|This Scene Captures a Sense of What FW is About - Strictly IMO|
I Might as Well Have Used the PANTHER PIC - Foisted on FW by D
To the outside world, "DFW" is all one place. However, it really isn't. Like many metropolitan areas, DFW has many individual cities within in it. To my "Yankee" eyes, the DFW Metroplex has a more, distinct, bipolar nature than other places I've lived or visited extensively. While Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma are all distinct to those that "know," they are clearly birds of the same species. Ditto for Los Angeles and the South Bay cities - or even Anaheim. In DFW, sometimes it reminds me of an echo of life on either side of the Berlin Wall. I was reminded of this yesterday when I happened to have to go into Downtown Fort Worth on the same day I checked into "Bike to Work Day" options. First, however, a few observations for my loyal reader to consider. Henceforth in this post, "D" will refer to Dallas and Dallas County while "FW" will refer to Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
|Scene Captures What Dallas is About - Again, STRICTLY IMO|
I'm Glad I'm NOT a Democrat that Needs to Recover
- Up until recently, commuter rail (the TRE) charged extra to travel a single stop if it crossed the D/FW line
- Each has its own separate branch of I-35
- Politics in each is a bit sleazy, but totally different from each other
- Cycling on roads are quite different in the two places. My regular reader KNOWS better than to ask my why I think this is so.
- D has light rail nobody rides, FW has buses nobody rides - but the FW buses had bike racks on their YEARS before they retrofitted the D (DART) buses
- Each has its own airport despite DFW, which was built to put an end to such nonsense
- Each has its own newspaper, that are joined only in that each mostly doesn't report much about the "other" place
- Each place has television stations - and you can tell them apart fairly quickly when you listen to news, weather, or traffic.
- If I wanted to be really unfair, I could note that Oswald shot Kennedy in D, but is buried in FW (remember that per my shortcut, anywhere in Tarrant County is "FW")
- And the list could go on, but here is one developing "Tale of Two Cities."
|Searching for "Bike Week" Events on the LAB Site|
The difference was reinforced in NCTCOG pages about "Bike to Work" events. The head of the FW transit is leading a ride. Betsy is talking. There is loot getting handed out. When I was in FW yesterday, I was SHOCKED at the plethora of well-located sharrows and other cycling enhancements like REAL bike racks in place of the artsy ones that used to dot FW. I shall have to do a remake of the "bus lane" post. The rules have changed. If you get outside the central core of FW, the bike plan still consists of lines on a map that do not relate to any current or potential reality, but FW has made some real changes and I do believe those changes will result in better quality of life - even for the urban motorist. I pray that pedestrians may benefit at least as much as cyclists. Are some of these facilities suboptimal or even potentially dangerous? No doubt, and I will point out such features when I see them, so my loyal reader stays safe. But FW has elected to begin a process and they will get better at it as they move forward. Despite my own "cynic aspect," I say "YOU GO GUYS - LIGHT THAT CANDLE!"
Meanwhile, in D, the news is how they can't do anything. The flashy new bridge prohibits pedestrian traffic - and I suspect bikes and dogs are not welcome, either. As for "Bike to Work?" Well, look at the photos to see the contrast. In my strictly personal and unofficial opinion, Dallas remains even more mired in the failed politics of the past than ever. I can ride safely in either D OR FW, but why would I WANT to travel to D, when the coffee is cheaper in FW, the mayor of the city cycles, and there's a real chance I'll see a horse walking around downtown between the skyscrapers. Heck, now I hear that even a feature of FW I've sneered at - the fact that Sundance Square is nothing but parking lots (NINE, to be specific, along with related businesses), is going to change. Personally, I think DURANGO deserves the credit for the change in FW direction. Which points me to a future post in which I discuss the differences between advocates and engineers. But I get ahead of myself.
I guess, this year, I'll join the Bike to Work stuff in Fort Worth once again. Fort Worth may not be making the rest of the world "green with envy" the way it might like to believe, but it might well make the rest of North Texas do so.
One jarring note remains: I do know some really NICE people that live on the wrong side of the county line that divides D from FW. I guess it is a reminder that the Berlin Wall wasn't built to divide good from bad either. As in D versus FW, sometimes it is simply good or bad fortune. Chandra, let me know if you need some help moving! Ditto for all of y'all living in Richardson...
|NCTCOG Encompasses BOTH Spheres - D and FW|
|Despite The Warts, Fort Worth Embraces Things the Cynics Despise. In this Respect, I'm WITH FW|
|Official Dallas Website Offers Little More than the Dallas Oberver Writer's Notes|
In the words of the Verizon Guy, "Do you hear me now?"
|A Search on the Dallas Bike Guy's Name Offers Little More|