Take a drive through Fort Worth's West 7th area on a Monday afternoon and you'll see typical work-week traffic, professionals and pedestrians.
But try to make that drive on a Saturday night and you'll find something entirely different.
"It's pretty chaotic," says Kyle McWreath, who lives in this neighborhood bordered by University to the west, Lancaster to the south, Foch to the east and West 7th to the north.
Over the past couple of years, the area has become home to dozens of liquor-serving establishments.
McWreath says simply trying to walk his dog Theo on weekend nights can prove problematic.
"There’s definitely a lot of traffic," McWreath says.
Bar owners like Emil Bragdon understand the frustration.
"Right now, when the bars start closing, everyone just starts massing out into the street," he says.
Not to mention, some exit the bars to find their cars have been towed, or have been damaged. Property crime is up in this area over the past two years, according to police and city documents.
So Bragdon, along with other business owners, formed a group called W7th Restaurant and Bar Association. They began working with the city to mitigate the issues. Their first solution is about to be unveiled.
Starting October 5, people visiting the area will have the option to park in FWISD's Farrington Field parking lot on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It'll be $10 to park from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m.
Bragdon hopes it works.
"If we have all the cars parked at Farrington and leave minimal traffic in West 7th core area, everyone's going to one destination—there’s really no clog ups," Bragdon says.
After four months, city leaders and the association will assess how well it worked-- and if they need to explore other traffic and parking solutions. The association has even hired police to man the parking lot. However, once 3 a.m. rolls around, your car is subject to tow; Bragdon says the association is working to address that before it becomes an issue, acknowedging that some people leave their cars overnight if they've had too much to drink.
"I definitely think that’s a good step in the right direction to mitigate the issue," says neighbor McWreath.
It's all efforts to keep things as smooth and as safe as possible.
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