Bluebonnet Circle Park is usually pretty quiet on a Saturday afternoon, but not last Saturday. There were food trucks, tents, fake trees, music, temporary changes to the street lane lines – and two mayors.
There were also representatives of Steer Fort Worth, the young-professionals group started by Mayor Betsy Price that has spent several months trying to persuade area residents to “re-envision” Bluebonnet Circle. The faux trees and narrowed driving lanes were supposed to show residents what the changes could look like.
Missing were folks like Mike Banta and George Appleby, who have criticized Steer Fort Worth’s efforts to impose their ideas on the neighborhood. However, about 40 other folks, including residents of surrounding streets, did turn out to check out the activities.
Price showed up and spoke for about five minutes. She told the crowd that the Better Block program, a national effort that Steer Fort Worth brought into the Bluebonnet Circle debate, was about “empowering residents.” She encouraged residents to check out the city’s bond proposal and let officials know of any changes they might want.
Sasha Gibson the honorary canine mayor of Fort Woof Dog Park east of downtown, also came to the microphone but, um, made no remarks.
Steer Fort Worth organizer Kyle Jenson said he feels optimistic about the group’s efforts on Bluebonnet. “We’ve had a couple of people with loud voices [express concern], but it’s the other 95 percent that we are trying to reach,” he said.
However, he and Steer director Hannah Behrens said their group won’t be taking on any other similar efforts anytime soon – which might or might have to do with the opposition they encountered on Bluebonnet, and those “loud voices.”