Parking meters coming to West Seventh Street area

Work continues on West Seventh Street traffic and safety improvements, and the next step addresses parking.

Parking meters are being installed in and near the West Seventh area and are expected to be operating by Aug. 30. Parking fees for these meters will vary based on time of day. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the rate will be $1 per hour. From 4 p.m.-10 p.m., the rate will be $2.50 per hour. There is no fee from 10 p.m.-10 a.m.

Parking fees may be adjusted by 25 cents per hour on a weekly basis based on demand, with a maximum allowable rate of $4.50 per hour and a minimum rate of $1 per hour.

Fort Worth will be the first city in Texas to implement a demand-driven variable-rate structure for on-street parking. The combination of extended-hours metered parking and the implementation of a demand-driven variable rate has been successfully used in high-demand business and entertainment districts in cities such as Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Boston to address the issue of excessive parking demand and a limited supply of on-street spaces. The use of demand-driven variable-rate parking has resulted in a decrease in search time and congestion as well as an improvement in space turnover and overall business activity in high-demand districts in those cities.

Parking will also be available at the Fort Worth school district’s Farrington Field., located at the corner of University Drive and Lancaster Avenue. Under a new agreement, 400 spaces will be available for employee parking and fee-based parking for the general public beginning Aug. 30. This effort is being managed by the West Seventh Restaurant and Bar Association. Fee-based surface lots and garages in the West Seventh Urban Village are additional alternatives.

The availability of parking at Farrington Field will coincide with the opening of a portion of the new Trail Drive Extension adjacent to Farrington Field to allow easier access to the parking lot.

Learn about other traffic and safety improvements scheduled for the area.

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Nine Fort Worth schools receive safer routes for students

The City of Fort Worth continues to improve safe routes to schools for students. A variety of projects have been completed, ranging from sidewalks and crosswalks to signage improvements that provide better access to nine schools in the Fort Worth area.

Improvements were completed at these schools:
V.R. Eaton High School. Beacons, crosswalks and signage.
Dolores Huerta Elementary School. New school zone on Kearney Avenue, beacons, crosswalk and signage.
Fort Worth CAN Academy, West Creek campus. New school zone, beacons, crosswalks and signage.
North Riverside Elementary School. Beacons, crosswalk and signage.
Atwood McDonald Elementary School. Beacon upgrade on Brentwood Stair Road, sidewalks built on Barron Lane, crosswalks and upgraded signage.
Sycamore Elementary School. Upgraded signs, all-way stops and signage, including restricted parking signs.
Lake Pointe Elementary School. All-way stop signs and upgraded school signage on Centerboard Lane.
Van Zandt Elementary School. Updated with static school zone signs and a new crosswalk.
West Handley Elementary. All-way stop signs and crosswalks.

In addition to the nine schools already completed, crews are working on these schools:
Adams Middle School. New school and school zone signage, crosswalks.
Curtis Elementary School. New school and school zone signage, crosswalks.

Some street changes are being implemented to improve safety:
South Hi Mount Elementary School. One-way street for Birchman Avenue.
Waverly Park Elementary School. One-way street on Cimarron Trail.

Additional improvements are tentatively planned for later this summer:
Rufino Mendoza Elementary School. Crosswalks, all-way stop control, one-way street conversion, school signage and beacon upgrades.
Western Hills Primary School. Complete upgrade.
Western Hills Elementary School. Compete upgrade.

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Fort Worth to fund transit study

The City Council voted to fund a $450,000 study of Fort Worth’s transit goals and how they align with Trinity Metro’s current master plan. A key objective is to identify priorities for the city to maximize the return on investment while also integrating into regional funding solutions and partnerships across the county.

An additional $550,000 was approved for to-be-determined pilot projects aimed at improving local transit options, particularly focused on solving first- and last-mile challenges of residents and offering options for certain underserved areas.

A technical advisory team will include representatives of the city, Tarrant County, Trinity Metro and community stakeholders. A public involvement plan will target the business community, transit-dependent users, millennials, senior citizens, hospital systems, educational interests and others.

The city contracted with Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates to:

  • Update 2013 data used in the city’s original transit master plan.
  • Help the city develop a vision for transit and transportation investments.
  • Focus on growth and economic development issues.
  • Develop priorities that maximize the return on investment.
  • Provide advice on funding from potential partner cities in Tarrant County as well as the North Central Texas Council of Governments, state and federal sources.
  • Understand emerging technologies and the sharing economy.

Trinity Metro, formerly known as The T, adopted a transit master plan in February 2016, which concluded, among other topics, that the transit system lags regional growth, provides infrequent service and limited hours, with little service available in many areas with significant demand.

