North Fort Worth Residents Seek Improved Commute

The population north of Loop 820 in Fort Worth is booming and continuing to grow.

Since 2010 the city's population has gone up by at least 70,000 people, a 9.5-percent increase according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The population has grown the most north of Loop 820, rising 17-percent from 2010 to 2015, or more than 24,000 people.

Such growth in population means navigating the city north to south is becoming increasingly congested. The city has made a priority of improving north-south roads east of Interstate 35W in recent years and has several other projects in the works.

But for residents just west of the interstate, there is one major alternative to the highway that they say needs work now.


Peak drive times along Farm-to-Market Road 156, also known as Blue Mound Road, can be brutal.

"A 15 minute commute [turns in] to an hour and a half on a daily basis," said Chad Mayfield, a Chisholm Ridge neighborhood resident.

"Probably in the last eight months to a year, it's really gotten pretty ridiculous," said Lance Tyree, another Chisholm Ridge resident.

It seems like more and more people are moving into the corridor, with more homes going up and several tracts of land preparing for new subdivisions, as well.

"We're having expansion of homes, but we're not having any expansion of roads to help people get backward and forward," Mayfield said.

The road that is expanding, I-35W, is actually making the problem on Blue Mound Road worse.

"Mainly everybody is avoiding 35," Tyree said.

Blue Mound Road is a popular alternative to the interstate when there is rush hour traffic and vehicle crashes, but the two-lane road can barely handle the capacity when that happens. Mayfield says when semi trucks start driving near the neighborhood, he knows there's a problem.

"At 7 a.m., to experience an hour-and-a-half commute for something that's less than seven miles away, is just really in need of some repair," Mayfield said, referring to his drive to work.

Mayfield and other residents in Chisholm Ridge and other area neighborhoods hope the repairs to Blue Mound come sooner rather than later and in the form of a four-lane roadway.

"Once it's done, I imagine it would make it a lot more convenient," Tyree said.

There's also the added traffic for the new Northwest Community Park that's being developed north of Bailey-Boswell Road along Blue Mound. With recreation areas and athletic fields, it will likely mean more traffic to an already congested roadway.

The park is still in the design process, but a state grant should mean it will be finished sooner than other planned parks in the city.

TxDOT says it will address the two-lane Blue Mound Road. The project will run roughly from Globe Street north to State Highway 287. However, it is just in the public input stage still and construction, as of right now, won't begin until early 2017.

That means residents will be continuing to deal with the traffic nightmare as they try to get in and out of their neighborhood.

"I don't have to look at the traffic report or watch the news to know what's going on," Mayfield said.

TxDOT did say that another public input meeting on the Blue Mound Road project will be held sometime in December.

The city of Fort Worth is also currently working on a road expansion project in far north Fort Worth.

That project is only about a third of a mile long on Blue Mound Road West, running between 287 and Willow Springs Road. That project is needed for traffic related to the new high school that just opened there. The two projects are not related.

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