Why can't city governments just be honest? This request has everything to do with Flower Mound's Denton Creek District future development plans. FM annexed that little piece of highway frontage in 1999, but their only access point at the highway is hindered by the roadside park. Take a look at the FM thoroughfare plan
, no park, just service road and a connecting arterial street. At status quo TXDot would require an overpass (that they won't pay for).
From a March 2008 transportation board meeting: "On the west side of Town, the bridge portion of the Denton Creek Spine Road, as well as the diamond interchange portion is another project. A proposed development has committed to build the roadway portion of the Denton Creek Spine Road but not the bridge or the Diamond. The project does not reach to the diamond at this point. Chairman Stone asked about the diamond interchange at I35...There is a narrow window where an interchange can be located. It has to follow federal spacing guidelines, and it is in TxDOTâ€™s right-of-way; a rest stop is currently at that location."
FM updated its strategic goals in February of this year with "Removal of Rest Stop on I-35W" listed as 'important to begin or continue' with an estimated completion of 2010."
I don't have a personal reason for preserving the roadside park (although it is usually nicely maintained and heavily used). What I do care about is the misleading statements made by the police - and, most likely, the reasons behind them. Why use the police department to achieve your town's development goals?
If providing police protection to their westernmost border 'spreads their force too thin', what do they plan to do when they have big box stores and housing on the site? The rest stop hasn't been there for over thirty years, much less the 'half a century' the speaker claims as to when the stop was useful. The highway wasn't completed until 1967! Either their crime reporting and mapping tool is inaccurate
or their 800 calls to the site did not lead to any charges, I found ONE 'single theft' in November 2007 for that area. I am curious as to the types of calls made in the 800 quoted. Sure, they mention scary stuff like prostitutes and drugs in the article, but since it is the only rest stop between Ft Worth and Denton, isn't it possible that people pull off there with car trouble or to report some driving-related incident? 800 calls since April 2002 is one every 3+ days, and apparently all but one of those was prior to October 2005 (that's as far back as their online reports go).
I have to admit, this may be a successful strategy. Claim a crime issue, so even if one doesn't exist, you have scared everyone away and you can use the 'seldom used and obsolete' argument.