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Old 06-28-11, 08:11 AM
  #14  
Doohickie 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
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There have been several initiatives here to put streets on "diets", reducing the number of motor lanes and lower speed limits while adding bike lanes and bike parking. I can see future leaders taking it to the next step. Our mayor-elect is a bicycle commuter and may be sympathetic to a shift toward more pedestrians and cyclists. Meanwhile there are pockets of progressive 30- and 40-somethings that are pushing for streetcars (thought we had that wrapped up last year before it was defeated through political wrangling). I expect some of them to become city leaders in the not-to-distant future and they would embrace policies like those in the article.

I can even envision the downtown area resisting such measures. Fine; leave them out of it. The Near Southside and possibly the Westside would probably go for it and we could see which works better. The nature of Fort Worth is that there are about a half-dozen "city centers" that could be developed along different lines- the Downtown area is set up like a classic American city with cars in mind, but several of the other areas could be developed along the lines of "urban villages" that are more bicycle/pedestrian friendly. The Near Southside was a throw-away neighborhood 20 years ago but has revitalized into what is kind of a model of ped- & bike-friendly "throwback development." The Near Westside took a different tack; instead of rehabbing older structures, they cleared several city blocks and built new, high-density mixed-use buildings that on any given night are filled with pedestrians out to get a bite to eat. It's a self-contained housing/entertainment area.

The city has set up several "Tax-Increment Districts" where additional taxes are levied and used for local development, with a high degree of neighborhood influence. Several of these districts have chosen to reinvest the money in different ways; the Near Southside is paying for bike lanes and bike parking while most of the Downtown money goes to subsidize parking to make it free on evenings and weekends because they are all about the car. The districts pretty much get to decide.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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