happy once again with "prioritizing" the budget (priorities?  Like reward the rich and disenfranchise the poor?  Really?  I'm so thrilled I can hardly breathe!), I think of, say, the sidewalk that runs down Congress, only a few blocks from DO HQ, a sorta here, sorta not here, sorta sidewalk that is one bumpy walk. 

Take it from me, Walker: Texas Ranger, the pedestrian who has not owned an automobile since 1981. 

And the schools.  Why not a bridge to information, knowledge and wisdom?  That bridge may be invisible, but honestly, June, I am worried about the Beav...  Beav is watching violent video games all the time when Beav could be learning to be functionally literate or possibly even just reading a good, old book.  What?  Have I sinned?  Books?  Aren't those "so 20th Century"? 

With the Chris Christie misadministration, one so mobbed-up it is amazing Eliot Ness hasn't once again walked the earth, all hugged-up over the George Washington Bridge and the worrisome phenomenon of--what?  Cars?  On a bridge from Fort Lee to Manhattan?  Is that politically or ideologically not what we want? 

If one were a poet, what would "car" express as metaphor?  And Fort Lee: What about that, Texas, center of military-industrial manufacture and distribution? 

"Where is that confounded bridge!" shouts a commercial-sounding announcer at the end of Led Zeppelin's "The Crunge". 

Well, I have seen the bridge, and nope, was not allowed to cross the bridge on foot: Too dangerous for Gordon Hilgers and his Cadillac FEETwood to accomplish all by his little, itsy-bitsy self, good or bad or otherwise. 

My new punk band will be titled Bleached Anuses Six-Foot-Three.  Although I am 59, I am hoping to make a million dollars by the time I reach 18 years of age. Will it happen?  Or will the disco ball fall on Gordy-Gord's head and force him to die of Bee Gees Disease? 

Stay tuned, Dallas.  The weirdest is yet to come. 

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

If not for the bodies in the Trinity, the gators might be forced to wander to recreational waters, even golf course water hazards.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I don't think that many people realize that the San Antonio Riverwalk is actually a portion of the old river channel that has been damned to form a lake.  If you look at a map of downtown San Antonio, this should be pretty clear.


A better analogy for Dallas would be the section of the old (original, prior to the construction of the floodway) Trinity River channel in front of the Mobil (or used to be) building on Stemmons.  That lovely little lake is actually the old river channel.


I think that if Dallas wanted to develop a Riverwalk - style attraction, we should look at redeveloping the sections of Industrial (excuse me, Riverfront) Blvd area that parallel the old river channel.


Take a look at Mapquest or Google maps.

TripleW
TripleW

It's un-Texan to dis the San Antonio Riverwalk.  Then again, Cuban ain't from Texas.  Still I like him sponsoring the Greenville Avenue Parade.  That said,  anyone from Dallas probably would not like living in San Antonio permanently.

scottie1620
scottie1620

There are just too many things to say about this story. First, both the San Antonio and Trinity Rivers have something in common - the channels that run through the hearts of the cities are not the original river channels, but instead are man-made channels, the one in San Antonio differing in that it has a concrete bottom like the Los Angeles River/Drainage Ditch.


Second, the section of the Trinity referred to in technical documents as Segment 0805 rates as one of the three most polluted streams in the State of Texas (Segment 0805 is that part of the Trinity River flowing past downtown Dallas.)


Third, unless somebody builds a pipeline none of the water from the Trinity can or will be diverted to the parched southwest Texas area because the river flows down near Houston to the Gulf of Mexico.


Fourth, Lake Livingston impounds the waters of the Trinity through Dallas, and just like Dallas Houston treats its water before drinking it, so whatever gets in the water from normal run-off is going to be filtered and removed before the water is consumed.


Sixth, all rivers reek of wastewater and dead animals. The only people who don't know that are those who have never actually been to a river.


As to what voters were promised 16 years ago, we have ourselves to thank for nothing happening. Those who make the decisions (other than the Dallas Citizens Council) are elected by us and are unrestrained by us. We do not hold them accountable because we have softball, soccer, Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers and all sorts of other games to attend and we just don't have the time to take our officials to task for failing to do what they promised us they would do.


Life is just so complicated.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Wow!  Has Cuban ever been to Riverwalk?  It's a treasure.

SarcasmoJones
SarcasmoJones

San Antonio smells like Margaritas and tamale vomit, but I still make it down there every once in a while...plus there's a Robertson's on the way down. Beef Jerky FTW!

