FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Lined with clubs, homes and businesses, Jennings Street is located in the shadows of downtown and it’s also been in the dark.
“It’s made us have to increase our security, makes us look out more and watch out for our people – we care about our community – so we want to make sure they’re safe,” business owner Randy Norman said.
Norman, who owns Randy Bee’z Cafe, says broken streetlights line about a one-mile stretch of Jennings. Norman said he reported the outage about one month ago and has even followed up with city officials three different times.
Yet, every night, the street remains dark, illuminated only by the lights of nearby clubs. It’s become a beacon, Norman says, for criminal activity.
“We’ve had multiple break-ins to our businesses – Percussion Lounge, Randy Bee’z Café – several cars, including my own have been broken into, things stolen,” Norman said.
Evidence of those break-ins litters his lots.
Surveillance video shows just how dark it is for those driving or parking in the area.
“It’s dark – and we have a lot of vibrant business here and we want it to be light,” patron Sean Goldberg said.
Norman said the dark situation has left he and other business owners on Jennings, generating their own source of safety.
Fort Worth spokesman Jason Lamers said the city is looking into the problem. Lamers says it typically takes crews about five days to fix broken street lights and said this may be a case of copper thieves who bhave stripped the light poles of wiring.
“We’ve added flood lights to all our locations because all the light in this area is from the businesses here,” Norman said. “I feel like it’s not fair to our patrons and the community – I’m hoping they’ll immediately fix this for the safety of the citizens of Fort Worth.”