FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth schools are stepping in to ease a major parking problem in the city’s West Seventh district. The school district has agreed to open parking spaces during weekend nights at nearby Farrington Field. The short term agreement will last at least through early January.
By day, the 12 blocks that make up the district are a relaxed mix of offices, restaurants and apartments.
But after dark, a collection of bars and restaurants draws in as many as 30,000 pedestrians, according to numbers shared earlier this summer by property managers in the area.
After months of meetings between business owners, city staff and stakeholders, the Fort Worth School District agreed that starting in October it will lease its parking lot at Farrington Field, to the West Seventh Restaurant and Bar Association.
It will only open Thursday through Saturday nights, after 10 o’clock. The cost is $10, which association members said would be split between the district, and parking management costs.
Parking was only one issue the task force has focused on. Crime is up nearly 40 percent over two years, making public safety and appearance, just as much of a concern in the growing district.
“When you have a lot of people come together in any area, and people are walking, and people are driving and people are drinking, those things all can come into play,” said Fort Worth City Council member Ann Zadeh. “So we need to have a place that’s safe for people to visit”
The parking arrangement will end by the first week of January, because the district already has an agreement for the space to be used by the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
The restaurant association said the school district has indicated it may be willing to extend the agreement however, if it’s working.