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Member Since 28 Jun 2014
Offline Last Active Mar 17 2018 12:37 AM

#108922 River Oaks redevelopment

Posted by bclaridge on 12 February 2018 - 06:17 PM

River Oaks is holding themselves back by not allowing any liquor sales.  No national grocery store will locate in the city limits.  Few restaurants will locate there for the same reason.  It is very puzzling to be a "dry" city in this day and time.

True. People here are generally opposed to apartments too, thinking they will just bring problems like crime. If they are nice apartments (like Elan River District) that would not be the case. They need to eliminate the dry aspect to get more economic development, pure and simple. Too many people here are stuck in the past, in my opinion.

I believe Benbrook is also dry and many of your points mentioned would also apply there too if that is the case.

EDIT: though Benbrook is better positioned with Interstate access and the like, including plenty of empty land facing Interstate 20 between Winscott and the Clear Fork Trinity River.  River Oaks would need to capitalize on access to 199 via 183 and/or Roberts Cut-Off road (including 820->199->Roberts Cut-Off), and/or proximity to the River District and NAS JRB Fort Worth.  The base proximity plays into the plans for the area proposed by NCTCOG, though I was not fond of the plans to connect Meandering directly to 183 by having Roberts Cut-Off south of Meandering becoming Meandering by using the curve (and where Roberts Cut-Off north of Meandering would make a T-intersection with this curve) as I thought this would ruin a potential town center development, although this would make East Gate access easier.  I have personally noticed more through traffic using Roberts Cut-Off in my life of living in this area, and to have to turn to continue north or south on Roberts Cut-Off is simply nonsense in my book.  My plan would also address the East Gate access issue by providing a slip lane from westbound 183 onto a new "downtown"-type street connecting with Meandering, and a slip lane for eastbound traffic leaving the base onto southbound Roberts Cut-Off for access to 183.

#108598 I-35W to be expanded north of Downtown

Posted by bclaridge on 29 January 2018 - 02:19 AM

I honest-to-God thought there were going to be 3-4 lanes on each side with tolls... not basically just taking what we had and just putting a toll in the middle of it. 


I guess there is an upside to that in that the suburbanites will have to pay to commute to the denser areas of town, whether that be with their time or money.  But Fort Worth is such a sprawled city that a lot of the jobs and residents are in the suburbs and not the central city.  That said, this should be an opportunity to invest in alternate forms of transit, even if it is just an express bus line that utilizes the TEXpress Lanes.


Also we should note that Houston's gargantuan Katy Freeway expansion did not get rid of congestion there; the previous freeway had a 3-1-3 configuration (three lanes per direction with one reversible HOV), and it now has 5-2-2-5 in most areas (five lanes per direction with two tolled managed lanes per direction).  The Katy expansion did relieve congestion for a couple of years, but then the congestion came back as more people filled the capacity of the freeway, whether that be because of new development or because people shifted their driving from adjacent arterials to the widened freeway.  Look up "induced demand" to see what I'm talking about; as long as gas prices stay reasonably inexpensive I'd expect the principle of induced demand to hold true with regards to road widenings.


Another complaint I have about the 35W expansion involves the interchange at 820, where traffic going from 820 to 35W (in any direction) merges into 35W on the left-hand side of the main lanes instead of the right side.  This means that through traffic on 35W's general purpose lanes behaves more like an on-ramp rather than through lanes where the traffic merging from 820 enters 35W.  If TxDOT had stuck with the original design for this interchange, this merging issue wouldn't have been a problem, though if there is more traffic coming from 820 rather than through traffic on 35W (which I doubt is the case) this design could have been beneficial.

#108397 TCC Students Call 911 on Professor

Posted by bclaridge on 19 January 2018 - 04:22 AM

What does his behavior have to do with teaching an astronomy class?  Some professors do like to be creative with teaching their courses, but this just crosses a line in my book.


I would have been scared myself had I been in his class and would have probably called the police myself if I felt it were safe to do so.  With campus shootings being a fear of many people, behaving in a manner that could be perceived as threatening someone with a weapon is simply not okay.

#108044 New elementary school for the Tanglewood area

Posted by bclaridge on 23 December 2017 - 10:37 PM

Though this update is a little bit late, the Star-Telegram states that FWISD will most likely select the site behind First Command and Ahavath Sholom for the Tanglewood relief school.


