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Slate of safety improvements proposed for West Seventh Street core

Posted May 11, 2018

front facade of the main West 7th building
The West Seventh area has become one of the most active developments in Fort Worth. Between 2010 and 2017, 504 building permits were issued totaling $357.6 million.

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.

Sidewalk 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.

Parking meters

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.

One-way streets

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.

Police resources

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 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.

Metropolitan Area EMS Authority / MedStar Mobile Healthcare: 10 a.m. May 23, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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School Visit - Lunch & Learn: noon May 23, 2018; Atwood Macdonald Elementary .

City Plan Commission Work Session: noon May 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Fort Worth Professional Fire Fighters Association Collective Bargaining Negotiations: 12:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Budget Stakeholder's Meeting: 3:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; Council Room 290, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102.

Park and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. May 23, 2018; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Deborah Beggs Memorial Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Rolling Town Hall: 6 p.m. May 23, 2018; Ridglea North, Berney Park, 6316 Rosemont Avenue.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Directors Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. May 24, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Affordability Inc: 5 p.m. May 24, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Westcliff Drainage Improvements Project Open House: 6 p.m. May 24, 2018; Westcliff Elementary School - Auditorium, 4300 Clay Ave.

Deferred Compensation Oversight Committee: 9 a.m. May 25, 2018; Fort Worth Credit Union Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Foodpalooza at Hillside Community Center: 1 p.m. May 26, 2018; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

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