Bike Friendly Dallas

Bringing Dallas Together – On Bicycles

Walkable DFW has it’s opinion of the bike plan…and it ain’t pretty

Patrick Kennedy, a professional Urban Planner and Designer with Space Between Design Studio, and blogger for Walkable DFW gives his opinions about the recently adopted bike plan here.

Seems Patrick isn’t so hot about the part of the plan he has studied.  Read below for a quote from his most recent posting:

But having looked at the downtown and vicinity area plan I saw everything I needed to see. And I tweeted the primary criticisms the other day (besides the fact that several areas are still under “need more study.” You’ve had a year). There appears to be little logic behind it, hardly any of it. Main Street, already narrow and pedestrian dominated for much of it gets separate bike lanes, while Elm and Commerce, roads we should be carving out excessive lanes and width for new, alternate modes of transportation are ignored. No matter the fact that the misplaced priority on moving rush hour traffic on these two streets 1) kills life on them, 2) ensures the streets are dead and overscaled off peak hours, and 3) boxes in the life on Main Street from spreading outwards.
Also no matter the fact that there isn’t the room to carve out new lanes on Main Street, a street of traffic so slow that bikes can already share lanes without much threat to their safety. Instead, in other parts of the city, on absurdly scaled streets designed for “smooth auto sailing” bikes are to share lanes. I hope you can cycle at 45 mph comfortably without Lance’s steroids. Heresy! He’s a Texan! Don’t you Blaspheme!
Having studied the portion of the Central Business District map he’s referring to, he just might have a point.  The good thing about having a plan is that it can be changed if needed.  Also, the CCC, or Central Core Connector, is one of the early implementation projects we note in our most recent bike plan update.  That project uses much of  Young St as it’s east-west connector and is still waiting on full funding as of this post.  It will be the first downtown bike infrastructure as we understand it to be.

Green Source DFW interviewed us!

We were approached by a fairly new media blog and website called Green Source DFW to answer a few questions about the Bike Friendly movement and it’s relationship to being Green in the DFW area.

Their site states:

GreenSourceDFW.ORG is an undertaking of Memnosyne Foundation and Dallas’ Green Community. Memnosyne Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Memnosyne’s mission is to provide mankind with the means to encourage positive, peaceful, global collaboration in all areas of knowledge.

The interview is part of their “Weekly Conversation” section and below is an excerpt along with a link to the full article:

By Brandolon Barnett

It’s a summer ritual by now; as familiar to many in the car centric regions of the US as the backyard barbecue or the pool party. Every year as temperatures begin a slow climb to higher degrees gas prices begin their own ascent towards the stratosphere. In the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro a lack of transport alternatives which might help some to ditch their cars and alleviate the pressure of these high prices is in many minds a major obstacle to efforts at “greening” North Texas.
Into this picture steps the 2011 Dallas Bike Plan, unanimously approved by the Dallas city council in early June 2011. The plan is a blueprint for what, if successfully carried out, would amount to years of sustained effort. You can see the planned routes on the website of Bike Friendly Dallas. Once enacted over a thousand bike lanes would crisscross the city. Though there are numerous voices insisting the new bike plan is unnecessary, supporters believe the infrastructural improvements can make biking a more safe and practical transportation alternative for everyday use.
Among the most vocal of those supporters have been the “Bike Friendly” groups which arose originally to represent OakCliff and later various parts of Dallas. The “Bike Friendly” concept has expanded in size and influence over the course of the last decade, culminating in the recent creation of Bike Friendly Dallas. As part of a Green Source weekly conversation on issues important to the green movement in Dallas I corresponded with Jonathan Braddick of Bike Friendly Dallas about transportation options in the city, bike shops as green business, and of course the new bike plan with its potential to completely reshape the landscape of Dallas.