According to the article, Ahavath Sholom had planned to use their empty property for an assisted living community.  Here are my suggestions that would still allow Ahavath Sholom to use most of their empty property (around 3 acres) and maintain an adequate-sized swath of property (roughly 9 acres) for the Tanglewood relief school.


Personally I would prefer to see the new school be built at the southeast corner of Bellaire and Ranch View, or in Riverhills, in order to keep the school in a neighborhood setting.

#107920 TCU's massive campus transformation continues

Posted by bclaridge on 16 December 2017 - 03:51 AM

And now a plan to build over some parking.  TCU is planning a new facility for the music school that includes a concert hall:



It definitely looks like it will be a lovely facility.  I love the "cocoon" design of the current PepsiCo Recital Hall, but this new concert hall looks like it could take on larger audiences than the current recital hall.  Plus I doubt any of the current fine arts facilities would be replaced, anyways.

That said, TCU also has the Ed Landreth Auditorium for performances with larger audiences, but that facility is older and does seem a little bland on the inside from a design standpoint (at least compared to the newer PepsiCo Recital Hall and the Hays Theatre), although the front area of the auditorium and the stage do seem beautiful in their own way. Furthermore, the Landreth auditorium probably wasn't designed specifically with concerts and recitals in mind (though the Cliburn competition used the Landreth for quite some time before Bass Hall opened), since the facility can have other uses.  Other parts of the College of Fine Arts also use the Ed Landreth Auditorium (namely the TCU School of Classical and Contemporary Dance, although smaller dance performances can be accommodated in Erma Lowe Hall), along with the University for some functions and events like Convocation.

Hopefully this will be a facility that helps to better unify and consolidate the School of Music, as their classrooms and facilities are currently spread out across campus (the Walsh/Ed Landreth complex, Jarvis Hall, and between Bellaire North and Berry).

#107482 TEX Rail project

Posted by bclaridge on 26 November 2017 - 12:12 AM

Yes, an overpass would have been sure to generate some TOD activity; and would have created a merging of the Stockyard Development with the Tarrant Express development.  All parties would benefit.  The recently announced Swift Stockyard Hotel and other private investment would have a seamless connection to the Airport and to Downtown. The reality seems clear - FWTA and DART refuse to allow TOD along this project unless they have 100% control.  North Side Station will be a carbon copy of the Richland Hills Station, but with even less use.


Hopefully, there will a rethink of this idea and the City of Grapevine, Fort Worth and the Stockyards will better served by Tarrant Express to correct this missed opportunity.


We can only hope that eventually a transit line will be put in between Downtown and Stockyards/Meacham.



I wonder if the city could put some of their mixed-use, urban village zoning in effect for the 28th and Decatur area (or preferably along 28th between the station and 35W), and if so, if property owners in the designated area might be able to "circumvent" some of the issues FWTA has with TOD that way.  Provided, though, that the city is not bound by a contract preventing them from doing that.

Otherwise I agree with renamerusk in that the North Side Station will be quite underutilized.  If you could get a bus line providing a direct connection between the station and the Stockyards, you might be able to get tourists to use the North Side Station.  But first, the area surrounding the station would need to look more attractive.

#107476 TEX Rail project

Posted by bclaridge on 25 November 2017 - 04:45 PM

I'm surprised at the lack of TOD or any sort of master planning from around the Northside station. We're about a year out from opening, you'd think there'd be something by now? Even Berry St has tons of plans in place, and it isn't even known when that station will be completed. Obviously, there are developments going on in the Stockyards, but those aren't really that close to the station. According to NTCOG, 22% of the land within 1/2 mile of the station is vacant, and another 30% either industrial or low-density commercial. 


I would also like to see the rail overpass going over 28th Street west of Decatur be widened to accommodate a road with wider lanes and bicycle/pedestrian access to points west of the railroad tracks (including the Stockyards).  That said, I do see some potential for redevelopment in the adjacent Diamond Hill neighborhood with a potential transit-oriented development centered on 28th and Decatur, along with commercial redevelopment along 28th between Decatur and 35W that could serve as a gateway to the Stockyards.  There is also an excellent view of the Downtown FW skyline from the vicinity of Diamond Hill Elementary School.  If the industrial properties between 28th and the river can be redeveloped, there would be even more potential in that area that would come with adding a riverside park and other amenities.


