Last week, during the Dallas City Council's Transportation and Environment Committee meeting, chair Linda Koop dropped what appeared to be a bombshell: Fort Worth, she said, was going to return the $25 million Urban Circulator Grant it received in July for its Fort Worth Streetcar Loop, which she said wasn't near far along enough to meet the deadlines demanded by the feds. Koop said Dallas had hoped to snag the federal dough-re-mi for its own streetcar project. At which point Fort Worth and North Central Texas Council of Governments higher-ups told Unfair Park: Whoa, there, not so fast, just wait till next week. Fort Worth has every intention of going forward with streetcars.
To make that point very clear, Fort Worth city officials, including Mayor Mike Moncrief, unveiled a modern-day streetcar during a downtown ceremony Wednesday -- complete with a map of the proposed route alignment posted inside. Which isn't to say it's a done deal: The streetcar was planted downtown for public look-sees, through the Thanksgiving weekend, in order to get folks excited about the possible future in advance of a December 2 town hall at the Fort Worth Convention Center Ballroom. And, says Mayor Mike in An Official Press Release, "Before we even begin to think about laying rail, we must do our homework." Still. Message sent.