Friday, July 31, 2015
Basic Dallas Dilemma Is Still Whether to Fix the Toilet or Park a BMW Out Front
Two recent city documents to call to your attention: 1) showing that we have spent almost $610 million so far on the Trinity River project, which is mainly unbuilt, and 2) showing that we need to spend $121 million, which we supposedly don’t have, just to stop our terrible street system from falling apart even worse.
Both are below.
Think of the Trinity River project — with its “signature” bridge designed by a Spanish architect and its white water feature that nobody can use because it was so poorly designed – as a shiny new BMW convertible parked in the driveway in front of our condo for everyone to see. Now think about our decaying street system. That’s a toilet we have to flush with a bucket.
The BMW parked outside and the malfunctioning plumbing inside together make a statement about the values of the kind of people who have had their hands on the levers of power at Dallas City Hall for decades. They would rather have toilets that won’t work — I suspect they would rather shoot themselves — than not have a car that makes them look rich.
I don’t believe for a minute that those are the values of the vast middle and working classes of people who really live in our neighborhoods, as opposed to people who live in the wealthy enclave communities of Highland Park and University Park. In the Park Cities, sure: rather than drive a 5-year-old Hyundai to raise the money for new plumbing, he’ll use the backyard.
But we in the city have been trying to elect somebody who would fix the damn streets since 2002. When Laura Miller ran for mayor that year on a platform of basic restoration of infrastructure, she was mocked and derided as “Mayor Pothole” by the old guard money, as spoken for by groups like the private Dallas Citizens Council.