State of City Address:
Commuter Rail, street cars, and other alternative modes of transportation also remain a priority for me and this City Council. Unfortunately, Fort Worth and other major metropolitan areas are finding out the hard way what a mistake it was to design and build cities around automobiles years ago. Friends, we cannot continue to focus solely on building more roads for more vehicles. That’s counter productive at best.
Business as usual is dead!
North Texas requires a transportation overhaul. No more band-aides, no more patches—a complete overhaul!
Regrettably, it’s becoming more and more obvious that we cannot depend on the state or federal government to help us in the near term. In fact, there is no guarantee of any new money to build any new roads in Texas after 2012.
Frankly, I’m tired of talking about this. This afternoon, workers at BNSF…employees at Lockheed Martin or Bell Textron…even many of you in this room will leave work and then sit…and sit…and sit in traffic. It’s a frustrating daily routine that carries a great cost once you consider the impacts to our quality of life, our environment, our air, and our ability to attract and keep new business investment.
If this is a mobility crisis—and I believe it is—then it must be treated like one!
In the spirit of the early Fort Worth pioneers who took it upon themselves to pick up shovels and extend the first rail line to our city, it’s time that we took matters in our own hands. It is clear to me that we are not going to get where we need to be by relying only on help from the feds or the state.
We are going to have to pull ourselves out of the ditch!
In the coming weeks, I will appoint an 11-member Blue Ribbon Task Force. I will charge this body with returning specific recommendations to the full City Council on how we fix or relieve pressure on Fort Worth’s aging transportation infrastructure.