On a different note, what disappoints me about TEX Rail would be the lack of a station for the Colleyville area.  Unfortunately, the rail line passes northwest of the main developments in Colleyville that could actually utilize rail service, such as The Village at Colleyville (located at 26 and Main, and has the city hall), plus the shopping center at Hall-Johnson and 26.  A potential station at LD Lockett and Bransford (the closest the rail line gets to this area) would be way too far for pedestrians (and even some bicyclists) to connect with the developments along 26, plus several roads in that area lack sidewalks and bicycle trails.  Barring redevelopment, you would pretty much need bus access for anything in that area to be viable.  I also believe that many people in Colleyville were opposed to a station in their city.

#107434 Tarleton State University plans 80-acre campus in Far SW FW

Posted by bclaridge on 22 November 2017 - 03:38 AM

What makes me sad is that this development is building over some of the most pristine prairie land left in the Fort Worth area.  I had hoped that Tarleton would have done something to preserve at least a plot of this prairie, especially for the university's research purposes.


Even Walsh Ranch is trying to preserve sections of the prairie in and around their development (by incorporating it into their open spaces), but the Rocky Creek Ranch area (which includes the planned Tarleton campus) has a more well-preserved prairie intact than Walsh does.  If the suburban expansion experiment goes downhill, and people were to start leaving the suburbs en masse, I would at least like an intact native prairie that could be of assistance when it comes to returning any abandoned suburbs to an environment that closely resembles the native ecosystem.  Tandy Hills has an area that fits that criteria, but I would prefer that there be something more substantial that covers more space, as is the case at Rocky Creek Ranch.  In the absence of a suburban abandonment scenario -- restoring a native ecosystem would be low on our priority list in the event of a social collapse -- such a park could be used for research and (limited) recreational purposes.


While I have discussed the possibility of developing some of the "empty" land around Fort Worth in the past, I do encourage protecting the native prairie in the areas where it is most intact, or reducing the amount of development (including having more compact, denser developments) that occurs in and around the prairie zones.  Sadly this perspective does not sit well with those looking to make a profit off of real estate.  What we need are more responsible development practices; the Tarleton master plan calls for denser development adjacent to the proposed campus, but without restrictions on developing the surrounding prairie, sprawling subdivisions will cover the areas surrounding the university.  Many people who would be living in this area would surely like to have the open view preserved for the future; to give an anecdotal example, I once recall that when visiting Rolling Hills Park in Benbrook, some of the residents were lamenting the loss of their view of the open prairie to the west of their subdivision due to the new Ventana development. 


It would also be good for land values in the area of the new Tarleton campus to have some prairie preserved in the area to ensure open vista looking west, in addition to providing recreational space.  Perhaps there could be some kind of land use restrictions put into place when the city of Fort Worth annexes more land in this area... I know there are very few housing developments surrounding the entirety of Lake Worth in the areas that are part of the city of Fort Worth (and not just in those areas the city has actually designated as parks like Marion Sansom Park and the Fort Worth Nature Center), so I believe that the city has done something like this in the past.

#107245 TCU's massive campus transformation continues

Posted by bclaridge on 10 November 2017 - 05:36 PM


I view a map too and your speculation is plausible.  I think PHS, as are other campuses, is due a major upgrade or even replacement.  Certain campuses, particularly AHHS, Poly, Tech and NS are architectural gems; not so much PHS. 


Selling PHS to TCU could be a windfall for FWISD.


renamerusk, I just don't see FWISD selling the Paschal property to TCU as anything remotely possible at this point in time.  FWISD is finishing some major additions to PHS right now, with more changes to come stemming from funding now authorized through the successful bond election.  Furthermore, FWISD is too invested in the current Paschal campus to sell it to TCU, and there is little space to build a new high school in this part of town.  Not to mention the fact that Paschal will continue to grow with new housing developments, particularly in the Tanglewood zone (not to mention the areas between 8th and 35W that also feed into Paschal and are ripe for gentrification). 


