Before Las Vegas Trail, there was the Stop Six neighborhood and Cavile Place.
The despair of poverty and Jim Crow-era public housing is 60 years in the making on East Rosedale Street, in one of the city’s highest-risk neighborhoods for child abuse and neglect.
Help is near. A city plan will replace 300 “housing project” units with nicer, mixed-income apartments. State crews are working on Rosedale.
But for now, Cavile residents would just like a safe city bus stop.
If you’d ever like to see an example of systemic neglect, take a look at the bus stop in the 5000 block of Rosedale that serves Cavile and neighbors.
The street’s being widened. So to catch the bus, you have to cross an overgrown vacant lot, step down to cross a construction ditch and then step back up to the street, where you have a two-foot-wide space to wait between cars whizzing past and a retaining wall.
“When you have construction at University Drive and West Seventh, you don’t see this,” said neighborhood activist Charleston White, calling for more attention to the long-neglected east Fort Worth neighborhood that grew around stop No. 6 on a long-ago light-rail line.
White called state, city and transit workers out to see the near-useless bus stop Saturday.
“You have to go down into this ravine,” he said, pointing to the freshly dug trench soon to be paved for new Rosedale lanes.
“At night you have to do all this in complete darkness. This can’t be safe.”
Stop Six doesn’t get the same response Las Vegas Trail is getting.
Charleston White, advocate for Cavile Place and Stop Six neighborhood residents
He and young men have helped escort older women. They’ve even put chairs at the edge of the road as a makeshift bench.
The project is scheduled to be finished next March. White suggested re-routing the bus or leaving a walkway.
“There’s no way for the elderly or disabled to use this,” he said. “They can’t even get to the grocery store.”
White, 40, is a former juvenile offender born in the neighborhood’s old Prince Hall Apartments.
He’s worried about children there today, where poverty, drugs and crime lead to child abuse and neglect comparable to Las Vegas Trail’s.
“Gunshots, police sirens and helicopters are the children’s alarm clocks,” he said.
I think Las Vegas Trail looks easier to solve because it’s a smaller area.
Fort Worth police Sgt. Jeff Dunn
“It’s constant violence, day-to-day survival. When you step out your front door, you’ve got to fight.”
Police Sgt. Jeff Dunn, listening, nodded but said violent crime is down: “The community has taken charge. You don’t have shootings or aggravated assaults as often.”
He also saw the comparison.
“I think Las Vegas Trail looks easier to solve because it’s a smaller area,” he said.
Stop Six’s problems will be tougher to solve. The unemployment rate is more than 20 percent. The high school graduation rate is 51 percent.
“Stop Six doesn’t get the same response Las Vegas Trail is getting.” he said.
It’s really about more than a bus stop.