Oh What a Night…
More than 250 people packed Dallas City Hall’s council chambers last night for the kick-off meeting of the 2011 Dallas Bike Plan. Not too bad, considering that the room has a seating capacity of 250! Among the attendees at the meeting were Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, DART President Gary Thomas, and a number of city council members. There seemed to be a hint of surprise among some of the elected officials at the size of the crowd, and if there was ever any doubt about the interest in this project among the residents of Dallas, it was put to rest once and for all.
The main purpose of the kick-off meeting was to get a feel for the vision that Dallas residents have regarding the future of biking in the city. During his presentation, Peter Lagerway of Toole Design Group (City’s consultants) stressed that the focus of this plan will not be the trail network (White Rock, Katy, Santa Fe, etc.), which is actually evolving quite nicely, but rather on our street network which, after all, is where all of our destinations are.
At the meeting, attendees were given the opportunity to mark up large maps of the city to show where there are barriers that make cycling dangerous, unviable, or simply unappealing. Based on the ink-stained maps at the end of the evening, Dallas clearly has a long way to go before it can be declared a bike-friendly city. But, the energy at City Hall last night was undeniable, and momentum does seem to be building.
If you could not make the meeting last night or you simply have more ideas to share, you can do so from now until June 30th on the interactive Dallas Bike Plan website. On the site, you can both fill out a survey and add your comments to what is turning out to be a very fascinating map of the city (take a look!).