Trinity River Vote             

Clarification Project

An effort by a 7th grade teacher to improve communication accuracy.

The unanswered question in 2007, about directing through traffic away from downtown, may become the issue in 2009 due to growing concerns about flood protection!

Below please find the archive of this page as created in 2007 for the Trinity River Vote. The debate on these issues continues on the blog at The pages below are kept here as an archive for the events that happened leading up to and immediately after the 11-6-07 vote. - Bill Betzen

11-6-07 10:45 PM update: The YES side has conceded the election as of 10:00 PM with a vote count of 47% FOR to 53% AGAINST. However, there continue to appear to have been significant confusion at the voting places as to the meaning of a FOR or AGAINST vote among voters.   At the precinct I worked during the day encouraging FOR votes, even the first volunteer for the AGAINST side, who arrived at the precinct in the morning to hand out literature, thought she was working to remove the toll road from the park. She left after realizing that AGAINST meant you were supporting a toll road.

If voters who voted against Dallas Proposition 1 thinking they were voting against the toll road along the Trinity River do not come forward to protest, we will pass on to our grandchildren a river that is no longer peaceful and quiet, and a park with the constant background noise of a toll road. Our grandchildren will have to deal with it unless Dallas voters quickly come forward to protest being mislead.

11-6-07 10:45 PM
Bill Betzen

(11-2-07 NEWS: The afternoon of Friday 11-2-07 Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway and City Councilmember Tennell Atkins were misleading voters going inside to vote at the Beckly Sub-Courthouse. See photos and story.)

Due to an unanswered question, and concerns about noise and pollution along the Trinity River, I began actively supporting the Vote Yes campaign the second week of October, 2007. The morning of Saturday, October 20th it was found that most of the "Vote YES" signs I had posted the previous week had been removed overnight and replaced with "Vote NO!" signs. I observed that this would be a very good opportunity for clarification as to what "No" and "Yes" (or "For" and "Against") mean in the Trinity River Referendum on November 6, 2007 here in Dallas.

By noon on Saturday October 20th I was standing on the intersection (west bound Camp Wisdom Road where you can turn north on Hwy 67 to go downtown Dallas) with the 3'x4' sign below (the smaller sign):

Trinity River Toll Road Vote, Crow Park
(The toll road will cover everything to the right of the little red flag near the "t" in "toll road" in the smaller sign.)

During the 2 hours on the street waving to and talking with people, some of whom I have known the entire 32 years I have lived in our neighborhood, it was obvious far too many people did not understand what "No" and "Yes" meant in this election. I am certain this problem is all over Dallas! Since I am certain that neither side wants an un-informed electorate, the Trinity River Vote Clarification Project was started.

An estimated 60-80 cars were driving through the intersection I was standing at every minute. My sign was VERY well received. Many commented "That is what NO means! I am going to vote!"  I got many waves and thumbs up.  I was standing in the middle of NO signs where my YES sign used to be before it was stolen and replaced with NO signs.

If anyone has similar concerns about the clarification of what "NO" and "Yes" mean I recommend they join with me on a busy intersection near their home, or anywhere in Dallas.  They can change the sign I used to reflect their sentiments.  They may upload that Word document here and change it as they want. It can be done with Microsoft Word, or OpenOffice, easily. Any Office Depot can blow it up, while you wait, from a 8.5" x 11" paper to a 36" by 48" sign for $3.49.  Then, using spray glue, it can be mounted on cardboard or any other backing.  I use hard insulation board ($9 as I recall) from Home Depot, 8'x4' sheets, which is light but sturdy. It lasts a long time. If you are without a truck or van, ask Home Depot to cut the sheet in half so you can take it home easily. Buy white masking tape to put around the edges so the insulation is not exposed and the sign is easier to hold and lasts longer. You may need to paint the insulation board white first so the contrast with the print on the sign is improved. It makes it easier to read.

With 60 cars a minute going through many intersections in Dallas there are many locations were one person can reach thousands of voters every hour.  Just bring lots of water, use sun screen, and wear a hat. (If you want clarified "Vote NO!" signs, as described in the 10-22-07 entry below, download the Avery Form, print your P's, and correct discarded "Vote NO!" signs to place in the ground around you as you stand with your sign.)

If anyone wants to join me clarifying the Trinity River Vote, just go to it.  You do not need to let me know, but I would love to hear of your work and brainstorm with you.  I welcome questions and recommendations.

In the certainty that all good politicians want a multitude of well informed voters at the polls,

Bill Betzen

==================  6:30 AM Monday 10-22-07 update ===========

Clarifying discarded "Vote NO!" signs can be done!  Here are results:

Vote No! Pave the Trinity

It appears that yesterday, Sunday, 10-21-07, City crews cleared the entire city of Dallas of signs illegally posted in the right of way. It is reported many signs were collected from public right of way, by a person working on correcting the message, just before city crews arrived, saving our city tax money. Those signs are now corrected as indicated above.

It is possible that Angela Hunt and others, if they find out what is being done, may not approve.  It is work that must still continue. If anyone wants to continue this clarification work using discarded signs, here are instructions that have been shared with me:

  1. Purchase White Permanent I.D. Labels, 2" x 2 5/8", 15 labels per sheet. They use Avery form 6572.  You may click here to upload a copy of that Avery form that was finished to use in printing P's for the clarification efforts. You may freely distribute it to anyone interested in helping in this clarification project.

  2. Using Microsoft Word you can print these onto the Permanent I.D. Labels purchased.

  3. Clean the Vote No! signs so that the labels will stick well to the surface. Trim the labels with the P's so that they can cover the "S" on the sign completely and be a little taller than the original "S"

  4. You need to trim the label with the "P" so that the lower right hand corner is cut off the label going up at a sharp angle.

  5. It has been recommended that you only use these corrected signs to replace other Vote NO! signs that are in public right of way.  DO NOT replace any signs on private property. We do not want to make a "NO!" supporter angry.  A campaign can really be set back by one irate opponent.

  6. If a Yes supporter is dedicated they may want to put one of these corrected signs in their yard.

Regarding legal issues, it is incredible that someone would consider the recycling of discarded signs with a more accurate message to be a crime in any way. If that is wrong the potential dialogue in any legal process related to this clarification effort would quickly uncover proof that there is one side in this battle over our river who is trying to mislead the Dallas public. What is wrong with the Dallas public knowing that the "Vote NO!" campaign is the side wanting to pave a toll way along our river floodway? If you vote against Proposition 1 in Dallas we will get a toll way and loose the quiet river that goes through our city.

"Pave" is certainly more accurate than "save" when you consider that the quiet river trips now possible through Dallas will be lost forever. Toll Roads are not quiet. The last place for quiet solitude near downtown will be lost!

In the certainty that all good politicians want a multitude of well informed voters at the polls,

Bill Betzen