Next month, the American Institute of Architects is going to give its Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design to the Dallas Trinity River Corridor Project for its having a "Balanced Vision Plan." This raises the question whether urban design expert Alex Krieger and transportation planner William Eager should receive the "Golden Academic Hooker Award," bestowed somewhat annually by Jim Schutze for the most whored-out show-us-the-money academics in the universe.
The original Krieger-Eager drawings for the "balanced vision plan" for the Trinity showed the toll road as a tasty little tree-lined byway, sort of like Storrow Memorial Drive along the Charles River in Krieger's native Cambridge. By now, surely Krieger has seen the tollway authority's engineering drawings, and by now both men surely know the Corps of Engineers has told the city it can't put the toll road up against the levees.
So both of these august experts know by now that what they drew on paper and what they're getting their nice award for bear scant similarity to the fatted-up exhaust-belching autobahn the city wants to stick down in the middle of the park space next to the Trinity River.
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But do we hear a word from them in defense of their ideas? I don't. I've tried to reach them with no success. I can only guess why they are silent. Could it be that both of them earn fat stipends as consultants, and neither one of them wants to get a reputation for making fat hayseed clients mad at them?
Same for the AIA -- a bunch of architects on their hands and knees like truffle hogs snouting through musty leaves for fees. Between the lot of them there's about enough integrity to run a half-bad whorehouse in Arizona.
Hence, I must bestow. I give The Golden Academic Hooker Award, ladies and gentlemen, to Alex Krieger, William Eager and the AIA. They don't have to thank me. --Jim Schutze