The Dallas Bike Plan Public Meeting No. 3; January 20, 2011
The draft 2011 Dallas Bike plan was presented to a packed crowd in the flag room of Dallas City Hall on a chilly Thursday evening in January. If you were unable to attend the meeting or did not get a chance to review the few hard copies available at the meeting, you can review it here .
City Council Members Angela Hunt and Sheffield “Sheffie” Kadane introduced the meeting, describing the draft 2011 Dallas Bike plan as a living and ambitious plan which will implement over 800 miles of on street bike infrastructure. It is more than just “bike lanes” it is also a plan to introduce and encourage bike culture, bike safety and education and much more. Looking around the packed meeting room Mr. Kadane commented that it was very encouraging to see how the Dallas Bike Plan 2011 has gained and not lost people.
Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists heaped praise upon the plan and Dallas, as he explained how impressed he was with Dallas’s “bike friendly” progress and how proud he was to be in Dallas at such a pivotal point. He went on to describe how Dallas with this plan is setting the standard for the rest of the nation. He concluded his remarks by advising that bike friendly communities need good leaders; elected, business and community, a good plan (which this is, he added) and finally but not least engagement by everyone, including you.
Peter Lagerway of Toole Design Group began the introduction of the plan by reminding us that this is the draft stage. The next stage will be moving forward with the adoption and implementation of the final plan. He described how “connectivity” was a key aspect of the plan as this was a key issue raised again and again as they collected their data whilst drafting the plan. Mr. Lagerway explained how Dallas had a great opportunity to develop a creative and innovative bike infrastructure. This is largely due to one key element unique to Dallas; space. This will be very useful when looking at what Mr. Lagerway described as “signature” facilities which will overcome barriers, e.g. Katy Trail across US 75. The focus on bridges was also highlighted. The big star of the plan is the Dallas bikeway system map plans which were again available after the meeting and here.
Mr Lagerway concluded his description of what was included in the plan by advising that the plan does not provide a complete signing system but it does give guidance on a signing system, built on the national guidelines and the experience of Chicago, Seattle and Portland. Two final but important points raised by Mr Lagerway was the focus on education, including the federally subsidized safe routes to school program and a maintenance hotline, the 311 phone line and app were raised as suitable readymade options.
One of the most important aspects of the plan is the implementation and Mr. Lagerway explained that many aspect of the plan could be implemented as routine maintenance thereby appeasing many naysayers who will surely raise various budget and funding limitations. He concluded with the importance of a phased approach, performance measures and regular reviews; suggesting a minor review in 5 years and a major review in 10 years.
Before the meeting was adjourned Deputy Chief Michael Genovesi, Central Patrol Division of the Dallas Police Department presented a short education and safety talk, which was warmly welcomed by all present.
Max Kalhammer, Project Manager, City Of Dallas closed the meeting with a brief Q&A session where he explained that moving forward the plan would be presented to the City Transportation Committee at the end of February with the intention that the City Council will vote on the plan in April. A promotional event is being planned for March and Mr. Kalhammer advised the group to keeping checking back on the website for details.
How can we as bike friendly enthusiast keep up the moment and engagement with the plan as Dallas moves forward the Dallas Bike Plan 2011, Mr. Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists advised that organizing short rides with friends and neighbors as parts of the plan are implemented will introduce more people to the joys of a bike culture and community. So watch this space for future Bike Friendly Knox Henderson rides……