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Member Since 28 Nov 2017
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:39 PM

#108977 Fort Worth Recreation Building

Posted by txbornviking on 15 February 2018 - 02:43 PM

I sorta feel like this building, and it's block could make for a nice streetcar barn/maintenance area. The St. Charles Streetcar in New Orleans has an overnight barn tucked nicely into a residential neighborhood.

#108911 Austin55' fiddlin around.

Posted by txbornviking on 12 February 2018 - 09:21 AM

Duda Paine Architects did a great job with Pier 1, can we get them again? ha

#108740 Austin55's transit related ponderings

Posted by txbornviking on 05 February 2018 - 09:43 AM

I was reading DCTA's studies for future expansion which includes a few options for the 35W corridor.


 Two existing rail lines could be used for commuter rail services: the UP Railroad corridor from Denton to the Fort Worth Intermodal Center, which has the highest potential for ridership (3,550 daily riders for 2035) and the BNSF Corridor, between Sanger and Fort Worth (1,940 daily riders) which remains somewhat outside of the key future population growth areas. Alternatively, a new rail line could be constructed in this corridor if commuter bus ridership is strong and if land use policies were modified to encourage dense housing and employment development.


I drew up my own thoughts for the UP line. 37 miles 9 stations.




"...if land use policies were modified..."


Say it again for those in the back, "Land Use Policies Matter!"

#108714 The T's new Master Plan

Posted by txbornviking on 02 February 2018 - 03:46 PM

I don't see how a county-wide referendum is the correct solution. I agree, it seems a red hearing designed to kill any talk of funding.

#108682 Tarrant Transit Alliance

Posted by txbornviking on 31 January 2018 - 01:48 PM

Crime has been plummeting nationwide. It hasn't fallen here because of the CCPD. All that has gotten us is hundreds of millions of dollars thrown into the prison-industrial complex which is always happy to spend more money. Consider, this year they are getting $70 million that they don't even have to produce a budget for. They are spending this tax money on all sorts of things that the CCPD was never supposed to fund. And it'll get renewed this year with zero discussion and another rubber stamp.


The thing is, we could sunset the CCPD over a ten year period and not reduce police funding at all, by rolling the difference into the rapidly growing general fund (where it should have been all along.)

That's not such a bad idea. Seem a fair "compromise." A 5 or 10yr sunset period.

(I'll apologize in advance if needed for the following is a slight detour, but I'd argue still relevant as the spending is probably CCPD funds)
I ran across this story last year, 


Three times I wrote the city and mayor asking about this and never received a reply. My email was as follows:

"$765,918 between 2012 and 2016. That’s how much money the Fort Worth Police Department has supposedly spend on tools which can be used to spy on cellphones. Not only does this prompt questions about why, but also the sheer amount of money being spend seems to raise concerns as well. This is 158% the total of Chicago, the second highest city  and a city with a population of approximately 2.7million people. This compared to Fort Worth’s estimated population just shy of 800,000 people. Beyond questions that can surround the possible “appropriateness” of these tools, the disproportionate amount being spend seems worth questioning as well. These numbers seem very high for a city of our size.


It has been shown that these types of surveillance tools are traditionally disproportionately deployed into minority communities. At a time where our city is currently looking to improve these relations (in light of the December incident in the 7400 block of Rock Garden involving officer William Martin) it is certainly concerning to learn of these tools acquisition over the last 4 years by our police and certainly raises questions as to where and how they are deployed.


Many of these tools are easy to abuse as well, with the potential to allow police to crack open locked devices and collect vast amounts of phone data, such as call logs, emails, social media messagestime-stamped past location data, and even deleted texts and photos—without any assistance from cellphone companies.


What oversight protections are in place to prevent the abuse of these tools and ensure due process rights remain honored?

How long does the Fort Worth police department retain any information intercepted or extracted?


Thank you for taking the time to read this email and in putting together a reply."

#108675 Tarrant Transit Alliance

Posted by txbornviking on 31 January 2018 - 10:50 AM

I'm curious to hear from some of you that were at the meeting last night. 


The local paper is choosing to spin it with this headline on their homepage: "Could money Fort Worth uses to fight crime instead go toward public transit?".  I guess the scary click-bait makes their position pretty clear, since that's just a small portion of the content of the article.


The article itself:  http://www.star-tele...e197506269.html


The call to go out to other Tarrant County cities and one councilman's call to rush something to the ballot by May sound like a push to make this go away quickly.


The POA posted the above article to Facebook without commentary and the comments were about what you would expect.  Betsy Price will ride in the Stock Show Parade on a unicycle while wearing a chicken suit before the CCPD tax goes away.


This is one of my major fears on how this current push is shaping up. It's going to be oh-so-easy for opponents of improved transit funding to shape the message of "stealing money from police."

One thing I'm hoping to compile over the next day or two is Ft. Worth crime stats now vs 1995 when the CCPD first came into existence. I'd like to compare those trends with those seen state-wide and nation-wide. In other words, I'd like to know if the CCPD funds can be shown to have been the potential CAUSE of the crime reduction or if they simply overlap larger state and national crime trends. (I know my hunch, but am curious if I'm correct.)


As for reaching out to other Tarrant County cities to join The T/Trinity Metro/FWTA, I think we can all agree if there was interest in this they would have joined over the last 20 years.


IMO this weeks "progress" has been exceptionally troubling.

