Most Fort Worth residents are satisfied with city services, although they would like to see more emphasis placed on street maintenance and a continued emphasis on public safety services.
Those are the major findings of the latest community survey, conducted last fall by ETC Institute of Olathe, Kan.
The survey’s purpose was to assess residents’ satisfaction with the delivery of major city services and to help determine priorities as part of the city’s ongoing planning process. Of the households that received a survey, 1,820 completed the survey. At least 200 households were surveyed in each of the city’s eight council districts.
Nearly three-fourths of respondents indicated they were satisfied with the quality of life in Fort Worth.
View the complete survey results here.
A new online streaming service will allow anyone to hear Fort Worth music for free, and Fort Worth Public Library cardholders may download the songs at no charge to their personal devices.
Amplify 817 is a partnership between the Library and Hear Fort Worth, an initiative of Visit Fort Worth. Besides offering free music, the musicians will be paid a fee up front to use their music. Additional musicians and songs will be added through a submissions process.
The combined efforts represent a citywide commitment to Fort Worth musicians, their music and the people who enjoy it.
Sign up on the Amplify 817 website.
The Tarrant Regional Water District is commissioning art on eight large-scale utilitarian structures along the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth. The goal of the project is to create destinations and chance encounters for trail users with art that reflects the beauty of nature, rivers and water.
Deadline for submissions is March 9. Artists should tell why they are interested in the Painting the River project. An artist must:
The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine announced a residency training program with Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center that will eventually train more than 150 physicians annually.
“We are honored to be working alongside a like-minded organization in Baylor Scott & White-Fort Worth,” said Dr. Stuart Flynn, dean of the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. “With the combination of both organizations’ available resources and aligned mission, we can create a robust and rich academic environment in the Fort Worth community.”
The residency program — accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education — will select its first cohort of medical school graduates this year. They will then begin their residencies in internal medicine and emergency medicine at Baylor Scott & White-Fort Worth in July 2021, adding residents each year. Adding general surgery, anesthesia, obstetrics and gynecology and other specialties, the residency program is projected to top out at 150 in the 2027-2028 academic year. Fellowship training programs in fields such as cardiology, oncology and nephrology also will be considered.
The residency program will provide much-needed doctors to the Fort Worth area. Texas currently ranks 41 out of the 50 states with 219.4 physicians per 100,000 residents. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the national median is 257.6.
Texas medical school graduates have been leaving the state for residencies due to a shortage of programs. And data shows that residents tend to stay in-state. In Texas, 59% of residents remain after training. If they attend medical school and do their residency in Texas, that number jumps to 81%. This new collaboration is an academic-aligned program, allowing for competitive recruitment of top medical school graduates from Texas and across the United States.
Mayor Betsy Price and FWISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner joined representatives from the Essilor Vision Foundation, Alcon and TCC-Trinity River to reinforce the connection between vision care and literacy.
During the program, fourth- and fifth-grade children created cards explaining why they love their glasses and why vision is important to them. Following the program, Scribner and Price toured the fest, interacted with children and took eye exams.
Elementary school nurses recently gave vision pre-screenings to kindergarten through fifth-grade students. More than 600 children from 32 FWISD elementary schools requiring further evaluation were invited to attend Kids Vision Fest, a mobile vision clinic. About 400 students are eligible for free vision screenings and eyeglasses. If it was determined that a child needed glasses, they could choose eyeglass frames and lens onsite, and the prescription glasses will be delivered to the student’s school within the next several weeks.
Kid Vision Fest is sponsored by Essilor Vision Foundation and Alcon in partnership with Fort Worth ISD. Dallas-based Essilor Vision Foundation launched its program Kids Vision for Life in 2008 to increase access to vision screenings and new glasses for children. Within the last decade, Tarrant County youth have received free onsite eye exams at nearly 100 schools and thousands of pairs of free prescription glasses.
Fort Worth will be honored with a Smart 50 Award for re-engineering a process that led to reduced times for approving ordinances, resolutions, zoning cases and larger purchases.
The Mayor and Council communication (M&C) Collaboration Wizard was developed internally in partnership between the City Secretary’s Office and IT Solutions, and reduces time spent locating, tracking and managing M&Cs through the use of automated workflows and improved collaboration.
