To help curb crime at a busy North Dallas intersection, Dallas Area Rapid Transit has removed a bus stop.
Until earlier this week, Bus 583 used to stop at the southwest corner of Audelia Road at Forest Lane. The bench that was bolted to the ground has now been taken up, as has the roof to keep riders dry. In their place is a sign informing people that the stop has been removed and relocated a few hundred feet south on Audelia Road.
Last year, former Dallas Police Chief David Brown called the Forest-Audelia area a “hornet’s nest” of criminal activity.
Earlier this month, the City of Dallas filed an injunction against the owner of the Bent Creek Shopping Center [see documents below], where the bus stop had been located, for being a nuisance property.
The lawsuit cited dozens of crimes at the property over a nearly two year period from May 2015 to March 2017 – 82 people were arrested on the premises, including 66 people for drug-related offenses.
Those arrests come as no surprise to Demontrey Richards.
Richards, 19, catches a different DART bus near that intersection every day.
“People get off and hang out in front of the stores and continue the dealings, continue everything that goes on,” Richards said about what he would see near the stop for Bus 583. “[I saw] transactions, a lot of dealing, a lot of stuff going on over here in this area.”
Major Avery Moore, the Commander of Northeast Patrol for the Dallas Police Department, told NBC DFW he and his fellow officers have dedicated themselves to responding to the concerns of the community as they relate to crime and safety.
“And the biggest, number one concern in this area is this one intersection,” Major Moore said, referring to Forest and Audelia. “The people that live here just don’t feel safe.”
Moore, District 10 Councilman Adam McGough and representatives with DART were instrumental in having the bus stop moved.
“We’ve arrested and arrested [people], but we arrest eight and eight replace them,” Moore said about past efforts to curb crime near the corner. “So, it’s been kind of like hitting your head against the wall.”
“The problem is this bus stop was not being used solely for public transportation,” McGough said, adding that it was an easy decision to move the bus stop. “[The stop] was a designated area for promulgation of crime.”
A representative for DART said this is not the first time the service has relocated bus stops because of safety concerns, and that the recommendation to do so came from the city.
City of Dallas Vs. Owner of the Bent Creek Shopping Center