Calatrava "Bridge" No. 2: We're Spending an Extra $7 mil to put Lipstick on a Pig

The Dallas City Council yesterday voted to spend some $7 million of your money to cover the latest cost overruns for the second Calatrava suspension bridge over the Trinity River. The city already had to cheap down the first Calatrava suspension bridge so much that now it's not even a real suspension bridge.

But look at this. Calatrava has raised the price for this second one so many times that it's not even going to be a bridge. We're spending $29 million for Calatrava bike lanes that will be slapped onto a plain vanilla concrete bridge built by the Texas Department of Transportation. That way if you look at it from an airplane, you will see big arches and think it's a Calatrava bridge when it's just bike lanes. Score!

We need to ask ourselves what what would inspire a city that can't even mow the grass in its parks to spend this kind of money on Calatrava bike lanes. In fact, wait: this is a city that says it can't afford bike lanes. So what is this, anyway?

We know what it is, right? It's typical embarrassing pretentious Park Cities bling. It is the proverbial Mercedes Benz parked out in front of a dump.

What else could Dallas do that would be consonant with the spirit of the second Calatrava not-even-a-bridge? Well, what about that Mercedes thing? What if we could pay Mercedes a couple mil' to let us put their emblem on the hoods of those Detroit-made patrol cars the cops drive?

Or, oh my gosh, listen to this idea: We also change the male police uniform to include little fake Italian silk neck scarves (polyester). We know we can't afford House of Testoni alligator loafers for them, but what it we required them to wear the boots they've already got without socks? Wouldn't that look sort of yachty? Don't you think people who came here and saw that would think we were rich?

We must go very cautiously on the female uniform, because we won't want to appear sexist, but what about something darling along the line of a small rabbit-fur stole dyed to look like mink, around the neck and down the back?

We know we can't afford real Louboutin shoes for them, but do you think if we tossed Louboutin a couple mil', they'd let us paint the bottoms of the lady cops' boots red so people would think they were Louboutin cop boots? Wealthy and sophisticated visitors from Europe would come here and say, "Oh my gaaaawd, look, the lady Dallas cops are wearing Louboutin." Would that not finally put Dallas on the map as an international city?

Yes, to pay for these measures sadly we might indeed have to forgo more basic services like fixing potholes, restoring library hours and putting new roofs on our leaky firehouses, but here in the City of Salesmanship we know that those things are not as important as first impressions.

The city of Knoxville has invested major money, time and effort in a riverfront wilderness area incorporating historic venues and natural areas along the Tennessee river.

But that's because Knoxville is proud of the Tennessee River and proud of itself. As we all know, Park Cities Dallas is ashamed of the Trinity River and ashamed of itself. So we go for bling.

Wow. Forking over yet another seven million to Calatrava for a bridge that is not a bridge. It really says it all, does it not? Angela Hunt and Scott Griggs were the two votes against it on the council. We should all keep that information in a file somewhere so we'll have somebody to call when we get out of bling rehab.

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