Smart 50 Awards annually recognize global smart cities projects, honoring the most innovative and influential work. This year, categories included community engagement, digital transformation, smart mobility, urban infrastructure and urban operations.
“Re-engineering the M&C process has made the city more responsive to its residents by reducing the time it takes to approve ordinances, resolutions, zoning cases and large purchases,” City Secretary Mary Kayser said. “The reduction in time spent to process M&Cs also freed up staff to accomplish more value-added tasks for our residents.”
Fort Worth has embarked on a long-term digital transformation project that’s affecting the development of people, process and culture. This aligns with its goal to become the best-managed city in the U.S.
The M&C digital transformation project enabled 500-plus city employees to achieve improved productivity, cost savings and quality improvements while providing a flexible platform to handle new business priorities. Employees now benefit from an expedited and streamlined process with improved accuracy. The average M&C will realize about four hours of saved time from initial entry into the system to being built into a meeting agenda.
The city has averaged 1,036 M&Cs per year for the past five years. This translates into a savings of 4,145 hours per year, or an approximate savings of $103,625 per year.
The changes effectively eliminated two-thirds of the approval touchpoints and decreased approval times from 18.6 days to nine days. The system is accessible from any browser on any platform, allowing approvals to be processed faster.
The Smart 50 Awards will be presented in April in Denver.
This honor follows on the heels of another prestigious Fort Worth recognition from the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC), a global consortium that creates and contributes to process-related standards. The Award for Excellence in Business Transformation was awarded to the City of Fort Worth last August at a ceremony in Boston. In conjunction with this award, the WfMC also recognized Shaun Campbell, M&C Collaboration Wizard creator, who works in IT Solutions. The Outstanding Business Transformation Team Leader Award recognizes Campbell’s innovation and leadership in driving the digital transformation of municipal enterprise, and for championing Mayor Betsy Price’s mission for Fort Worth to be a technology leader.
After years of dreaming of a new home for the Fort Worth Stock Show’s legendary rodeo, a new era will dawn on Jan. 17 when the chutes bust open in Dickies Arena.
“The Stock Show’s new rodeo home will take the sport to a completely new level and be a fan favorite for generations,” said Stock Show President and General Manager Brad Barnes. “The public-private partnership led by Stock Show Chairman Ed Bass, Mayor Betsy Price and many others has given Fort Worth and North Texas a tremendous gift for not just the Stock Show’s rodeo, but for concerts, sporting events and family shows throughout the year.”
Dickies Arena’s impact on the Stock Show is being felt beyond rodeo. Exciting new events moving into the Will Rogers Coliseum and Auditorium are broadening the Stock Show’s offerings and appealing to a more diverse audience.
Spurred by growing popularity, Mustang Magic, with its strong fan following, has been expanded and moved from the Justin Arena to the coliseum while concerts and a high school mariachi competition have been added in the auditorium. Music acts booked for the auditorium include the popular classic rock band Foreigner and a new country a capella group, Home Free. An Escaramuza competition adds a cultural flair while a high school scholarship rodeo and a bucking bull sale maintain the traditional feel in the beloved coliseum.
While there’s plenty of new in store for 2020, traditional Stock Show entertainment options remain popular. Livestock and equestrian competitions are on tap as well as acres of “rodeo shopping” that includes everything from fashion to farm equipment.
Family fun remains popular with the Mattress Firm Petting Zoo, Children’s Barnyard, Carnival Midway, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance’s Planet Agriculture and the always popular Milking Parlor.
The food is always a favorite with everything from corn dogs to cotton candy and cuisine fit for a king at Reata at the Backstage or Reata at the Rodeo.
When guests gaze across the Stock Show grounds and downtown Fort Worth from the Simmons Bank Plaza at Dickies Arena, they’ll be reminded why Fort Worth and the Stock Show & Rodeo are both truly legendary. Visitors there can relax with a glass of wine at the new Corkyard or enjoy a brew and some awesome tunes in the Bud Light Roadhouse before they step into the nation’s premier venue for rodeo, the new Dickies Arena.
Rodeo has been a Fort Worth mainstay for 102 years, but the new FWSSR PRORODEO Tournament is taking the Stock Show’s rodeo to new heights among the most elite in the nation. With a payout exceeding $1 million and an easy-to-follow bracket-style tournament, the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo starts an exciting new era in Dickies Arena.