The city will work with Trinity Metro to issue a request for proposals for shared-ride mobility for providing first-mile/last-mile pilot initiatives.

Funding for the transit study came from gas well revenues.

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No increase in water, wastewater rates for 2019

Despite a higher budget in fiscal year 2019, the recommendation to the Fort Worth City Council is to not increase water and wastewater rates next year, keeping the current rates in place.

The Water Department’s proposed budget is almost $5.6 million, or 1.2 percent, higher than the current budget.

The primary reasons for the higher FY2019 proposed budget are increases in personnel costs associated with operation and maintenance of a growing system, meeting new regulatory requirements and increasing the level of service to customers through enhancements to the utility’s call center; as well as increased investment in rehabilitation and replacement of existing assets.

In addition, there are increased funding levels associated with the city manager’s proposed staff pay-for-performance compensation plan, and increased health insurance and pension costs.

These increases are also partially offset by a reduction in debt service costs due to the retirement of old debt, and a reduction in the purchase of vehicles and equipment.

The city is able to avoid a retail rate increase because of projected increased revenues from other sources, including impact fees, taps and extensions attributable to system growth.

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East Loop 820 project gets underway

The Texas Department of Transportation broke ground this week on the East Loop 820 project, a $174 million job that will reconstruct I-820 between Randol Mill Road and Pipeline Road, build additional lanes in each direction, replace the Trinity River bridges and create new direct connectors to and from State Highway 121.

The three-mile project will improve mobility and safety for drivers in northeast Tarrant County through the I-820 bottleneck. The project is part of a $3.8 billion Texas Clear Lanes initiative by Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature to improve mobility.

“This project will eliminate a major bottleneck and improve the quality of life for motorists,” said Texas Transportation Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg Jr.

The Texas Clear Lanes initiative was formed when Abbott called on the Texas Transportation Commission to develop a focused initiative to address the most congested chokepoints in Texas.

The East Loop 820 project was awarded to Flatiron Constructors Inc. of Austin. Construction is estimated for completion in 2022.

For up-to-date project information, current lane closures and to sign up for email alerts on construction activity, visit Keep820Moving.

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Crews continue building the foundations of three new bridges

Construction on the Trinity River Vision Authority’s three signature V-pier bridges over the to-be-realigned Trinity River continues at a fast pace.

White Settlement Road Bridge. The Texas Department of Transportation’s contactor, Texas Sterling, has completed all eight of the V-piers. Construction is underway on the superstructure over the piers.
Henderson Street Bridge. Steel cages are being constructed on all of the V-pier structures. The first concrete pour is scheduled for late summer.
North Main Street Bridge. Abutments, drill shafts and pier columns have been completed. Over the next few months, the V-pier structures and steel caging will be constructed, making way for the first concrete pour.

All three bridges are scheduled for completion in 2020.

The bridges get their name from the V-shape of the support pier that will be visible above the water. World-renowned architect Miguel Rosales designed the V-pier structure with Freese and Nichols Inc. of Fort Worth. Aesthetically, the design mirrors structures in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, like the Modern Art Museum. Practically, the V-pier design provides better bridge support with fewer piers. Fewer piers mean less concrete and fewer obstructed views from the river.

Ultimately, the V-piers will support the superstructure of the bridge, which will connect traffic from one side of the bypass channel to the other.

The Panther Island project is a collaborative effort between the Trinity River Vision Authority, TxDOT, the City of Fort Worth, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Tarrant County.

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Fort Worth receives competitive grant to kick-start financial empowerment efforts

The City of Fort Worth, along with the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, announced its selection as one of 10 cities to receive a planning grant and technical assistance to identify and plan for local municipal financial empowerment strategic priorities.

The CFE Fund’s CityStart initiative, with support from JPMorgan Chase and others, offers mayors and their administrations a structured approach to identify financial empowerment goals, convene stakeholders for sustainable success, develop concrete strategies and ultimately craft an actionable blueprint rooted in local priorities and opportunities.

Fort Worth will receive an intensive six- to nine month technical assistance engagement partnership, along with a $20,000 planning grant. In addition to Fort Worth, other cities chosen through a competitive process include Albuquerque, N.M.; Anchorage, Alaska: Dallas; Durham, N.C.; El Paso, Texas; Portland, Ore.; Rochester, N.Y.; Saint Paul, Minn.; and Tulsa, Okla.

“I am excited Fort Worth has been awarded a planning and technical assistance grant from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “I, along with my colleagues on the City Council, are committed to ensuring that all residents of Fort Worth achieve financial empowerment. We recognize that when we strengthen our most economically-vulnerable citizens, we strengthen the entire community. We look forward to working with and learning from CityStart to ensure all Fort Worth residents achieve financial empowerment.”

