A smooth, winding stretch of sidewalk greets families in the Town North neighborhood as they walk their children to Speer Elementary each morning. Strollers roll along and mothers wave to one another. Residents walk at a safe distance away from the early-morning traffic that crowds Fuller Street, just east of Cooper Street.
It didn’t used to be that way. Before $1.2 million in recent city and federal improvements, those same children walked to school in the street. On Friday, city staff, council members and Town North residents celebrated a partnership that they say has returned the neighborhood to the residents. “It’s changed the entire look of this area,” said Beverly Rowlett, the Town North Neighbors president, of the new sidewalks and drainage. “People are enjoying the neighborhood again.” City officials began working with residents in the area–just southeast of Arlington Memorial Hospital and bounded by Cooper, Randol Mill, Collins and Sanford streets—in
2008 as part of its Strong Neighborhood Initiative. Residents there created an action plan that identified needed sidewalks and other infrastructure improvements.
disability. This has been two years in the making and it’s made a huge difference for the people here.” Council member Mel LeBlanc, who represents the area, said such projects improve property values citywide. He added that he finds it personally fulfilling to help people at such a grass roots level. “I’ll remember these sorts of things more than even building Cowboys Stadium or the Highlands,” he said, “because these are improvements for individual residents.”