Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Turn to Whine About Trails

The good news is that Richardson's trail system is set to reach the President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) DART station within two years. That suggests the planning for the transit-oriented development around the PGBT station is advancing fast enough to start pouring concrete in that time frame.

The also good news is that this might finally shut up Rodger Jones, editorial writer for The Dallas Morning News, who has been whining about the lack of a walkway for years.

After the jump, what's not so good news.

What's not so good is how I learned of this good news. Rodger Jones himself broke the story on the Opinion blog of The Dallas Morning News. The information came from an email he received from Richardson city council member Steve Mitchell. It appears to have been a personal email Mitchell sent to Jones that Jones then published on the News's website. If the City of Richardson has already released the same information to the public, I'm unaware of it and so, apparently, was Jones.

Anyone else? Can you point me to a press release or planning document or meeting minutes or anything, publicly posted on the city's website, that contains the information that Steve Mitchell passed on to Rodger Jones privately? Specifically:

we [the City of Richardson] have a consultant working on a schematic design for the trail in partnership with the Parliament Group who owns much of the property right now. ... A schedule for completion is tentative, at best, depending on the alignment. ... At this point, we estimate that we are 18-24 months from having a trail completed.
Maybe these details were already public knowledge and I just didn't know where to look to find them. Or maybe Mitchell sent this unpublished information to Jones (and not me) because Mitchell reads The Dallas Morning News (and doesn't read The Wheel). Or maybe Mitchell responded to Jones (and not me) because Jones whined loud enough (and I didn't -- this time).

Whatever the series of events, it's a sign that the City of Richardson's public communications efforts are still lagging, despite the recent release of a website makeover. In this case, better communication could have saved the City of Richardson a black eye (Jones's whine in The Dallas Morning News about the lack of accommodation for pedestrians in Richardson -- that's right, the city with 40 miles of trails!). And that, in turn, would have avoided the need for this whiny blog item by me. It's not always easy to tell with me, but whining doesn't make me feel good. Honest.

1 comment:

Sassy Texan said...

Probably has to do with the negotiations surrounding TIF2 and TIF3. I have been trying to get the agreements since Keffler announced the Renner/Plano Road Development would be another TIF phase. I have made another request today.

This communication game will only change when people wake up and realize there is a game being played. A really big wake up call was woven into the eithics ordinance last year. It violates the TOMA. And as I was told by the AG's office, "Could be some potential conflicts there". All it has done is break down communication even more. It is the oldtime parental talk of do as I say, not as I do.

And the hundreds of millions spent on the DART Rail project for only 1% of the population is glaringly in need of some common sense thinking. And as you have noted here, the complimentary trails is another less than 1% use vs millions in cost even if it is mostly Federal grant money. It all comes from the same hopper one way or the other.

And I totally agree with you on the "whining doesn't make me feel good" topic. But it seems the only way to get any dialogue going on what is falsely labeled as 'public business'. Me thinks they liked it better when no one was watching.