Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Streetcar Named Conspire

We were just forwarded this email written by Adrian Murray.  Write on, sir.

The exalted leaders of Fort Worth seemed determined to develop a streetcar line whether the city needs one or not. In fact, they are so determined to get a streetcar they're going to commit to one before they even decide where it should start, where it should end and what, exactly, they will even do with the darn thing. We just got to have it.

Was this on the horizon three or four years ago? Was anyone chomping at the bit to get an electric streetcar? Were Fort Worth citizens saying amomg themeselves over lunch, "What this city really needs is a streetcar?" Did we somehow miss the pickets outside City Hall from angry taxpayers wondering where their streetcar is? Why the sudden panting and moaning for a street car now?

Money. Lot's of it. $25 million in federal grant money, to be precise. With another $25 million in funding confiscated from the citizens of Fort Worth, that's $50 million for the old boy network downtown to divide amongst themselves. $50 million for site preparation, surveys, engineering costs, legal fees, construction. A $50 million jackpot for the legions of corrupt elites sucking the life out of the citizens of this city and a $50 million kick in the groin for those citizens struggling to get by in a city rank in corruption and greed.

Just the other day J.D. Granger, spawn of Kay and General Manager of that ill-conceived, poorly planned quasi-criminal construction project known as the Trinity River Vision, came out publicly stating that streetcars have been an essential part of the TRV plan from the very beginning. Conveniently for Granger, Star Telegram uber-stenographer Bill Hanna merely joted down J.D.'s claim without even a perfunctory follow-up like, maybe, "Hey , J.D., can you cite just one time JUST ONE TIME YOU LIVING BREATHING MOMUNMENT TO NEPOTISM that the subject of freaking STREETCARS ever came up?"

Of course, J.D. now has a bit of a sticky problem. Mama's been funding junior's pet project with earmark money stolen from the American people. But mama had to swear off earmarks when the Republican House leadership committed to ending the process. So Kay Bailey Hutchison had her back and swooped to the rescue by committing to earmarking money for the Trinity boondoggle in the Senate. Now that source is about to dry up as Mitch McConnell vows to end the practice entirely.

Gee, if only the TRV had a streetcar, we could maybe partake ourselves of that glorious $50 million in free money and steer it towards the toxic island being created north of downtown. Streetcars are important, we are told, because they increase density in development. Since people can take the streetcar wherever they want we won't need as many parking places, garages, etc., so that open up land for profitable development. Without streetcars, building can only be three stories tall. With streetcars, they can be over seven stories. All we need is a gullible reporter intellectually vacant enough to write this up in a story without questioning the obvious vacuousness of such a statement and we're off to the races. Someone get me Bill Hanna on the line!

And so on Thursday, just outside the downtown offices of the Trinity River Vision, folks will be invited to see our magnificent new streetcar. Never mind the $77 million budget shortfall. Never mind crumbling infrastructure. Never mind the closing of libraries and parks and pools. Never mind staff and pay cuts. There's $50 million in free money for the folks in River Oaks to divvy among themselves. J.D. has a brand new toy and a new lease on life. Can life get any better than this?

To keep up with all the streetcar mania going on across the country, just google "federal streetcar grants".


Anonymous said...

What FW district does Adrian Murray reside in? Heard there's a municipal election coming up in next spring. We think the Water Board campaign signs can be repurposed for a council election. Remember: reduce, reuse, and recycle...but throw out the garbage (including politicos)

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Brilliant article! Perfect title. Rational thought.