From the Memos: Still More About Bike Plan, and A First Look at Flow Control "Study Group"

Categories: City Hall
Click to enlarge one of the unfunded projects in the Bike Plan memo sent to council.
Kim Jong Il will never get to see implementation of the Dallas Bike Plan; neither will Václav Havel. Whether you will remains to be seen: Last we looked it's going to take 10 years for the city to roll out a maze of bike paths -- despite what council members may have heard back in June, when they passed the plan 15-zip under the assumption that it wasn't hard to restripe some concrete. Like I said Friday, Schutze has more in the paper version of Unfair Park this week.

But Friday night, in the package of memos sent to a Christmas-breaking city council that follows, Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans dispatched even more about the bike plan with the flat tire: a map of funded, partially funded and wholly unfunded early implementation and demo projects and a time line for implementation, as well as what it'll cost to pull off each one -- and whether or not each one requires a thoroughfare amendment. Even though I keep hearing that's a red herring. Perhaps brighter minds than I, which shouldn't be hard to find in the next room, can explain why the Central Core Connection remains at the top of the unfunded list for a 2015 (maybe?) striping.

Also contained in the memo stack: a note from City Manager Mary Suhm about that Resource Recovery Study Group that Mayor Mike Rawlings promised to put together after the controversial flow control vote on September 28. On Page 29, you'll note that Suhm outlines who'll be part of the group: an asistant city manager, the CFO, head of Sanitation Services, director of Office of Environmental Quality, the city's spokesman, a city attorney and head of procurement services. That's not all: "In addition," writes Suhm, "an independent expert or experts to provide outside 'eyes' on our efforts toward achieving an effective implementation will be sought." They've got time. Memos+to+Council+12 16

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16 comments
Richard Wharton
Richard Wharton

Sticking my neck out again, but Wilonsky and Schutze know the pertinent facts...1) Bike lanes are expensive to install, and expensive to maintain and keep free of debris. Up north, cities have to re-stripe lanes after ice storms. We'll have to do that as well. $$.

2) Bikes have the right to ride in the center of every lane that is less than 14 feet wide, without sharing. A bike lane will be maybe 5' or less, with 12-18" of that in a gutter pan. Do you feel safer in the gutter, or in the middle of the lane? Cost for cyclists to control the lane? "0"

3) Most bike lanes are built in door zones, next to parallel parking. Solution? Well, you can either eliminate the parking (neighbors will hate it), or you spend even more money and imminent domain creating segregated facilities. Cost? $$$$.

There's more, but you should be getting the picture. $16 million is a drop in the bucket of the overall cost. Face it, Dallas, you were duped and deceived by the Bike Planner, whose salary is at six figures, you were misled by the consultants (one local, one out-of-town), and you were misguided by groups who are either too afraid to promote cycling education, or they're more afraid that it doesn't fit their social agenda. There are tons of reasons why we'll never be Portland, but honestly, when you're faced with a $640m bike plan, and have an unemployment rate of 14%, with people running to the suburbs, and a state that's losing population, who would want to be Portland? 

ALL of this can be solved at a fraction of a fraction of the quoted costs, by just teaching cyclists how to be better bike drivers, and enforcing the law. Roads are used every single day in just about every weather condition. Bike lanes and segregated paths won't be used nearly as much, and will cost exorbitant amounts of money to install and maintain. Maybe throw up a couple hundred signs that say "Bicycles Use Full Lane", set up a better website for bike routes and include TCX downloads for GPS geeks, and call it mission accomplished.

Show some responsibility, educate yourself, get help, and embrace the fact that Dallas really IS a great place to ride your bike, anywhere, any time, you choose. It's HOW you ride that determines your comfort and safety out on the road. 

Flame away...

www.cyclingsavvydfw.com

Cliff Dweller
Cliff Dweller

I still think we should get the bike lanes off the thoroughfares in many cases.  Davis?  Why not 7th Street?  Bishop?  Why not Madison?  You'd avoid the need for any thoroughfare plan folderol and get a much more comfortable ride for bikes and motor vehicles.

