Big changes Underway to Allen Avenue in Front of JPS

May 24th, 2018

It may be confusing now. But the reconfiguration of Allen Avenue at JPS’s front door is expected to make navigating the area safer for pedestrians and bicyclists in the future.

An ambulance crosses the Allen Avenue bridge near JPS.

An ambulance crosses the Allen Avenue bridge near JPS.

The city of Fort Worth is currently in the process of restriping Allen Avenue west of Interstate 35 W. Formerly two lanes in each direction, the roadway is being adjusted to include dedicated bicycle lanes and turn lanes. As a result, it will lose a lane in each direction for car and truck traffic.

“It’s going to be a little bit different,” said JPS Vice President, Chief of Staff Scott Rule. “Hopefully, when it’s done the benefits are going to include greater pedestrian safety, especially in the crosswalks on Allen Avenue at Main Street, St. Louis Avenue and Hemphill Street.”

Julia Ryan, Senior Planner with the City of Fort Worth, confirmed that the changes are, indeed, being made to make the area more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

“There is a lot of bike and foot traffic in that area because so many people work there and so many people are coming and going from JPS,” Ryan said. “By adding the bicycle lanes, we’re going to be able to push the car and truck traffic away from the sidewalks to make it safer for people walking. Especially on the bridge (on Allen Avenue between Interstate 35 W and South Main Street) where, when you’re on the sidewalk, passing cars and trucks seem like they’re right in your ear.”

According to city figures, 17,000-18,000 cars a day pass by JPS on Allen Avenue. But Ryan said she is confident the changes in lane configuration won’t cause a bottleneck for motorists. She said intersections along the stretch being changed were designed to maximize traffic flow, and that’s where traffic tie-ups are most likely.

On Thursday, morning rush hour drivers seemed befuddled by the fact that reflective tabs were placed in lines that cut right down the middle of what used to be the outside westbound lane of Allen Avenue. Some drivers followed the new, temporary lines while others stayed where the lanes used to be even though the old lines that marked them have already been removed. Ryan said the confusion will be quickly resolved as permanent new lines are laid down.

“The long line stripers work very fast,” Ryan said. “So, they’ll go in first and that will make things a lot clearer for drivers. After they do their work, hand crews will do smaller jobs like putting in turn arrows, cross-hatching and putting down the buttons that serve as rumble strips to keep people from driving where they’re not supposed to.”

The work should only take a couple of days to complete, Ryan said. It will be done during evening hours – starting at 7-8 p.m. to lessen the impact on traffic as much as possible. Lance closures are unlikely and no detours were suggested.

 


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