Fort Worth Bike Sharing has moved its Forest Park and Park Hill station. The current station is out of service.
As a nonprofit organization, Fort Worth Bike Share strives to make resourceful decisions, and unfortunately, the Forest Park and Park Hill station was not used enough in its current location to justify the maintenance required to keep it up.
TCU students, faculty or staff who depend on the station should contact Bike Sharing to learn about next steps.
The City Council has appointed a group of diverse community members to help kick-start expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center, a move that would allow the facility to compete with convention centers in other cities.
This Design Review Committee will recommend a project management firm and an architect of record for the project. Committee members will also seek input on the project, including from current and potential convention and meeting customers.
The convention center project will be funded through hotel occupancy taxes and fees generated by use of the building. The estimated budget is $400-$500 million. The project budget will be scaled to stay within revenues from these sources.
Feasibility studies in 2014 and 2019 show that Fort Worth’s overall growth has not been reflected in its convention and hotel growth, and it not representative for a city of its current and future population. The new Dickies Arena paves the way for repurposing the 52-year old downtown arena with a facility that is more adaptable to current convention center needs.
In addition to expansion on the north end of the convention center, the simultaneous development of a large convention headquarters hotel has been recommended.
Hotels built over the last decade in downtown have been immediately absorbed into the market, a sign of pent-up demand.
“Convention tourism is an essential engine for achieving Fort Worth’s economic development goals and introducing more people and business to our city,” said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of Visit Fort Worth. “Unfortunately, our current facilities don’t meet demand, and group planners continue to be frustrated by our facilities and the number of separate hotels required to accommodate a larger convention.”
A first phase could see expanding Commerce Street for hotel development and construction of new kitchen and catering facilities between 2022 and 2024. Phase two demolition of the 52-year-old convention center arena and new construction is scheduled for 2024-2026.
With the expanded convention center, bookings are expected to grow from 151 to 292 per year, a 94% increase, with conventions specifically increasing from 61 to 83. Attendance is expected to grow from 780,000 per year to 1.2 million, a 55% increase.
Design Review Committee members: Mayor Betsy Price, Mayor pro-tem Jungus Jordan, District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, Leah King, Bob Jameson, Jarred Howard, Ed Bass, Sasha Bass, Jay Chapa, Andy Taft, Bobby Ahdieh, Richard Casarez, Glenn Forbes, Johnny Campbell, Joseph DeLeon, Randy Gideon, Martha Peters, Adrian Parr, Anette Landeros, Jonathan Morris, Gloria Starling, Bob Benda, Lanny Lancarte.
The committee is expected to meet over the next two years and will provide recommendations to City Council related to contracting with a project management firm by the summer and an architect of record.
Time flies when you’re riding in style to the airport.
Trinity Metro TEXRail is celebrating one year in operation, providing a comfortable and convenient ride between downtown Fort Worth and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport’s Terminal B.
At the end of 2019, TEXRail ridership reached 545,345 for the year. December was a record-setting month, with 51,217 passengers and the trains were on schedule 99.15 percent of the time. The previous record for paid ridership was 44,741, which occurred in November.
Jon-Erik “AJ” Arjanen, vice president and chief operating officer for rail, said TEXRail’s reliability is key to increasing ridership.
“Riders want to know that the train is going to pick them up on time and take them safely to their destination as scheduled,” Arjanen said. “If you’re traveling to the airport to catch a flight, you don’t want to worry about when you’ll arrive.”
Ridership patterns emerged during the first year, with DFW Airport Terminal B Station consistently ranking first in ridership on weekdays and Sundays. On Saturdays, Grapevine/Main Street had the highest ridership.
“We found that more business and leisure travelers are choosing to leave their cars at home and not worry about getting stuck in traffic,” Arjanen said. “In 2020, we expect our commuter base to grow as more companies take advantage of the 25% discount we offer through our EasyRide program.”
To put the one-year anniversary in perspective, consider the number of miles TEXRail has traveled since beginning operations. Between Jan. 10, 2019, and late July, the trains traveled 230,442 miles between Fort Worth T&P Station and DFW Airport Terminal B Station. Frequency increased to 30 minutes during peak travel times late in July. From that point through Jan. 10, 2020, the mileage is 297,594.
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