DALLAS — On a typical weekend in vibrant Deep Ellum, large crowds flock to the entertainment hub.
This weekend, road closures take effect in the bustling neighborhood.
The closures begin after 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and they’ll block vehicle traffic along Main Street and Elm Street between Good-Latimer Expressway and Malcolm X Boulevard.
According to the Dallas Police Department and the Deep Ellum Foundation, the closures are aimed at improving safety for pedestrians.
Caterina Costante, the owner of Buck Moonshine’s, is on board with the plan.
“It will help with crowd control,” Costante said.
The street closures take place at the beginning of summer, but this year, they’re starting sooner.
It comes after a recent string of violence in Deep Ellum on weekends. Last Sunday, surveillance video captured a shooting that injured two people. People scattered across Elm Street as several people fired guns.
“People shouldn’t feel like they can’t come down here cause we’ve had a couple of incidents,” Costante said.
Emily Shuwall, a manager at Serious Pizza, told WFAA she heard the gunshots during her break. The pizza shop where she works is down the street from where the shooting took place.
“I ran inside and made sure everybody in here was okay,” Shuwall said. “I think the closures are a great move.”
Vik Katoch, owner of Neon Kitten, said he feels good about the area’s increased police presence.
“The weather is changing and people are more coming out,” Katoch said. “I’ve seen a lot of cops, that’s a great thing. The good thing also is you see a lot of people, and it’s a positive thing happening for the locals here.”
The recent incidents didn’t hold Fort Worth resident Itale Watie from spending time in Deep Ellum on Saturday.
“I always feel safe coming out here. I never feel any issues,” Watie said. “There’s a lot of good things here, a lot of good businesses, and I don’t think it should be ruined because teenagers get bored.”
According to the Deep Ellum Foundation, the road closures will be re-evaluated every week.