Parking placation: West Seventh group, city seek solution to transit troubles

No Parking sign

During a work session before its Sept. 26 meeting, the Fort Worth City Council received a report on recent findings and recommendations by the West Seventh Stakeholders Group.

Earlier this year the city assembled this informal group of 29 property owners, business owners, and neighborhood leaders representing interests in and around the 12-block area bounded by West Seventh Street on the north, Foch Street on the east, Lancaster Avenue on the south, and University Drive on the west. They are working with several city departments and District 9 Council Member Ann Zadeh to develop the West Seventh core area as a safe and walkable mixed-use district in accordance with the city’s urban village development policies.

Earlier this year, the group identified four broad topics encompassing the most important issues facing the West Seventh core area:

*Public safety.

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*Transportation, including traffic circulation, parking, and transit.

*The mix of land uses in the area.

*The area’s overall appearance.

Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa said, “Even though we don’t call it a bar area, there are a lot. It creates a set of issues unlike any other in Fort Worth.

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“In a sense, it has succeeded beyond our expectations, but with that come challenges.”

The city has facilitated an agreement between the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) and the West 7th Restaurant & Bar Association, Inc. in which the FWISD will lease the Farrington Field parking lot to the Restaurant & Bar Association for paid self-parking on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. from Oct. 1-early January, probably around Jan. 5, according to Costa.

At the conclusion of this trial period, city staff will assess the project’s impacts upon conditions in the area and analyze the feasibility of various traffic control options, such as creating a peak-hour pedestrian-only corridor, designating peak-hour one-way streets, and installing parking meters throughout the core area.

“Ideally, if this proves to be beneficial, we’d be able to explore long-term options for parking in that area,” Costa said.

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However, Costa said a couple of challenges could be the Trail Drive expansion project, along with the city being able to benefit from redevelopment of the property for a mixed-use project. However, he said even so, parking spaces in a garage could be leased.

“That’s a very valuable piece of property,” Costa said. “This is a short-term solution.”

The stakeholders group has scheduled its next meeting for Jan. 30 to discuss these issues.