Though in terms of other FWISD-owned properties in the area, TCU could try to purchase the Professional Development Center (PDC) on McCart.  But I wouldn't see the PDC property becoming much more than a commuter parking lot if the School of Music gets a facility where the Sandage/Berry lot is now.  As a TCU commuter student myself, the existing commuter lots are already jam-packed at peak class times, but it must be noted that the "commuter" lots are also shared with TCU faculty and staff as well.  As the furthest commuter lot, Sandage is one of the few lots that doesn't get full at peak class times (along with the lots north of the football stadium, which are even further from the core "academic" area of campus).


I just don't see TCU's campus going east of Forest Park.  If they are to expand the campus, I would feel that they would be better focusing on areas south of Berry so as to give TCU a greater north-south extent, as TCU is mainly oriented along an east-to-west axis at this point in time.  Some of the newer privately-owned, off-campus student housing facilities are located south of Berry as well (Loft Vue, University House).  Adding facilities on the south side of Berry just makes more sense than trying to expand east even more.

#107166 TCU's massive campus transformation continues

Posted by bclaridge on 08 November 2017 - 11:59 AM

Austin55, I agree with your perspective.  TCU could use a commuter rail station nearby, especially considering that the ridership could be good during the school year (many students don't have access to cars and like to go downtown).  TCU could always add a shuttle to the station for those students who found the walk to the station long; however, FWTA does have a bus line that goes along Berry Street (and runs every 30 minutes on weekdays and 60 minutes on weekends) in that area. That said, I oftentimes park in the Sandage lot and do find the walk from there to the west side of campus to be reasonable, though the Sandage lot is only halfway between University and the proposed station site.


However many TCU students do like to go to West 7th to hang out, and some also go to University Park Village to go shopping (though most just shop online).  FWTA also has a bus line in that area also (up to Lancaster), though it only runs every 60 minutes.  If it would be economically feasible, the FWTA could also extend service along line 7 (the line serving TCU, UPV, and West 7th) during the school year to run every 30 minutes during times when usage is more likely (such as weekends).

I also think that is it worthwhile to note that there seems to be a "stigma" associated with bus use in Fort Worth (with exceptions like the Molly the Trolley service downtown) as the network has been built around the needs of lower-income populations in the Fort Worth area for so long.  Many of the bus lines do seem to cater to this population, including based on the frequency that the buses run, as the best bus service is to areas with lower-income populations (Northside, large portions of the south and east sides, as well as Como and Las Vegas Trail).  While I fully understand their needs in terms of access to grocery stores and healthcare (among others), it will be essential to fight this stigma in order to increase bus usage among those from middle-class and higher backgrounds (which of course includes the vast majority of TCU students). 


Many Fort Worth attractions are located near bus line 7 (Downtown, West 7th, Cultural District, and especially the Fort Worth Zoo, University Park Village, the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, and TCU), which runs from downtown FW (at the Intermodal Transportation Center) to the neighborhoods south of TCU (Bluebonnet Circle area).  Line 7 is also one of the few FWTA bus lines that does not serve largely lower-income neighborhoods.  In spite of what this line serves, line 7 only runs every 60 minutes, though it must be noted that people are more likely to spend a lot of time at the attractions served by this line.  That said, West 7th and the Cultural District is also served by a "core" line along Camp Bowie and West 7th Street.  Once TEXRail starts connecting people from the airport with downtown FW, I could foresee a greater need for service along this line if tourists (and yes, TCU students) could be encouraged to use the buses.  And I do agree that TEXRail could be extended down to a station at Berry and Cleburne, with perhaps another station near Rosedale to serve the medical district.

Here is a link to the FWTA system map so that you can see what I am talking about.

#106956 I-30 West Freeway reconstruction with reversible managed lanes

Posted by bclaridge on 29 October 2017 - 02:12 AM

Why rebuild a freeway that was just rebuilt around 10 years ago? 

The FHA is not going to refund work on this freeway for another 20 years. The FHA expects highway projects to be planned to meet projected traffic for the next 30 years. 

Now, I-30 East of downtown Fort Worth is another matter, because it's been over 40 years since it was built and is riped for FHA funds for a major rework. If Managed Lanes are included or not will depend upon the results of a future EIS. 


