When Unfair Park's attention was first drawn to Connect Dallas Now, a nascent marketing campaign we've now learned is intended to promote the Trinity toll road, we weren't sure it was real. The effort's Twitter account still has just four followers -- including an apparently hate-following Angela Hunt -- and its Facebook page isn't doing much better, just hitting the 60-like mark Monday morning. The whole thing seemed like an amateur effort, considering the money that's behind the project.
Dallas Citizen's Council President Alice Murray, in an editorial in the Dallas Business Journal , made it clear Monday that Connect Dallas Now does have the support of the toll road's biggest backers.
That's right, the best the Citizen's Council -- as old-power-base as the old power base in Dallas gets -- could do is a site that hails DMN columnist Steve Blow as "a voice of reason."
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Unlike KilltheTrinityTollRoad.com, the bizarro Connect Dallas Now born out of a longstanding Facebook group that has almost 900 members, the Citizens Council-backed effort doesn't feature a list of those who support its cause. Instead, Connect Dallas Now decries those who oppose the toll road as a bunch of negative Nancys who just don't understand what it means to be world class.
From the site's FAQ:
Are you concerned that full funding might not be available? As with any public improvement project, there will many competing demands for funds, but if our history in Dallas shows us anything it is that when we come together to push for projects of major, community-wide benefit, we are successful in securing funding. Examples of that include DFW Airport, DART, the American Airlines Center and Klyde Warren Park.
The opponents argue that the plan that is being pushed forward now is significantly different from what the voters approved. Is that true? That is absolutely not true, and they know it. The voters approved a broad concept of an integrated project of flood control, environmental protection, economic development and new transportation infrastructure. That is what is being planned.
Aren't there a lot of folks who once supported the plan who have changed their mind? There certainly have been some who have, but we don't know how anyone can claim with any intellectual honesty that there have been "a lot". The truth is that the overwhelming majority of Dallas citizens are not focused on this issue at all. The fact that a group of naysayers have succeeded in getting the attention of some folks in the news media should not be exaggerated. The best gauge of what "a lot" of Dallas citizens feel is by looking at what they told us not once, but twice in elections. In a democracy, that's how we determine what people feel.
So that settles it. Everybody's worried about nothing. As long as we pull together and dump a ton of our money into making sure commuters don't spend too much time in traffic, everything will be just fine.