#108614 I-35W to be expanded north of Downtown

Posted by txbornviking on 29 January 2018 - 10:30 AM


#108514 Modern Streetcar Dead

Posted by txbornviking on 25 January 2018 - 09:18 AM

The latest I read from the Dallas Forum suggests there are less than 500 passengers per day using their mew and free Oak Cliff streetcar.

500! There are some suggesting the 10,000 using the TRE or TexRail isn't enough to warrant the costs, what do you think about less than 500? 


It's heart breaking to think Ft Worth threw away $25million that instead went to that instead. No doubt our ridership would have been FAR above those numbers. Kansas City's streetcar is averaging nearly 5500 riders per day. Cincinnati's somewhat troubled streetcar has averaged 1600-2000 per day.


#108513 TEX Rail project

Posted by txbornviking on 25 January 2018 - 09:04 AM


The FWTA insists upon vast surface parking for its rail stations. Compare what TRE ,under the vision of DART, did at its own medical center station. There is no surface parking; instead, passengers embark and disembark at a drop-off and pick-up platform. The station has a minimalist footprint. Such a similar solution would probably be a popular one if it was implemented at the Fort Worth Medical District station. FWTA could be

It appears that the current council is vastly more pro-transit than prior councils; and as such, is becoming more dissatisfied with FWTA being at best a mediocre transit authority. The FWTA's repeated blunders does little to enhance its image or gin up confidence. Both Price and Burns are demanding higher standards and performance coming out of FWTA; and if it cannot do better quickly, it is not unthinkable that the FWTA will have an infusion of new blood at its top levels.

Keep Fort Worth folksy


Both the Dallas and Fort Worth Medical Districts have huge paid parking garages. That's one of the reasons why DART didn't build a huge free parking lot at their Medical Center Station. Few transit users would be able to use it because all the penny pinchers visiting or working at the hospitals would use them instead of paying to use the other pay to park garages. 


Whereas I will agree in an urban area large parking lots are not needed for transit, I'll disagree and state that parking lots are needed in suburban and rural areas. How many skyscrapers in downtown Fort Worth have parking garages? Are there many grocery stores in your neighborhood without a large parking lot? As long as 98% of the transportation users within the city refuses to use public transit, parking lots will be needed. 



I guess a counterargument could be, so long as we cater to the free large parking lot fetish that 98% will never seek an alternative to their autocentric ways.

#108485 Museum Place

Posted by txbornviking on 24 January 2018 - 03:10 PM

Maybe I'm missing something, but I never understood the "casting a shadow" concern. The hotel was to be north of the museum. As the sun rises in the east, moves across the southern sky, and sets in the west, how would a shadow be cast southward across the Kimbell?

#108452 I-35W to be expanded north of Downtown

Posted by txbornviking on 23 January 2018 - 04:48 PM


#108387 Tarrant Transit Alliance

Posted by txbornviking on 18 January 2018 - 05:45 PM

The Tarrant Transit Alliance has their "Kick-Off" event this afternoon. Reading over their website this afternoon I found the following statement:


"The Tarrant Transit Alliance works with contributors, community officials and REGIONAL (bold and caps added by me) leaders to build support for funding REGIONAL transit in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Our purpose is to educate, empower and mobilize policy to serve our entire REGION."


 I'm very curious how region/regional will end up being defined and how that will impact priorities but I'm staying both optimistic and hopeful.

#108338 The Sad State of Heritage Park

Posted by txbornviking on 16 January 2018 - 06:52 PM

I'm looking forward to the restoration and reopening of Heritage Park, but I'll admit I'm not very keen on the realignment of North Main as it approaches Belknap. I rather like the way it splits for southbound traffic onto Houston and takes northbound traffic from Commerce without forcing yet additional traffic onto Belknap for what would be in essence a half block jaunt requiring a potential merger across 4 lanes of traffic.


I'd also think the current alignment would make for an easier flow of a downtown to northside (stockyards) streetcar/BRT line. I understand this leaves Paddock Park rather forlorn, but one would think some quality landscaping could be nice. While maybe not a great place for a picnic, it could certainly look good while driving/riding up North Main into downtown.

#108257 Uber Elevate Conference in Dallas...flying cars are coming

Posted by txbornviking on 10 January 2018 - 04:20 PM

The "air taxi" is somewhat related to the flying car concept envisioned at that Uber conference recently.  But Bell Helicopter is developing its own version with the help of Uber and others, and is showing a concept model at the CES convention, as explained in this FWBP article.





all this talk of "air taxi's" and shared autonomous vehicles being our saviors from congestion sound to me like a rehash of the failed STOLports of the 1970s and AV's are a rehash of the failed promise of PRT in the 1970.


If only we could instead invest in what we know works; improved land-use policies, frequent bus networks, rail along densest corridors, inter-city rail for destinations up to 600miles apart. There are literally hundreds of cities we could emulate and start moving forward now.


Tomorrows promise won't save us, but action today can!

#108256 Halprin and AIA plans of downtown

Posted by txbornviking on 10 January 2018 - 04:10 PM


The Gruen Plan is frequently talked about here and elsewhere, but I was unfamiliar with these other two. Both seem to continue some of the ideas from the Gruen Plan. They're really interesting reads.





Amazing the 1971 plan addresses the need for more residential housing in the city core, advises extensions to the M&O Subway, a better bus system, rail connection to what became DFW Airport, improved pedestrian accommodation downtown (including showing bulb-outs built at intersections), and a desire for an urban lake.


Nearly every item still debated as a need or as a project finally underway 45+years later. We've wasted so much time and sprawled so far.


But we can take solace that the proposed "ring road" around downtown was never built either.