With regards to I-30 in Fort Worth, I've always felt that I-30 west of downtown Fort Worth was worse traffic-wise than I-30 east of downtown, but as I live on the west side, I might be a little biased.  Traffic is starting to get bad especially during the evening rush hour where there is the bottleneck around the westbound Camp Bowie exit, but some of that might just be from traffic entering westbound I-30 from Hulen that has to jump over two lanes within 1/4 mile to stay on I-30.  I've also noticed issues past there as you move from Camp Bowie towards Ridgmar Mall, and once again at 820 west where I-30 narrows from 6 lanes to 4 lanes.  And with regards to your comment that I-30 was rebuilt 25 years ago, the segment between Bryant Irvin and Las Vegas Trail is older than that and could use an upgrade to eliminate issues with inadequate geometrics (short on- and off-ramps) and low bridge clearances.  NCTCOG suggests that upgrades to I-30 should take place in this area, and the Mobility 2040 plan calls for added mainlane capacity between 820 and Camp Bowie.  As a full reconstruction would be needed from Las Vegas Trail to Bryant Irvin to accommodate the added capacity, I think TxDOT should look into the possibility of managed lanes in this area -- or at least building the freeway to where managed lanes could be added in with little additional construction -- to deal with the demand that Walsh Ranch and other developments further to the west could place onto the I-30 corridor.  But at the same time, the act of widening the freeway would likely induce demand itself.


Adding new lanes will induce additional demand to use a freeway, whether that be through new developments or those now electing to drive the widened freeway over another route, but managed lanes do allow for some traffic relief for those willing to pay for it (and buses could always use the managed lanes too).  The best way to reduce induced demand upon freeways, in my opinion, would be through the expansion of mass transit, as well as the addition of managed lanes (toll and/or HOV) on freeways where congestion exists, rather than simply adding free lanes (unless those added lanes are to reduce bottlenecks).  Added capacity does pose the problem of promoting suburban sprawl; with the sprawl, plus other users now enticed to use the freeway, traffic issues will eventually return to their pre-widening congested state (like we saw with the Katy Freeway in Houston, a few years of traffic relief, then it was back to congestion).  Of course, if it became very expensive to purchase fuel, widening roads would probably not induce demand as they currently do (provided that gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars were still the predominant vehicles driven, instead of electric cars).


While off-topic, with regard to I-30 east of downtown, I think that freeway is getting bad once you get outside of 820 (Cooks Lane and Eastchase areas), even more so once you cross over into Arlington. 

#106804 I-30 West Freeway reconstruction with reversible managed lanes

Posted by bclaridge on 21 October 2017 - 12:08 PM


1. With traffic issues increasing on the West Freeway, I have started to think about the possibility of potentially adding managed lanes to the I-30 corridor.....


.2. ..... only be needed if Walsh reaches full buildout and there is major growth near Weatherford.  Hopefully it would never be needed.


1. A better solution would be "reversible housing" meaning promote development of new and renovated neighborhoods within existing infrastructure over the next 50 years instead of repeating the 1950 model of suburban sprawl brought to us by the automobile/petroleum/highway triad.  With greater density, two things can happen: (a) demand for public transit systems will be generated; and ( B) important wildlife and plant ecosystems can remain undisturbed.



2. Cease enabling Walsh Ranch type developments.  The costs of living in remote areas should be entirely borne by those who choose freely to live there. From the onset, I have been critical of WR and it would not make me sad to see it struggle to gain traction.



I agree completely.  If FWISD schools (other than Tanglewood-McLean-Paschal) started to catch on with those who would otherwise consider the suburbs then one of the factors encouraging families to move to the suburbs (schools) would be less of an issue and that could help discourage suburban sprawl as well.  The redevelopment and improvements made to the Near Southside/Fairmount/Ryan Place area over the recent years is a great example of this, but there are still issues with getting families into this area because of the public school situation (the area does feed into Paschal, but the elementary and middle schools, aside from Daggett Montessori, could be better).  In my opinion, one of the only reasons you get high performing schools (like Tanglewood and the Carroll ISD, excluding magnet programs) arises from factors related to high socioeconomic status, and teachers are less of a factor than you might think.  There are great teachers in schools with a lower SES student population, but family and parent factors likely have a negative effect on the kids' academic performance, except in the case where parents motivate their children to succeed in spite of their circumstances.  That said, the average academic performance of the student body does set teachers' expectations on what to teach and how to teach it.  Change the socioeconomic composition of a student body and you would likely see academic improvements; for example, if everybody in Monticello and Crestwood started to send their kids to North Hi Mount it would probably start to resemble Tanglewood more (you would probably see improvements at Stripling and Arlington Heights too, but as the secondary schools draw from a larger area the improvements would probably be less).


