| Schutze |

They're Gonna Pave Paradise -- Or, at Least, The Great Trinity Forest

The Great Trinity Forest, while it's still great
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Hey, just a shout-out here to any nature boys or girls out there who give a shit about the Great Trinity Forest. Because in July the city staff is supposed to pony up its master plan for the forest, and it's rumored to be a 14,000- to 16,000-page document that will be posted on the Web.

Once it’s up, the public will have 30 days to review it. Which means, according to my arithmetic, you’ll have to read 533 pages a day in order to get through it in the allotted time.

Why would anybody do that? Oh, maybe because the staff is planning to do things like pave a lot of the trails. Do what?, you say. Surely not pave the trails. Yes, pave the trails.

Why would we go to the bother of establishing the nation’s largest urban forest, as they keep calling it in the election brochures, and then pave the trails? They say it’s so the trails will be accessible to people with disabilities and mothers with strollers. But we know the real reason, don’t we?

This is Dallas. They want the whole thing to be accessible to people with Ferragamos.

Talk about a way to wreck it! But count on lots of other bad ideas tucked away here and there. These are the same people, after all, who thought it would be a good idea to put a multi-lane limited-access truck route right up the gut of the new park downtown.

Here’s the deal. Once that sucker has been online for 30 days, they’re going to say, “Mr. and Ms.Public, you’ve had your little chance to weigh in. Now it’s full speed ahead with plans for the Great Dallas Forest Mall.” People need to be ready, waiting and organized for this thing to come out.

Think of it this way: Central Park in New York, like Belle Isle Park in Detroit, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, whose name lives in history. Dallas doesn’t even have a park architect for this thing. Biggest urban park in the country, they say. Forgot to hire a designer. Whole thing is being designed by bureaucrats.

Can we really be that lame?

Yes. --Jim Schutze

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