Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fort Worth Streetcar Questions

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Letters to the Editor.  Good letter on streetcar consulting as well.

Seems THE PEOPLE are listening.  WHY aren't their "leaders" and the "news"? Could it be because the "leaders" buy the "news"??

Streetcar questions

In architecture school, I was taught that no feasibility study ever finds the project to be infeasible. The client will be disappointed if the project is not feasible, and the consultant does not want to disappoint the client. Therefore, the purpose of a feasibility study is to determine the conditions necessary for the project to be feasible.

The report may say, "In order for this project to succeed, the earth will have to start spinning backward, and pigs will have to fly. Not some pigs; all pigs."

But it will not say the project is infeasible. It is up to the client to come to that conclusion. That way, he's disappointed with external circumstances, not with the consultant -- to whom he will say, "You did the best you could; the conditions just weren't right."

Keep this in mind when evaluating the streetcar study.

A consultant will never report that the project is a bad idea. He'll report the conditions necessary to make it a good idea -- and leave us to decide if the conditions are achievable. Number of riders, increased value of real estate along the route, levels of voluntary self-taxation of businesses involved -- evaluate them carefully.

-- George Michael Sherry, Fort Worth

On what planet is J.D. Granger living? Granger said that three unnamed developers will start sooner and one will build nine stories instead of three stories because of "streetcars" instead of rubber-wheeled transportation. (See: "Streetcars crucial to Trinity River Vision, advocates say," Monday)

Granger could have said 10 developers; it would sound better. He also said they expect 15,000 to 25,000 residents. Why not say 250,000? That's a number pulled out of the air, too.

Another Monday article said 40 units were sold in the past year within blocks of the Trinity Project. (See: "Rising to the challenge," Monday) How do you get from 75 people to 15,000? Oops; it's "streetcars."

Maybe it's "if they build it, they will come." Ask the developers of the Villa De Leon and the Le Bijou how well that worked. All the growth in Fort Worth has been outside the Loop 820 corridor but because of "streetcars" 25,000 people will suddenly appear in the downtown area?

I think it's a fair question to ask the unnamed developers why they think putting steel in the ground instead of rubber on the streets will attract 25,000 people. We deserve the answer before we spend $90 million instead of $5 million.

-- Marvin Chosky, Bedford

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