How Fort Worth is Tackling West 7th's Crime, Parking

Street and parking improvements are on the way for the popular area.

 Businesses open and close and open and close in the West Seventh area. But, bars, they just open and stay open. The city reports that trend led to a 38 percent increase in overall crime in the area from 2015 to 2017. Most of the crimes — the majority of which are vehicle burglaries, fights and public intoxications — occur between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. “The situation is dangerous and could get out of control,” said assistant city manager Fernando Costa. “Doing nothing is not an option. We must do something of significance to protect public safety.”

Voters approved a 2018 bond program that will improve the right-of-way from the Trinity River west to University Drive. Proposed improvements include upgraded traffic and pedestrian signals and railroad crossings, shared bus/bike lanes, a landscaped median, mid-block crosswalks with pedestrian islands, and sidewalk and street light improvements. The cost is expected to be about $1 million. Construction will begin in November 2018 and is expected to be complete in May 2019.

The West Seventh Restaurant and Bar Association is also working to address the loud mutters of complaints about the area’s parking. Under a new agreement, 400 spaces of free parking will be available 24 hours a day beginning in early August.

Likewise, the city will install up to 250 parking meters in July in and around the area.

Trinity Metro’s rebranded bus, “The Dash,” will also look to alleviate parking woes in March of next year. Five electric buses, operating from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 12:30 a.m. on weekends, will link Currie Street to downtown and the Intermodal Transportation Center. Trinity Metro will fund 75 percent, and the City of Fort Worth has committed $150,000 per year for three years.