City staff has proposed a list of projects that will go a long way toward improving the safety, walkability and accessibility of the thriving West Seventh Street neighborhood, one of Fort Worth’s fastest growing areas.
The proposed changes have been brought about primarily by a 38 percent increase in overall crime in the area from 2015 to 2017. Most crimes occur on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. and involve bar patrons. Common crimes include burglary of vehicles, public intoxication and fighting.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa said. “We must do something of significance to protect public safety. The situation is dangerous and could get out of control.”
City staff worked with 26 businesses, three civic organizations, three neighborhood associations and other stakeholders to develop a slate of recommendations:
West Seventh Street improvements
The voter-approved 2018 bond program will provide $8 million to improve the right-of-way from the Trinity River west to University Drive for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.
Proposed improvements include upgraded traffic and pedestrian signals and railroad crossing, shared bus/bike lanes, a landscaped median, mid-block crosswalks with pedestrian islands, and sidewalk and street light improvements.
Priorities include filling gaps in the existing sidewalk network, building sidewalks where none exist, and repairs to sidewalks. The cost is expected to be about $1 million, and construction will begin in November 2018 and run through May 2019.
Farrington Field parking
Pay parking at the Fort Worth school district’s Farrington Field is already in place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Under a new agreement, 400 spaces of free parking will be available 24 hours a day beginning in early August. This effort is funded by the West Seventh Restaurant and Bar Association.
The free parking availability will coincide with the opening of the new Trail Drive Extension adjacent to Farrington Field and the reopening of the Curry Street/Lancaster Avenue intersection.
The city plans to install up to 250 parking meters in July in and near the West Seventh Urban Village core. Parking fees will be in effect from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The meters are expected to pay for themselves in the first year of operation.
The Dash circulator bus
Beginning in March 2019, five electric buses, called The Dash, will operate from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. weekdays and until 12:30 a.m. on weekends. The route will link Currie Street to downtown destinations and the Intermodal Transportation Center.
Annual operating cost is placed at $1.4 million. Trinity Metro will fund 75 percent, and the City of Fort Worth has committed $150,000 per year for three years.
Certain streets in the West Seventh Street core will be converted to one-way streets to help with crowd control, improve access for emergency vehicles and reduce vehicle-pedestrian conflicts.
The new alignment is expected to be in place by June 1. Capital cost is $120,000.
Additional Fort Worth Police officers will be assigned to the West Division for a four-month trial, from May through August 2018, to assist in the West Seventh area. In addition, a police substation will open at the nearby Montgomery Plaza in June.
“We know that these improvements will not please everyone all the time, but we will continue to be an advocate for everyone who lives, works and plays in this area,” District 9 Councilmember Ann Zadeh said. “Our hope is that we can continue to take care of any concerns that arise during this process.”
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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. May 29, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 29, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
Public Meeting Regarding the Proposed Goal for Fiscal Year 2018 Through 2021: 8 a.m. May 30, 2018; Office of Business Diversity Economic Development Department, 1150 South Freeway, Suite 144.
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Rolling Town Hall: 6 p.m. May 30, 2018; Pearl Snap Kolaches, 4006 White Settlement Road.
DFW International Airport Public Facility Improvement Corporation Board Meeting: 10 a.m. May 31, 2018; DFW International Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Splash Day at Greenbriar Community Center: 4 p.m. May 31, 2018; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill.