Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association responds to parking permit plan

By Abbey Block

The Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association voted against taking a united stance on the City of Fort Worth’s proposed parking permit plan at its October meeting. 

Instead, each block will provide its own input to the city about the plan.

The plan, which was presented by the City of Fort Worth, would require residents to purchase a parking permit to park on the streets of certain blocks. Residents would not need a permit to park in their driveway or garage.

The plan is meant to help congestion on neighborhood streets, but residents disagreed over the need for the permit requirement on every block.

Gregg Bradshaw, a resident of Bluebonnet Hills, said his block experiences constant traffic congestion but he recognizes that there are “different stakeholders on each block.”

“I want to be really careful about presenting this to the city as a neighborhood decision. I think it needs to be a block by block decision,” Bradshaw said. “I would hate for some people who don’t have as much stake to make the decision on my behalf.”

Other residents said they thought it would be more effective for the neighborhood association to give its input as a whole.

“If we could get our ideas together in some kind of cohesive manner, we need to make the consensus of the association known,” John Davis, resident of Bluebonnet Hills. “We must agree sometime.” 

Members of the association also discussed the possibility of taking measures to slow down traffic on Benbrook Boulevard, which is often used as a main thoroughfare through the neighborhood. Numerous members voiced their concern about the safety of children playing at the nearby Worth Hills park. 

“The speed limit is about 30 or 35, but people go down it so fast,” Alexandra Lovett, a resident of Bluebonnet Hills, said. “I was recently walking my dog and nearly was hit because someone wasn’t paying attention and they were going so fast.”

Lovett suggested the addition of a stop sign at the intersection of Benbrook Boulevard, Lamesa and Odessa to help slow down drivers. 

“We have roughly 25 children under the age of ten years old living within a three block radius of Worth Hills park,” she said. “I care about the safety of the children in that park.”

Alexandra Lovett said she worries about the safety of the children who live near and play in Worth Hills park. (Photo by Abbey Block)

The neighborhood should look into other options besides a stop sign, such as well-marked crosswalks or additional speed limit signs throughout the neighborhood, the president of the Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association, Brian Jolin said.

“I love kids and I want them to be safe but there has to be a balance,” Jolin said. “We’re not a gated community. People are going to cut through and we can’t have stop signs everywhere.”

Lovett said she plans to conduct a traffic study of the intersection to determine what the neighborhood should do.

“I think a crosswalk is a definite great place to start,” Lovett said. “However at the same time I’ve seen people who don’t pay attention to the crosswalks either which is why I’m all for a stop sign.”

Members did not vote to take any action about traffic safety or the installation of a stop sign, but decided to discuss the issue at the next meeting.

The next Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association meeting will be held on Jan. 8, 2018 at Trinity Episcopal Church.