Read the full article here

Bishop Ave Spotter

Here are some pics from a Bike Friendly Dallas spotter of the work being done on Bishop Ave from Colorado Blvd to Neely St.  Work started June 13th and will be complete March, 2012.  There will be 5′ one-way bike lanes with buffers between the lanes and parallel parking:  If you’re interested in being a spotter, please read here

Bishop Ave is down to one lane, both ways

Bishop at Canty

Looking for website contributors and spotters

Bike Friendly Dallas is looking for anyone interested in being a contributor on this website and/or a spotter for bicycle infrastructure construction in your neighborhoods.  We are particularly interested in the following:

  • Spotters:  Individuals interested in supplying the latest, on the ground information from their streets, blocks, and neighborhoods with regard to active construction of new bicycle infrastructure.  Would need to provide video or photo of the activity.
  • Contributors:  Individuals interested in writing blog posts about events, news, and editorials about, but not limited to Street updates, Trail updates, Events, and bicycle culture in Dallas.  Would need a wordpress.com account

If you’re interested, please fill out the following form:

One vote shy of failure

Last night the city of Arlington narrowly averted a consistent failure to become a multi-modal city of the 21st century.  The Arlington City Council narrowly passed a bike master plan that calls for building a 125-mile network of on-street and off-street bike facilities as well as 149 miles of sidewalks to help residents get from neighborhoods to city parks, schools and other destinations.

5-4 was the final tally from council members in this city that has historically pushed back from any kind of multi-modal transportation that wasn’t fully auto-centric.  One of the dissenting votes came from Councilmember Leblanc.  He said, “The city of the future is not the city that puts bike paths in,” LeBlanc said. “It’s the city … that has a very low tax rate and a very low debt ratio. The city of the future is the city you can move to and not be robbed by taxes.”

How is it that a city of over 365,000 people, is the 50th largest city in the United States of America, and holds the dismal distinction of being the largest city in the country without an intra-city mass transit system, doesn’t seem to see the writing on the wall?  Over the past several years, this country and it’s citizens have been calling for more alternative transportation infrastructure, and yet almost half of this cities council members, plus the mayor voted against a bike plan.
What makes Dallas different from Arlington?  We’re practically neighbors, no offense Grand Prairie.  We share similar geography, water sources, a river, and roadways, yet our council voted 14-0 on a bike plan and not one council member thought bike infrastructure wasn’t a feature that a city of the future didn’t need!  We even root for the same professional teams, and love to visit each others entertainment venues!
Is this a strictly a political ideological difference or simply about money?  Let us know what you think…

Congratulations to all of the hard working council members and citizens of Arlington who fought to get this plan passed.  It is people like you that make a city of the future, and have kept Arlington from continuing along the path of an auto-centric attitude.  We can’t wait until you can visit us along that spanking new bicycle lanes, as we can’t wait to do the same!

DART Bike Lids and Katy Trail Phase III progress

Just lifted this up off the DORBA Commie forum featured in our feed section to the right:

Posted by LVS

Had to stop by the UP permit office at their City Hall Annex on Worcola this afternoon and drove past where they are pouring pavement for Katy Trail Phase III from Worcola to Greenville Avenue alongside the DART Blue Line ROW and the UP Annex building

At the same time, DART was replacing their old bike lockers at Mockingbird Station with these hutch things

The new bike lockers were featured at this past weekends Ross Avenue 72 Hour Challenge and are meant to replace the original bike boxes DART initially installed at several stations throughout it’s light rail network.  Below was swiped from http://www.dart.org/riding/bike.asp

New Bike Lids To Replace Bike Lockers In Calendar Year 2011

DART has received a federal grant to replace aged and worn bike lockers with a new environmentally friendly state of the art bike lids. Currently, cyclists can try out the new bike lid located at Downtown Plano, Walnut Hill, and Akard stations.

The 142 new bike lids meet homeland security requirements, are homeless and vandal resistant, and do not overheat and melt plastic bike components.

Use of the new bike lids will be on a first come, first served bases. Cyclists will be required to provide their own padlock used to secure the bike lid. DART may add additional bike lids at a later date where demand exceeds supply. Please keep in-mind that overnight bicycle storage and/or locking of unused lids will not be allowed.

DART is in the process of removing damaged bike lockers now. All bicycles stored in damaged lockers that are removed will be logged into DART’s lost-and-found. At a future date DART will notify cyclists that all bicycles stored in undamaged lockers will need to be removed in preparation for this project.

Because of these changes,
DART IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING RESERVATIONS OR MAINTAINING WAITING LISTS FOR BIKE LOCKERS RENTALS.
For further information about DART’s existing bike lockers or new bike lids, please contact John Quinn, Project Manager, at 214-749-2845.

BFOC wins grant to help host Dallas’ first Ciclovia

Jason Roberts reports that BFOC just won a $5K grant from Bikes Belong to help the city of Dallas pull off its first Ciclovia (car free street celebration)!!! Here’s an example of one in San Jose:
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