And with regards to the costs of people choosing to live in suburban developments, heavy traffic (or choosing a tolled managed lane) can be a part of that.  This is part of the reason I am glad that the 820 and 35W improvements added no new free lanes (well, at least not initially), so that those living in the suburbs have to "bear the cost" of living where they do.  But many of these areas are higher income and the people there can afford to use the managed lanes frequently, though $9 for a hassle-free commute twice daily might even make someone who can afford Southlake flinch a bit.  That said, we do need to focus our development efforts in the city rather than in the suburbs.  Improving the schools (including their perception) will be a big part of this, of course.

#106799 I-30 West Freeway reconstruction with reversible managed lanes

Posted by bclaridge on 20 October 2017 - 09:50 PM

With traffic issues increasing on the West Freeway, I have started to think about the possibility of potentially adding managed lanes to the I-30 corridor.  NCTCOG does not have plans to study managed lanes on I-30 West, but with the suburban sprawl in Walsh Ranch the traffic issues will only get worse over the coming years.  There are plans to widen I-30 from 377/Camp Bowie to Spur 580 (6->8 lanes from Camp Bowie to 820, 4->6 lanes from 820 to Spur 580), but the induced demand principle will mean that these improvements would soon become worthless, with congestion returning.  Mass transit is one option, ideally commuter rail, but buses can also be considered, and buses would benefit from a managed lane facility.  Managed lanes would, of course, also allow drivers to pay for congestion relief as we currently see with the North Tarrant Express on 820 and 183 in the Mid-Cities.


My idea would look something like this:


- 2 reversible managed lanes from University Drive to Walsh Ranch Parkway (inbound [east] in the morning, outbound [west] in the evening).

- Full reconstruction of the University/Rosedale interchange, including new bridges over the Clear Fork Trinity River, plus connections between Rosedale and the managed lane facility (for medical district access)

- A one-lane reversible managed lane connector to Downtown Fort Worth built along the north side of I-30 east of the Clear Fork (would connect with Cherry Street inbound and Macon Street outbound)

- Access to University Drive (slip ramps with left entrances and exits from/to the mainlanes near Ashland [westbound onramp, eastbound offramp])

- Deck park between Ashland Avenue and Hulen Street (across from Arlington Heights High School)

- Deck park between Horne and Bryant Irvin

- Access between managed lanes and SH-183/Spur 341 (slip ramps with left entrances and exits from/to the mainlanes; one set near Bryant Irvin [eastbound onramp, westbound offramp], and the other set near Las Vegas Trail [eastbound offramp, westbound onramp])

- Full reconstruction of the I-820/I-30 interchange on the far westside of Fort Worth into a 5-level stack with frontage roads intersecting on second level.  Traffic exiting one freeway to turn both left and right would now use a single ramp (like with the new 820/35W interchange in North Fort Worth), instead of the current ramp configuration with left moving traffic exiting first, then right moving traffic exiting second.  A wishbone ramp on the east side of the interchange (eastbound onramp in morning, westbound offramp in evening) would connect with new ramps to and from 820.  Furthermore, a dedicated reversible managed lane ramp could connect the inbound (morning) managed lanes with northbound 820, reversing this movement in the evening (but there could be a wishbone on the west side of the interchange instead of a dedicated ramp).  This new interchange would take up less space than the current one. 

- Access between managed lanes and Chapel Creek Boulevard (slip ramps near Alemeda, with left entrances and exits from/to the mainlanes [eastbound onramp and westbound offramp only])

- Access between managed lanes and Walsh Ranch Parkway (wishbone ramp: eastbound onramp in morning, westbound offramp in evening)

- Slip ramps at ends of managed lanes (Walsh Ranch and University) to allow I-30 mainlane traffic to enter managed lanes or permit managed lanes traffic to merge into the I-30 mainlanes at the end of the facility


Examples of ideal lane configurations, not including frontage roads and acceleration/auxiliary lanes:


- 4-2-4 from University Drive to 820 (example, I-35E in Lewisville; this example demonstrates a slip ramp but has narrow lanes and no inside shoulder which would not be ideal on I-30)

- 3-2-3 from 820 to Walsh Ranch (example, I-35E in Carrollton; see above caveat about lane width and shoulders)

- 3-3 from Walsh Ranch to I-20 merge (existing configuration with no managed lanes, but would include a short merging lane on westbound I-30 as managed lane traffic rejoins the mainlanes in the evening)

- Number of free lanes would be the same as with the NCTCOG proposal along I-30

- Little to no new right-of-way needed between University Drive and Bryant Irvin Road

- Further west on I-20: 4-4 from I-30 near Aledo to US 180 in Hudson Oaks, 3-3 from US 180 to Ric Williamson Memorial Highway (just west of Weatherford).