Jonathan Mintz, president and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, said: “Cities control a host of policies, programs and funding streams that can transform the lives of residents with low incomes on a large scale. Across the nation, more and more city leaders are embracing high-quality financial empowerment programs to improve the financial stability of their city residents and communities. We congratulate Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and look forward to working with her to empower Fort Worth’s residents, and we thank JPMorgan Chase for their longstanding commitment to and investment in municipal financial empowerment.”

The CityStart initiative draws on the CFE Fund’s extensive work with local government leaders in more than 60 cities, connecting critical on-the-ground insights about the impact of financial instability on families, communities and municipal budgets with tangible, measurable and sustainable municipal strategies to improve families’ financial lives.

Price, working with the CFE Fund, will create and host a daylong financial empowerment “boot camp” event that brings together key local constituencies, including city leadership, mayoral leadership, local funders, community organization partners and financial institution representatives.

Based on issues identified in the boot camp, as well as the goal to align services to better serve the community, Fort Worth will craft its municipal financial empowerment blueprint identifying actionable implementation steps. CityStart cities have historically leveraged their engagement with the CFE Fund to further their commitment to this work.

“The city is ready to lead the effort to create a more aligned system that identifies and addresses key issues preventing residents from achieving greater financial stability,” Price said. “We are ready to build a comprehensive strategy that utilizes the community’s resources and responds to the full range of local opportunities and needs.”

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Fort Worth firefighters get acquainted with Dickies Arena plans, construction site

Five weeks after celebrating the topping-out at Dickies Arena, construction continues to progress at the 560,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art venue.

Bill Shaw, director of operations for general contractor The Beck Group, along with a team of superintendents, recently met with 18 members of the Fort Worth Fire Department to help first responders learn more about the arena. The visit and orientation will help first responders formulate emergency preparedness plans.

“Our objective is to familiarize the FWFD with construction and what the arena will be once complete, including its many intricacies,” said Jim Thillen, regional general superintendent at Beck.

This is one of several steps to ensure first responders will proactively respond in the event of an emergency.

The process includes understanding an array of complex information. In addition to learning the overall arena floor plan, emergency personnel must also know where stairwells and elevators are located and be able to quickly navigate different levels of the arena, whose overall square footage is equivalent to three Wal-Mart Supercenters.

They must also know where to quickly and safely park emergency vehicles, how to find mechanical systems and be prepared to transport a stretcher from the first aid room to an ambulance.

“We appreciate and respect the work that FWFD does and will be a resource to them throughout the construction process,” said Shaw, whose own team will go through emergency training as part of its responsibility to seamlessly maintain arena operations.

After reviewing and discussing arena blueprints, the fire personnel toured the construction site. Despite the 100-plus-degree heat, the day was a success and all parties are on track for emergency preparedness at the arena.

About Dickies Arena

Dickies Arena will bring a wide variety of programming to Fort Worth, including concerts, family shows, sporting events and community events. The facility, located in the Cultural District, will be the new home to Fort Worth Stock Show rodeo performances.

The $540 million project is on schedule for completion in November 2019, and it will complement the current Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, which will continue to serve as a major equestrian show arena.

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OneAddress service aims to improve customer experience through technology

Curious about the location of your nearest community center? Want to check out recent crime incidents in your neighborhood? Or learn about a new building going up down the street?

All of these tasks are easier thanks to the City of Fort Worth’s OneAddress service.

Fort Worth launched an open data program in 2016 to help make government data freely and publicly available for anyone to use. OneAddress includes several datasets:

  • Police incident information.
  • Code Compliance cases.
  • Permitting and applications.
  • City councilmember contact information.
  • Neighborhood patrol officer contact information.
  • Code Compliance officer contact information.
  • Neighborhood association meeting and contact information.

OneAddress is among a slate of improvements that go hand in hand with the concepts of citizen engagement and ease of service that city officials and staff have been emphasizing over the last several years.

Plans call for incorporating data and apps on a regular schedule with a continuous flow of data that can be accessed by anyone, without charge, online.

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DFWI’s Main Table set for Sept. 23

Tickets are now on sale for Downtown Fort Worth Inc.’s Main Table, an opportunity to enjoy a luxury dinner on the bricks of Main Street. This year’s dinner is at 6 p.m. Sept. 23.

The Main Table spans four blocks down the middle of Main Street and features delicious steak dinners from five of downtown’s premier restaurants: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, GRACE, Reata Restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and The Capital Grille. New for 2018, Jon Bonnell’s Waters Restaurant in Sundance Square will serve hors d’oeuvres in General Worth Square during the champagne reception.

The annual event helps support the work of Downtown Fort Worth Inc (DFWI). General ticket sales begin Aug. 15. To learn more, contact DFWI.

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