You reach Berry Street while driving on Lubbock only to be impeded by an orange-and-white blockade preventing you from entering Berry. You spout a few curses before turning around your large SUV in the smallest parking lot known to man.The barrels forming two lanes on the usually six-lane road are annoying, but not permanent. The construction on Berry Street hinders traffic now, but the long-term benefits to TCU from the Berry Street Initiative outweigh any present nuisances.
The run-down state of Berry Street is detrimental to student recruitment. Directions on the TCU Web site direct prospective students to the University Drive exit off Interstate 30 instead of the simpler route to the Berry Street exit off of Interstate 35. At the present time, the administration is implementing a smart recruiting tactic. TCU wants to present itself in the best light and is doing so by diverting attention from Berry Street, the area’s ugly stepchild, to the cultural University Drive.
Berry Street wasn’t always the sorry side of TCU. According to a 2001 Skiff article, Berry Street contained shops and restaurants, similar to the ones on Hulen Street and University Drive. According to the Fort Worth government Web site, the project aims to “create a visually attractive Berry Street that is commercially viable and active…” The revived Berry could bring back life east of TCU.
After the initiative is complete, students can indulge themselves down the block. Shopping and dining will be a walk away (and not a can’t-go-any-further kind of walk a trip to Hulen Street might induce). Trees and grass will decorate the neighborhood instead of concrete and lines.
Visiting high school students will be able to see an all-encompassing, friendly area, whereas current students, faculty and staff members will be able to enjoy activities closer to home.
Associate Editor Adrienne Lang for the editorial board.