Southernsector
Southernsector

It seems to me the city should have done all this research before they tried to impose flow control on the business community.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Dear Dallas Cyclist SUCKERS !That section of Davis St is the street that is going to be a test bed for the project ?Davis is one of the wickedest streets to travel on in a car much less a bicycle in Oak Cliff.Chalk Hill Rd ? I don't Drive My gas saving AVEO down Chalk Hill Rd.This shouts out sorry the Project Failed . But HEY at least "WE TRIED" City of Dallas Motto when they are forced to do things that they don't want to do .

Beware  the city of Dallas The Bones they are throwing you might be your own.

RTGolden
RTGolden

But, is that $16mill one of the '10 Drops in a Bucket' that the city has a SEED for?

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Yeah, I thought it was well established that cyclists were safer "taking the lane" than sharing the lane or using a dedicated bike lane.  It's amazing how fear outweighs the research.

Mike
Mike

The bike infrastructure does go on Seventh Street, between Zang and Rosemont. Davis is only used beyond those points. Read the "Notes" paragraph in line 2 on the implementation document.

Mike
Mike

Repeated below:

The bike infrastructure does go on Seventh Street, between Zang and Rosemont. Davis is only used beyond those points. Read the "Notes" paragraph in line 2 on the implementation document.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

When we talk About SeedThe city is Rhoda PenmarkAnd we are the Drowned Claude Daigle

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Yes I know. The area West of that is what I am talking about .Davis Is a crappy street .The 6 lanes into what ever west of Hampton Rd. Oh and we shouldn't forget that narrow Bridge just West of Plymouth. Davis needs major surface repair. And a street sweeper .Alternate Routes ?Jefferson viaduct to Colorado to FT Worth Ave Is a safer .Points west out to Davis. Commerce to Sylvan to Greenbriar to Colorado to Ft Worth Ave Points west to Davis Are a few options

What is with needing Davis in that area ?

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Shouldn't be a Test area Mike.BTW Beverly Hills  is my neighborhood How do you think I know it so well. I have ridden the area on a bike for a lot of years. I don't need to get on Davis to get places there are to many other options.Which is why I said this.

"That section of Davis St is the street that is going to be a test bed for the project ?Davis is one of the wickedest streets to travel on in a car much less a bicycle in Oak Cliff.

I think using DAVIS is extremely questionable Major work needs to be done for the street to be car friendly much less BIKE COMMUTER Friendly.I grew up in central Oak Cliff I guess that is why I realize there are other options Like the old Bike Routes we use to have to get around

Mike
Mike

My grandmother lived in the El Tivoli neighborhood from 1952 until she died in 2009...that's the neighborhood that is right in front of the area you're claiming should not have a bike lane (three blocks west of Davis and Plymouth). I also know that I see people that can't afford an AVEO throughout her neighborhood and many of them ride beat up old bicycles placing their lives at risk any time they want to ride to the corner store.

Just because you have enough money to afford a monthly car payment plus gas and insurance, doesn't mean the rest of Oak Cliff does.

Mike
Mike

Retail. There's no retail along Jefferson between Plymouth and downtown Cockrell Hill,  while on Davis there is several blocks worth. Forcing cyclists to use Jefferson over Davis places bicycling in a "regional/distance" only context, as opposed to what it needs to be...a strong local option for families with little means.

Bicycle infrastructure should be put in places where local residents will be able to have the easiest opportunity to access their basic needs (shopping, food, laundry, etc.) from their homes. I realize that bicycling may seem like a novelty to many, but it is an extremely viable and proven transportation option in places around the world, from Latin America to China. People that have low incomes stand the most to gain from not having to spend a large share of their paychecks on owning, operating, and maintaining a car. It might inconvenience your personal commute, but think about the bigger picture.

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