City to Rename Dallas Convention Center For Kay Bailey Hutchison. Does She Deserve Better?

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, where she made the magic happen for Dallas.   Photo via Sen.Rockefeller/Flickr
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, where she made the magic happen for Dallas. Photo via Sen.Rockefeller/Flickr

Much like Pope John Paul II put Mother Teresa on the fast-track to becoming a saint, the Dallas City Council is moving quickly to rename the Dallas Convention Center after former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who just retired in January. The council will consider the measure at its April 24 meeting. (It’s a “consent” item, which means it may not be voted on individually, often an indication that it’s expected to be approved easily.)

What are the three miracles that city council members credit to Hutchison, making her worthy of such beatification?

1) Helped secure over $225 million for the Trinity Corridor Project, including the Dallas Floodway Extension, Margaret McDermott Bridge, Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, and the I35-E Bridge.  But then why not name that last bridge after her instead? Unless a third wealthy lady named Marge has dibs on it already?

2) Led the effort to rescind the Wright Amendment and ensure federal support for the Love Field Modernization Program.  Maybe they should have named the remade terminal for her, or even just a kiosk inside the new D Magazine News shop?

3) Worked continuously with DART to help create the nation’s largest light-rail system.  We’re obviously bypassing the intriguing option of renaming the Red, Blue, and Green lines as the Kay, Bailey, and Hutchison lines. The Orange line could be named for her husband, Ray.

All this talk about honoring a longtime pol reminds me that the proposal (by State Rep. Dan Branch) to rename Central Expressway (between Park Lane and Interstate 30) the George. W Bush Expressway is set to get a hearing before the Texas House Transportation Committee tomorrow.

I oppose the Bush proposal. Not because of any of his misguided policies or management blunders commited while he was in office. I’m just thinking of those poor roving traffic reporters, and the commuters they serve, who could doubtless become confused each morning, having to specify whether that five-car-pileup is on the Bush Expressway or the Bush Turnpike.

In fact, I move that we just name Central after Kay and give W. the Convention Center.