Ever wonder why Dallas gets screwed on things like mass transit but the suburbs always make out? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the leadership in Dallas has a basically suburban mentality?
When I came here 100 years ago, the mayors of Dallas were major suburban real estate developers. Small wonder that the things they worked for at City Hall -- like ramming highways through old close-in neighborhoods -- were designed to gut the city and push growth to the ‘burbs.
These same fool-types just paid good money last February 28 to hear real estate guru and urban prophet Christopher B. Leinberger tell them how wrong they are. Leinberger -- a developer, author and professor of real estate at the University of Michigan -- explained to the annual meetings of DowtownDallas that all of the next wave of real estate energy and growth is going to come charging back into the inner cities of America.[jump]
Young people don’t want the Leave it to Beaver lifestyle. They want to lead the Seinfeld life.
But in order to be one of the winning cities in the competition for this brave new market, a city has to know how to take care of its own shit. Instead, our business leaders are like the members of the Greater Dallas Planning Council, which just sent out a letter announcing that it is considering throwing its weight behind the “consolidation and streamlining of regional organizations and agencies responsible for planning, delivering and administering transportation infrastructure and services.”
Know what that means? It means giving Dallas Area Rapid Transit to Fort Worth and the boondocks. It means transferring DART’s assets and income to some even more distant, even less answerable regional entity that will be totally dominated by suburban hillbilly interests.
You can do one of two things with mass transit. Promote density. Or promote hillbilly sprawl. A regional transit agency means we can forget about the density option. Wahoo hillbillies!
The Greater Dallas Planning Council, which is a private group, will discuss this horrible hillbilly idea at a breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. on June 19 at the Park City Club on Sherry Lane. The price of admission for non-members is $25.
Go and make a scene, willya? --Jim Schutze