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June 30, 2014

Fort Worth Fourth of July - almost too much to do in one place

@gdickson

Fourth1Fort Worth will be one seriously happenin' place for Fourth of July festivities - and the crush of activity is going to test the patience of motorists and police alike.

There will be fireworks at Panther Island Pavilion, movies at the Coyote Drive-In, a baseball game at LaGrave Field and all kinds of partying at Sundance Square. That's a lot of fun packed into just a couple of square miles!

As a result, police are planning to make some pretty major traffic changes, beginning Friday afternoon. (Independence Day falls on a Friday this year, meaning the Fourth of July celebrations across the Metroplex should be extra festive.)

Here's a quick rundown of information you may need to know:

  • Emergency lane - The right northbound lane of Henderston Street will be coned off Friday from 2:30 p.m. to midnight, from Interstate 30 to White Settlement Road. This will be a designated emergency lane for police and ambulances to get in and out of the downtown/Panther Island area, and anyone caught using the lane can expect to be written a ticket.

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  • For those wishing to attend the fireworks show and other activities at Panther Island Pavilion, parking will be at the northwest corner of White Settlement Road and Henderson Street. Enter from the north at Jacksboro Highway and Northside Drive and go south on Henderson Street to the parking area. Inbound traffic may also use White Settlement Rd. eastbound to Henderson St. and turn north onto Henderson St. to the parking lots. To exit, northbound traffic will be directed out of the parking lots to Henderson Street, Northside Drive and Jacksboro Highway. Southbound traffic will be able to exit on Henderson St. to White Settlement Road, where vehicles will be directed to University Drive.
  • For those either catching a ball game at LaGrave Field or a movie at the Coyote Drive-In, traffic may arrive from the north using Northside Drive then southbound North Main Street. For southbound traffic, it may be a bit trickier. Police say that initially they will allow traffic from the south to arrive northbound using Belknap Street to North Main Street, but that if that area becomes too congested they may elect to close off North Main Street. So if you're planning to go that way, be prepared to use a Plan B (i.e. I-35W to Northside Drive) to get to the game or the movies. After the Cats baseball game, all traffic will be routed northbound on North Main Street to Northside Drive, where traffic will be forced to turn either east to I-35W or west to Jacksboro Highway. However, by the time the movies and fireworks show are over at the Coyote Drive-In, traffic will be allowed to travel normally on North Main Street.
  • In downtown Fort Worth/Sundance Square, police will be staged at each signalized intersection to help keep traffic moving. However, motorists should be ready for any barricades that police may determine need to be set up for safety or traffic flow. For those coming into downtown, consider taking Spur 280 or the Lancaster exit on I-30. From the west, police recommend taking the Commerce/Convention exit and entering downtown from the south. For those leaving downtown, try using Weatherford Street eastbound to I-35W.
  • As for the west side of downtown, police aren't planning to close streets. Officers will be at lighted intersections to help with traffic flow, and unlighted intersections may be closed to keep things simple. Inbound traffic may enter on Henderson St. to get to the event parking on Henderson Street and White Settlement Road, as well as the Panther Island Parking lot off Belknap Street and Purcey Street. As for outbound traffic, vehicles southbound on Henderson will be routed to I-30. West Lancaster Avenue also will be open for east-west traffic.
  • For those wishing to park south of the Trinity River to attend the fireworks show and other Panther Island events, parking will be available at Purcey Street and Forest Park Blvd. Take Forest Park Boulevard or Summit Avenue to get to the area. Outbound traffic will exit using two lanes on Purcey Street - with the right lane directed south on Forest Park Boulevard while the left lane heads south on Summit Avenue.

Still not sure about which route to take? Check out the FWPD's Fourth of July Traffic Plan page.

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