Dear Rich People: Thanks for the Cash. Please Don't Screw Up the Trinity Park.

Please, no really badly designed fake whitewater features in the Trinity River Park, OK? Oh, wait ...
Please, no really badly designed fake whitewater features in the Trinity River Park, OK? Oh, wait ...
Harry Wilonsky

Last week without any prior public discussion, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced (see below) he was unilaterally turning over the planning process for the Trinity River Park downtown to philanthropists Rusty and Deedie Rose in exchange for a gift of $1 million. The mayor did say, “We must also continue to include citizens' input in the planning process.” But the way he put it, that part sounded like a really hard homework assignment for him.

But this is Dallas, and, yes, people can buy basic control over something like the design of the new downtown river park, possibly the single most important public works decision the city will make in this half-century, for a million dollars.

I don’t have it — the million bucks. They do. So rather than me bitching and moaning about it forever, I thought maybe I should go ahead and just beg them please on bended knee not to do certain things to the river. Like this:

Not the look we should be going for.
Not the look we should be going for.
en: Die Gartenlaube, via Wikipedia

No badly designed fake whitewater feature for kayakers and canoeists that nobody can paddle through safely because it’s a giant InSinkErator that eats canoes, kayaks and small children alive. Don’t build one, and, if in your ramblings out there you should come across one that somebody has already built, please tear it out.

And please eschew one of these:

It's August in Dallas. How do you feel about running around in a rat-maze in the Trinity River bottoms?
It's August in Dallas. How do you feel about running around in a rat-maze in the Trinity River bottoms?
Rurik via Wikipedia

No mazes. Mazes are really cool in Iowa cornfields and on English estates, but the topography and summer climate here are ill-suited, plus maybe you should try doing some market research on how many people really want to walk around in a maze on the Trinity River bottoms.

Schutze on a zip line, on assignment from his editor, who swears he didn't know Schutze doesn't like heights (but was delighted to find out).
Schutze on a zip line, on assignment from his editor, who swears he didn't know Schutze doesn't like heights (but was delighted to find out).
Jim Schutze

No zip lines. Zip lines are stupid.

And never, ever bring these guys in ... not in the park, not on the streets, not anywhere ever. We're warning you, we have guns.

Believe it or not, this is not a look that we common people find appealing.
Believe it or not, this is not a look that we common people find appealing.
Ronald via Wikpedia

Also, no jugglers under overpasses. No fortune-tellers or face-painters. The park should feel like be a place of natural serenity, not a fund-raiser for new tennis courts at your kid’s private school.

Please no massive fogging operations to make dilettantes more comfortable in the out-of-doors.
Please no massive fogging operations to make dilettantes more comfortable in the out-of-doors.
Andrew Dunn, Creative Commons

Massive mechanical interventions in the environment like carcinogenic chemical drenching to eradicate all lifeforms, gigantic aircraft-engine-driven fans or elaborate outdoor mist-cooling systems tend to lessen the bonds to nature a good park should inspire. People who are uncomfortable in the out-of-doors just need to stay indoors and avoid nature, perhaps by having another gin and tonic at the 19th hole.

If this is what it takes to turn the river bottoms into a golf course, how about just not doing it?
If this is what it takes to turn the river bottoms into a golf course, how about just not doing it?
Eric Nicholson

Speaking of golf — let's not speak of golf. Hard little balls, children. Plus, massive ecological ravaging. And that's just from the tacky clothes.

This just doesn't feel like something you should see going on in a major urban park, does it?EXPAND
This just doesn't feel like something you should see going on in a major urban park, does it?
Ludwig Koch, "Die Capriole"

No dressage, until courts direct otherwise.

It's over. Impressionism is gone. Please don't try to make the park look all fuzzy like this. People will just think they need corneal transplants.EXPAND
It's over. Impressionism is gone. Please don't try to make the park look all fuzzy like this. People will just think they need corneal transplants.
Pierre Auguste Renoir, "Le Moulin de la Galette."

No Impressionism. So much has happened since. Let it go.

Try hard to avoid events and park features designed to make non-rich people feel crappy about themselves.EXPAND
Try hard to avoid events and park features designed to make non-rich people feel crappy about themselves.
Portable Antiquities Scheme via Wikipedia

No silent auctions or other events designed specifically to highlight income disparity.

Nothing against Lyle. He's cool. But people outside the Park Cities might like to see somebody else once in a while.
Nothing against Lyle. He's cool. But people outside the Park Cities might like to see somebody else once in a while.
Forrest L. Smith III, Creative Commons

No Lyle Lovett. See Impressionism above.

From Our Sponsors


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >