There’s an op-ed in the paper today that you really should read. Because it’s amazing. It was written by Al Petrasek, a former president of the Trinity Commons Foundation who is retired and now lives in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. This Petrasek is a wily fellow. He has found an ingenious way to undermine the Trinity toll road and its supporters. His article, on its face, endorses the road. It’s titled “Building the Trinity Parkway Is the Right Thing To Do.” But every argument he makes is so over-the-top, outer-limits-nutbar insane that it becomes clear, upon a closer reading, that Petrasek is executing Onion-style satire intended to highlight what a stupid idea the Trinity toll road is. He begins his article:
Recent conversations suggest that the Trinity Parkway is a relatively new concept. Quite the opposite is true; a roadway within the Trinity River Floodway has been discussed for decades, indicating it has merit; otherwise it would have died years ago.
See what I’m saying? We’ve been talking about the toll road for a long time. Therefore it must be a good idea. Kind of like how people have argued against compulsory vaccinations since the late 1800s, meaning that idea, too, must have merit. His logic is so intentionally and obviously faulty that Petrasek almost gives away his joke too early.
He goes on to say that the concept of “new urbanism” has never been discussed publicly and that certain planners want the United States to look like Europe, where no one can afford a house. Oh, also, density creates crime. As in:
If you do a little research on the population density and crime rates in the United States, you will quickly discover the crime rate in large cities ranges between 200 and 500 percent of the crime rate in the suburbs. Placating urban designers is not a good reason to push for higher densities.
Petrasek is a master of the form. Hot Springs Villagers are fortunate to have such a talented satirist living among them. Their gain is our loss.