Fort Worth Neighborhood Calls for Walkers, Drivers to be More Aware

Complete streets neighborhood wanting to improve safety of street

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Fort Worth neighborhood wants the drivers, cyclists and walkers using its complete street to be more aware in heavy traffic area. (Published Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014)

    A safety concern is popping up as one Fort Worth neighborhood wants drivers, cyclists and walkers using its complete street to be more aware in heavy traffic areas.

    Complete street projects are designed to make travel safer for users of all ages — regardless of their mode of transportation — in certain areas.

    Fort Worth's Near Southside neighborhood has been successful at calming the traffic flow after the street was reduced from four lanes down to two. However, those promoting the revitalization efforts said they still need people to be aware they're in an active pedestrian location.

    Magnolia Avenue is the city's complete street prototype. The community continues to buy into the transportation approach as more businesses open up. But the one area where they need more buy in is on the road.

    Making it down or across Magnolia can be worrisome at times, with close calls and the occasional crash.

    "One of my friends was biking in front of Avoca [Coffee] and the car went to turn and just sort of side swiped him," said Kristen Slaymaker.

    A similar crash happened at Magnolia and Fairmount last Friday, involving a bike and a car.

    "That's certainly discouraging," said Jared Guerin.

    Although it's not clear who was at fault or how serious the crash was, Near Southside, a nonprofit organization that promotes revitalization efforts, was prompted to post a word of caution on it's Facebook page.

    "A reminder to please be cautious of ALL users of our streets. The Near Southside is a complete streets neighborhood which means we should always be alert of and courteous to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Be safe out there Southsiders."

    Paul Paine, president of Fort Worth South, Inc., which is the special tax district working to revitalize the area, said the post was put out there to simply bring more awareness that the area isn't your typical street and that you should be careful for other modes of transit on the street.

    Paine said the complete street has proved successful at calming traffic down. His organization fought to get more pedestrian crossing signs posted at the heaviest place of traffic, Magnolia and 6th Avenue.

    There are bright yellow pedestrian signs on sidewalks and a single sign in the roadway. Paine said his group asked for three such signs just to make people more aware and slow down even more in that heavily traveled intersection.

    On Near Southside's Facebook page and along Magnolia Avenue on Tuesday, residents said they'd like to see more done to make the corridor safer for everyone.

    "Bigger signs maybe, I don't know, something to let people know that there are people walking or biking," said Cesar Benitez.

    "Speed limit is definitely one way," Guerin said. "I've always found those posts in the middle of the road slow me down as a driver."

    Complete street supporters said they just need people to be more aware to make the neighborhood even safer for all travelers.

    "If you want to do want that to spread, make your city more green, there should a little more awareness," Benitez said.

    Additional efforts to expand the complete street concept are expected. Work is currently being done on Hemphill Street near Magnolia and for South Main Street.