Saturday, May 16, 2009

A City of Dallas Parks and Recreation End Run

Why can't the City of Dallas be more transparent?

I applaud the City of Dallas for finally enforcing parking ordinances at one the the City's "crown jewels", White Rock Lake. It's expensive and labor intensive to establish and maintain green space. But then let cars park on it? Guess what happens to the temporary grassy parking lot when a sudden rain storm or worse, a show-off driver come into the picture? It's usually at least a season, perhaps longer, for the damage to be fully repaired.

Anyone with minimal involvement in special events should be well aware that adequate parking and port-a-potties are number one and number two (rimshot) on the "must have" list. The options are ug-ly. But for years event organizers, due to lack of appropriate parking, have been authorized to allow parking on grassy areas. Bad idea to begin with, but the P & R department is making a bad situation worse by citing "safety" as the primary reason for the sudden change.

Maybe its just me, but it seems the further away a mass influx of (usually excited) participants have to travel by foot, and often across busy highways, the bigger the safety issue.

Mark my words, this is a green space issue. For that I commend the City. For the City to indicate safety, which everyone supposes won't be questioned, I not only award shame, but also a "cry wolf" honorable mention.

Why can't the City just call it what it's a green space issue? I think green space is a much more powerful persuader for runners and bicyclists than personal safety.

But surely this whole debacle is also focused on moving special events away from WRL and to less "busy" venues, such as Fair Park and (soon-to-be?) Trinity Park. Perhaps another great idea.

Another example of Dallas' great ideas just poor execution.

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