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

"At least the San Antonio River doesn't reek of wastewater and dead animals,"

Nope, it reeks of the untreated effluvia of drunken frat boys and tourists.

cassa859
cassa859

Both sides just need to laugh and walk way.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

"Just hope that, when the South Texas drought gets worse, Dallas will be forgiving enough to flush some of our wastewater your way."  Almost good enough to vindicate your entire tenure at the DO.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

I've been saying all along that we should just divert the river down Main St to Fair Park and put in some solar powered water taxis.

If they had listened, maybe Fair Park wouldn't be nixing their summer amusement park thingy after just one season.

Plus, that would mean margarita serving restaurants with patios all the way from I-35 to Parry Ave, and who doesn't want that?

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

One advantage of living in Dallas is citizens have rights under the fourth amendment, while SA residents' rights in that respect are compromised.

In regards to the rivers, they all stink.

Scratch that, I thought SA was within 100 miles of the border

GatoCat
GatoCat

@scottie1620  "...all rivers reek of wastewater and dead animals. The only people who don't know that are those who have never actually been to a river."

Actually, Scottie, the only people who believe that are those who have never actually been to an unpolluted river.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@scottie1620  Snark 101, based on your reply to me and this post, apparently you missed that class.  Have you ever even read a story here before?

scottie1620
scottie1620

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Years ago, Cuban had a T-shirt made that said, "I visited the Riverwalk and all I got was a rash." I always wanted one of those shirts, but alas, it was a very limited production run of a small handful.

scottie1620
scottie1620

@TheCredibleHulk We have a ditch ... with a whitewater park in the middle of it ... in a section rated by TCEQ as being "unsafe for contact recreation."

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Montemalone  Dude, if great ideas and succinct writing got votes, you'd be in charge. But you speak French which you learned intentionally, don't you, that's right.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@TheCredibleHulk @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  You could organize an entire trivia game around the many municipalities that have tried to re-bottle the Riverwalk magic. OK City has a three-decade dream that they perenially dust off. My fave was Wichita Falls, which installed PVC piping and man-made "rocks" downtown to re-create the original falls. It falled. (sorry)

scottie1620
scottie1620

@GatoCat @scottie1620 Name me one single "unpolluted" river. You cannot because there is no such thing anywhere. ALL rivers are full of bacteria and E. Coli is the biggest contributor - it comes from animal feces, in most cases.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@GatoCat @scottie1620I would agree.  The Yampa, White and Green rivers in NW Colorado are far from pristine, but also far from reeking.  Of course, half the land stands at 30 degrees to gravity and there's like an average of 1 person per every 10 or so square miles, so there's not much pollution to begin with and it's whisked away fairly rapidly.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

"Riverwalk" is a mis-representation of that feature. You wouldn't make it more than ten or fifteen steps before being sucked into the damn thing.

scottie1620
scottie1620

@GatoCat @scottie1620  As typical of people on boards like this everything has to be interpreted in the extreme. I never said rivers were "unsafe", but merely that they are all polluted, as in there is no such thing as a pure water stream anywhere in the world.


I am a hydrologist, and in college I learned that all rivers contain pollutants of one form or another. Minerals, decaying plant matter, decaying animal carcasses, human and animal excrement, urine, agricultural run-off, discharges from industrial facilities or a thousand other sources contaminate water to some degree or another. That is just a fact.


Some water is more contaminated that other water. Segment 0805 of the Trinity in Dallas is rated as one of the three most polluted streams in Texas by TCEQ and the EPA. It is rated "unsafe for contact recreation." That is a fact. It is indisputable. The water contains heavy metals, PCBs, and other contaminants that are the residual pollutants from aircraft manufacturing and US Navy operations at Mountain Creek Lake dating back into the 1940's.


For the record, drinking human pee, while it may stink and not taste very good, is generally a safe thing to do. Many people have survived in desert environments by drinking their own pee when no other liquid source was available. The liver and kidneys filter out almost all the pollutants in human urine. In the case of a swimming pool I would be much more concerned about ingesting chlorine than I would pee heavily diluted by tens of thousands of gallons of water.

GatoCat
GatoCat

@scottie1620 @GatoCat  If you say so, man. I guess the only safe water is in manmade swimming pools. But you have to stay in the no-peeing section.

scottie1620
scottie1620

@ScottsMerkin @scottie1620@TheCredibleHulk No, Scott, it is NOT shut down! The gate is open (by the City of Dallas) and anybody can go  there right now! The city has abandoned plans to modify it, but it really does not matter because it is silting in anyway. The safe bypass channel is actually much more hazardous than the whitewater side because of a strong eddy current that can pin a boat and boater against the wall separating the whitewater side from the safe bypass channel. The "Dallas Wave" has been open to paddlers for many months now. Your information is woefully out-of-date.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...