Such a configuration would probably only be needed if Walsh reaches full buildout and there is major growth near Weatherford.  Hopefully it would never be needed.

#106325 East Loop 820 and Hwy 121 Expansion

Posted by bclaridge on 01 October 2017 - 03:26 AM

What about the only two lanes in each direction from 20 to just south of 30  :-\


I know TxDOT has plans for rebuilding that segment, but it is a lower priority as the traffic there isn't as bad.  That said, that freeway does need improvements, given the outdated geometrics.  In order to stay on 820 entering southbound from Meadowbrook, you have to jump over 2 lanes within the space of 1/4 mile or so.  And there is no acceleration lane at all getting on northbound at Craig Street.  I used to frequent that area and would avoid the Craig Street onramp due to its dangerous configuration.


Also, something has to be done about that bottleneck going west on 820 from the 121/183 on-ramp where 4 lanes merge into 2.  Ultimately a third free lane will be added from 35W to the 121/183 interchange as stipulated in the contract with the company operating the Texpress Lanes.  But I'd personally like to see a westbound third lane added now from the Holiday Lane offramp to the Texpress Lanes entrance ramp at Rufe Snow (where the left lane would have to enter the express lanes, with the right two free lanes continuing on).

And as for the segment from Randol Mill to 183 in Hurst, here's what will be built initially.

#105448 New elementary school for the Tanglewood area

Posted by bclaridge on 05 September 2017 - 06:33 PM

I hate to be a downer here, but while I understand the issue for Tanglewood and overcrowding is important, I am not too keen on giving the elementary everyone wants to go to a new school with all the bells and whistles.  That money could be better spent on upgrading all elementary schools instead of just one.  Case in point, my wife and I voted for the bond that included universal Pre-K for all Fort Worth students and we were lucky enough for our son to start in FWISD's pre k last year. Come to find out, our home school didn't have room for him since we made too much money.  That wasn't a big deal at the time since we were able to find a spot for him at one of the schools close to where my wife works. But, we were one of the lucky ones that could find a spot close to us.  That problem needs addressing more so than Tanglewood.  If you live in an attendance zone of the elementary, you should be able to go to school there. If not, that school needs an expansion, not Tanglewood. We will not be voting for this bond, and I urge others to think about this as well before voting for it.  It doesn't seem right and it shouldn't be the priority of FWISD to serve a small segment of the school district over the needs of all those.


I do understand your argument with regard to improving elementary schools and access to Pre-K, though.   To my understanding, some FWISD elementary schools have had Pre-K expansions since the 2013 bond, although unfortunately not all of them have.  And just so you know, Tanglewood does not even offer Pre-K (I believe it is the only elementary school in the FWISD not to do so, excluding areas where FWISD has primary schools).  The FWISD, and all school districts, are required to serve those who first meet the Federal guidelines for Pre-K enrollment; once all of those children are taken into account only then can they consider the Universal Pre-K students, that is those who do not meet the guidelines (source).


The vast majority of the 2017 bond is for upgrades to all 14 of FWISD's high schools (~$581 million is budgeted for the high schools, including the 13 zoned schools and Trimble Tech).  In other words, the whole district benefits.  Compared to the elementary schools in the district, of which there are several "newer" school facilities built in the last 20-30 years, more of the high schools in FWISD are older buildings that could use upgrades.  That said, the lack of money allocated for middle schools (excluding the combined Benbrook Middle-High School and the specialized programs) is somewhat concerning.


The School Overcrowding and Student Growth section of the bond, which includes the Tanglewood reliever school, improvements to Tanglewood Elementary itself, land purchases for future schools, and some improvements to Waverly Park Elementary, is just upwards of $52 million.

Though borrowing money is not something to be taken lightly.