Friends of Fair Park

Friends of Fair Park President Craig Holcomb

Dear Craig Holcomb,

As a cyclist and a believer in the sharing economy, I have to tell you how excited I am about a bike sharing system is coming to Dallas. Although we’re only getting two stations and both are within Fair Park, we’ve taken that first step  which is usually the most difficult. Better late than never right? The next hurdle is the helmet law, which sounds good on paper (as many laws do) but is impractical and mostly unenforceable. Are you going tackle that next or just leave it to the City Council (please don’t)? One day I hope to see the bike stations from the Santa Fe Trail all the way through to Uptown plus bike lanes to accommodate them. A boy can dream can’t he?

I’ve always had a soft spot for Fair Park. Admittedly, I only go there during the State Fair at this point, but I have fond childhood memories at the Science Place and Aquarium. When I walk around down there, I see lots of potential. Maybe it could it be as awesome as say Balboa Park in San Diego? The two parks are similar in some ways: they’re about the same distance from their downtown’s, the buildings are almost from the same era, they both have “park” in their names…

Unfortunately that’s pretty much where the similarities stop. Some are quick to blame the the lack of investment in the area on the heavy industry and blighted neighborhoods surrounding the park. Others blame the park for not doing enough to help those blighted areas improve. Chicken or the egg i guess. How about we just agree to blame Jerry Jones for taking the Cowboy’s Stadium to Arlington.

Keep fighting the good fight.

RESPONSE:

Mr. Bernstein,
Thank you for your letter.
I agree that for bike sharing to work the helmet law is going to need to be changed.  From a very practical standpoint, it will be hard for Friends to use City money to start the program and not comply with City laws.  
I personally feel part of our Fair Park challenge is that folks take it for granted and so do not get as excited as they do about some new attraction.
But numbers don’t lie.  During non State Fair time, the park had 2.3 million visitors last year and 1200 events.  My strategy is just that our best hope is those people coming to the park, having a good time and telling their friends.
Congratulations on keeping your resolution.

 

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