2011 Dallas Bike Plan – Maps Now Online
Dallas residents were invited to Public Meeting #2 of the 2011 Dallas Bike Plan on September 23, 2010 at Dallas City Hall. As at the earlier meeting on May 27, 2010, around 200 people attended Dallas City Hall to learn about the progress of the Dallas Bikeway System Draft Network Recommendations by Peter Lagerway of The Toole Design Group.
City Council member Angela Hunt introduced the meeting and Mr Lagerway began with an outline the process;
First: The initial data collection stage. This step was kicked off at the initial meeting in May.
Second: The planning stage, this is on-going. Mr Lagerway indicated that many issues are still under further consideration.
Third: The final stage is scheduled for December 2010 when the final written plan will be available for comment. Mr Lagerway highlighted that the point of this plan was not to have a written product but to implement and adopt the plan in Dallas.
Mr Lagerway addressed a main concern of cyclists in Dallas that was raised in the initial data collection: physical barriers to cycling in Dallas (for example freeways, bridges, and underpasses). As at the earlier meeting, maps were available for viewing, they are now also viewable on line, here. Some of the maps indicate specific solutions to areas of concern. Mr Lagerway was keen to point out that this process is still in the draft stage and many areas are still under further consideration, including, for example; Ross Avenue heading into downtown from East Dallas.
Another area of concern is crossing the Trinity River and Mr Largeway was keen to highlight the importance of bridges which, once constructed, last for generations and are therefore very important to get “right”. Additionally, due to limited budgets the bridges would be a very important aspect to focus limited funds upon.
Mr Lagerway also emphasized on street cycle infrastructure. He referred to the bike plan as a plan for Dallas transport, moving people across their communities in a safe and pleasant way, as opposed to a plan just for bike trails being extended. This is an inclusive plan, he explained, there are just not enough trails to make biking across Dallas viable. So biking on the road has to be one of the major aspects of the plan as does integrating cycling with transit. He stressed the importance of how to judge the road’s “capacity.” Capacity of the road is inclusive of all users, not just number of vehicle’s: the number of people in the cars, the number of people on the bus, cyclists, and pedestrians etc.
One of the other agenda items at the meeting was Project Prioritization Criteria. When the final plan is produced certain projects will be prioritized using the “weighted” prioritization criteria. Attendees were invited to provide input. The maps were again an important tool for attendees to provide comments.
Mr Largeway was general in his proposals and we look forward to the December meeting when we hope that specific Dallas solutions will be provided. For example, Mr Lagerway referred to “road diets” which encourage slower safer drivers, benefiting not just cyclists on the road, but pedestrians, local residents and businesses. However, he did not specify which areas in Dallas would receive these treatments at this stage.
One of the questions raised at the meeting was the North Texas heat which so often proves to be a deterrent to cycling in Dallas. Mr Lagerway commented that most places have some environmental hindrance when cycling is raised as a mode of transport and not just a recreational activity. For example, Seattle has rain and San Francisco has hills. But there are straight-forward solutions to overcome these, so for example for Dallas, showers at work may be important for some.
The attendance at this meeting and the continued interest in the 2011 Dallas Bike Plan reflects a committed desire to make cycling in Dallas a convenient, accessible and safer mode of transportation.