Static: Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Raining on the Water Board Parade

Was that the sweet fragrance of democracy that Static detected at a recent question-and-answer coffee klatch about the plan to build a half-billion-dollar lake just north of downtown? Tarrant Regional Water District President George Shannon, before a group of about 50 mostly skeptical citizens gathered at Colonial Country Club, was attempting to dispel what he perceives to be misrepresentations about the project. Longtime Republican Party activist Steve Hollern, however, was more interested in trying to get Shannon to promise that the district would never condemn land along the river solely for economic development — and to put the entire project up for a public vote of approval. When Shannon displayed little enthusiasm for either proposition, Hollern said opponents might have little choice but to turn’s Shannon’s own re-election campaign into a referendum on the lake proposal. Among those in the audience who heard Shannon’s “so be it” response was a man angling for Shannon’s job — former City Council member Clyde Picht, who recently named a treasurer for his campaign for a seat on the district board. The election, in which two of the board’s five members will be selected, is expected to be scheduled sometime next year.

Rescue This Road

If we had a special-effects typeface for this column, the words you’re reading now would have a blurry look, as though someone was using a jackhammer next to the printing press. That, or like you were driving on Airport Freeway where it connects to I-35. Can you say “bad road”?

That stretch of asphalt scar tissue is horrible under any conditions, but downright deadly in the rain. Static came too close to being a statistic in support of that contention several weeks ago, when, driving to lunch at the lovely Tu Hai restaurant, it missed by only a few minutes becoming lunchmeat in a vehicle and concrete sandwich. Where Belknap/Weatherford crosses under the ramp from Airport Freeway to I-35 North, a vehicle failed to make the curve on a rain-slick road, and tumbled down onto the roadway below. Minutes after that, another car made the same mistake, and almost landed on the hapless motorists and emergency workers from the first accident.

Add to that the criminally clueless signage on I-35 at the downtown exit just south of the Airport Freeway interchange, and you’ve got one hell of a mess. Don’t know why there hasn’t already been a major accident there, as folks try to figure out which lanes lead to I-30 and which exit to downtown. Who needs slasher flicks when you can watch the hair-raising, gravel-slinging last-minute lane changes that happen there almost daily?

Highway department types should know that, although our Best of 2005 issue arrives next week, not far beyond it are our annual Turkey Awards. Don’t be a gobbler (again). Start fixing this.

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