Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The City of Dallas steps on it's weenie yet again

I haven't written a rant about the sheer ineptitude of the city government of Dallas in a while. This is probably because I'm trying to give Mayor Tom the benefit of the doubt. I'd really like to see him to get control of the mess at City Hall, and do a better job of reining in the inflated egos and deflated IQs on the City Council better than his completely ineffective predecessor did.

Every once in a while, though, the city leaders make it impossible for me to lay off.

Today's case in point is the renaming of Industrial Blvd. This thoroughfare, which winds from Market Center Blvd and into the west side of downtown, is rife with crappy liquor stores, bail bond shops, and dodgy taquerias. It's not on anyone's "Driving Tour of Dallas", believe me.

However, once the much-ballyhooed (and LONG overdue) Trinity River Project works its urban-renewal magic, Industrial will be the gateway to the spectacular parkland, the on-ramp to the object-of-contention toll road, and the entrance to Dallas taxpayer Nirvana.

As such, it obviously can't be named something as down-scale as "Industrial Blvd", now can it?

So, the city leaders, in their great wisdom, set out to engage the public in a little "name the street" contest, via email, phone, and fax. First, there were the nominations. Eddie Bernice Johnson Blvd, in honor of our long-serving, and, I suspect, barely literate Congressperson, was one. TrinityView, or something like that, was another, except the levee prevents you from actually, you know, viewing the river from there. Riverfront Blvd was also suggested. You get the idea.

Also nominated was Cesar Chavez Blvd. This to honor the Mexican-American activist who fought for farmworkers' rights back in the day. It's also worth noting that downtown Austin's riverfront thoroughfare is named for Chavez, as are parks, libraries, streets, etc throughout this fair land of ours.

After the nominations were in, the people were invited to vote. And so they did. In large numbers. And more than 10,000 of them, the clear majority, voted for Cesar Chavez Blvd.

The people have spoken, right? Decision made, right? Um, not so much, buddy. You see, when it comes down to it, the city leaders aren't so keen on naming this centerpiece of the project after some Mexican Communist.

The vote? Oh, that wasn't really a "vote". It was more of an "informal survey".

This was front page news here in the DFW Metroplex of Love today, kids.

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