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A $1 billion plan will double the Stockyards’ current size — and may make traffic in and out even worse. Courtesy City of Fort Worth

Make Mine a Double … Stockyards

To get to the Weekly offices in Monticello from my home near Alliance, I take 287/Main Street, and I learned years ago to avoid the Stockyards. Sometimes that stretch of asphalt between the heart of the historic district, Exchange Avenue, and NE 28th Street looks like the parking lot outside AT&T Stadium on game day. Taking the side streets is the only way to escape the stopping/starting/stopping-again pain. The tiny side streets. 

Now, with the Stockyards about to double in size via a $1 billion development, the neighborhood traffic forecast looks terrible. This is bad news not only for us commuters and visitors but for the employees, the locals, and all the businesses throughout the North Side, not just the Stockyards.

In everything I’ve read so far, there’s only been a cursory acknowledgment of the potential for massive vehicular headaches. Fort Worth developers M2G Ventures and Hickman Companies plus Los Angeles-based Majestic Realty have simply said they will need to (at some point) partner with the city, county, and state to handle all the increased traffic. The developers have also mentioned using trolleys to ferry visitors around.

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The Stockyards is only a couple square miles — covering it on foot shouldn’t be too hard. (Pro tip: Shelve the cowboy boots and strappy heels and break out the slides.) The problem might be arriving to your Stockyards destination from your ride-share dropoff or nearest parking lot without looking like you’ve just given birth. I guess you can ride-share to Joe T.’s or, to the north, that Jack in the Box on 28th, both half a mile away from Exchange, then walk from there, but however you gain purchase on Stockyards real estate, I recommend Crocs for the cobblestones.

To these inexpert eyes, my guess is that Stockyards Boulevard, which stretches around the rear of Billy Bob’s, will be expanded to accommodate all the new wheels. From the south, a couple side streets like Ellis and N. Houston could be widened to ease the pain.

The development, called Phase 2, has a lot to like, starting with nearly 300 multifamily-housing units, three hotels totaling 500 rooms, and 300,000 square feet of commercial space, and the increased need for parking will be mitigated by underground garages.

Getting to Main/Exchange still isn’t going to be easy, especially on weekends. As someone who also travels through the Stockyards at night on weekends and who’s been to a wedding and concert there over the past few months, I know that even coming within Appalachian Trail distance of all the venues, bars/restaurants, and shops that define the Stockyards is tricky. And getting there is only going to be 10 times worse when there’s more there there. Too much?

 

In a World of Transphobes, Southlake Stands Out

Visiting my older sister and her husband at their home back up north last year, I heard more whining about trans athletes (five minutes’ worth) than had ever crossed my ears in my 53 years on the planet. I guess this is because in my everyday Texas life, I surround myself with the right people, not the wrong (far-right) people. I still don’t remember what was said exactly, just a lot of spittle flying and hand waving.

The gist of all the snowflaking is that conservatives like my sis and her hubby have been whipped into madness and paranoia by right-wing pundits who claim trans people are depraved beasts trying to sexually assault us, our children, and our pets. There is absolutely zero proof that the trans community is by any metric predatory, or more predatory than any other demographic, and while blowhards with huge followings can spend their time and energy scaring the gullible with cultural bogeymen (first Dr. Fauci, then CRT, now trans folks), nobodies like me have to give them oxygen fighting them (as I am here). All the while, real monsters — like predatory priests — can keep on doing their unholy work unseen.

This anti-trans sickness has infected every facet of American life, so is anyone really surprised to see that the Carroll school district in Southlake is suing the U.S. Department of Education after the Biden administration expanded Title IX protections to the LGBTQ community? The thought of “protecting” one cisgender girl snowflaking out because she has to share a locker room with a trans girl is more important to Southlake and all its white, wealthy, straight Christian leaders than all of the trans girls and boys suffering from bullying, suffering from loneliness/isolation, and suffering from suicidal ideation in the district. In Southlake, the value of one Biblically correct child outweighs a million trans children. I don’t know how or why any progressive or other normal person or family would ever choose to live in that viperous cesspool.

The judge presiding over the case in Fort Worth federal court is right-wing extremist Reed O’Connor. A ruling is expected over the next few weeks. There won’t be any happy surprises.

 

Cops, Courts, Clicks

I’m still a little rattled by the local legacy media’s response to the 60-year-old woman slammed to the ground by a rogue cop in late June. After I listed a few stories written in “cop-exonerative” tense (“Takedown, Blue,” June 28), I just found another, this one from WFAA with the lede, “After she was knocked unconscious during her arrest” — not “After a Fort Worth police officer whipped her to the ground with such force she lost consciousness,” but after this woman somehow suffered an injury, implying it could have been unrelated to the cop smashing her to the pavement. Writing around the facts that many of us saw via the surveillance footage is an insult to not only Carolyn Rodriguez but to the First Amendment itself.

The reasoning behind the local legacy media’s soft touch is twofold.

1.) They’re afraid of being sued by the rogue cop for libel, even though we all saw the video — still, courts love cops. From 2013 to 2022, 98% of all police killings did not result in charges against the implicated officers, based on data by the nonprofit Mapping Police Violence.

And 2.) legacy local media are afraid of losing access to police. Newsrooms are tinier and thinner than ever, and with millions of social influencers peddling competing “news,” including “cop-watchers” like Carolyn Rodriguez, daily outlets must rely on easy-to-produce, easy-to-read, and often salacious cops-and-courts coverage now more than ever to generate those almighty clicks. A police force that stops taking a reporter’s calls because he/she/they dared to criticize a rogue officer puts them and their newsroom even further behind the competition — until you’re just a lowly progressive weekly rattling your fist at clouds. Come on in, boys. The water is fine.

After she was treated for her multiple injuries, Rodriguez was charged by police with interference with public duties, resisting arrest and/or detention, evading arrest, and false alarm or report. City Council discussed the matter at a closed-door session last week, and police are investigating the incident, including possible use of force. Rodriguez’s YouTube video of the confrontation has been viewed 4.3K times, and she plans to sue the cop who hurt her.

 

This column reflects the opinions of the editorial board and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at Anthony@FWWeekly.com. He will gently edit it for clarity and concision.

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