Dallas Is the Worst When It Comes to Cycling to Work? Gee, Can't Imagine Why. No, Wait ...

Categories: Transportation
bikechart.jpg
Alliance for Biking & Walking
I've been trying since daybreak to reach Max Kalhammer, the city's bike coordinator, to talk about the not-at-all-surprising results of the Alliance for Biking & Walking's 2012 Benchmarking Report, which says we're one of the worst big cities in the entire country when it comes to people riding their bikes to work. Kalhammer's one of those who provided the ABW with stats; he's mentioned up front. As I was about to give up, I was told moments ago to expect a call from Theresa O'Donnell, head of Sustainable Development, later in the day. So ... yeah.

Anyway. Like I said, the results of the report aren't surprising. Because, you know, we have zero miles of bike lanes. Because they cost a billion dollars, or close to, even though they don't have to, as Jim pointed out a few weeks back. As Jason Roberts put it today, "It's almost like [some city officials] are plugging their ears, going, 'Nonononononono.'"

I called the Bike Friendly Oak Cliff-dweller when I didn't hear from Kalhammer. Roberts has his meeting at City Hall today to see about getting funding for the Jefferson Avenue Viaduct bike lanes, a top priority in the new Bike Plan. We'll see how that goes. Anyway. I asked him about this morning's report, which he's yet to read. I told him where Dallas ranks on the bikes-to-work scale. "Surprise," he said, but not like he meant it.

"It's like banging your head against the wall," he said. "People go: 'Well, see, nobody bikes here.' It's because you have no infrastructure."
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64 comments
Brad Done
Brad Done

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Loki Laufeyson
Loki Laufeyson

I live 6 bikeable miles from my job, but when I decided to bike there rather than drive, my boss had a conniption fit. The weather was mild and the wind wasn't unmanageable (it was a great week, LOL!) but she had this vision of a smelly, sweaty "athlete" who was going to stink up the clinic. Never mind that I kept my clean uniforms in my locker, took a shower BEFORE leaving with antibacterial soap and applied plenty of deodorant to the areas that typically sweat and start smelling, and I would freshen up before my shift. She admitted that I didn't reek of sweat and BO when I got to work, but she still banned me from bicycle commuting. Yes, BANNED, as in I would be written up if I kept cycling to work. I was supposed to do my cycling at White Rock Lake or someplace like that. I didn't have the heart to tell her that my route takes me through White Rock for most of the distance! Yet she also harps constantly about how much gasoline and pollution we Americans use and generate with our cars, as she hops into her little Prius. Ha, what she doesn't know is that I take a one hour ride every day on our 2.5-hour lunch break! :)

William
William

So, where exactly does it say that you can't ride without a bike lane?  Are you going to spend your days whining about a lack of marked bike lanes or are you going to get your helmet on, follow the traffic laws, and take to the road like the rest of us?  Besides, do you think a bike lane is going to magically make it safe or wonderful for you to ride even if the money was there to paint the lanes?  Until we taxpayers are willing to fork over some money to make these types of things happen, we're going to have to make due with what we have.  Complaining about it isn't doing anything.

Elsando
Elsando

How about elevated bike lanes? Zipping down 35 about a hundred feet in the air - nice view too?

Willie
Willie

The daydreamers who fantasize about a simpler life involving riding your bike to work in a large city need to pull their heads out of their assess.  Recreational, yep.  For work, nope.

Marcy
Marcy

Who wants to show up at work clammy and sweaty with your clothes jammed in backpack? Commuting on a bicycle makes sense if you live less than five miles away from work and you wash dishes for a living.

Sa
Sa

No, nobody bikes here because of the lousy climate.  Windy, rainy (most years) and cold from Nov-Mar, hot from Jun-Sep.  How can you bike to work in the summer unless you can take a shower once you get there? And I would be most office buildings don't have showers,  The ones I've worked in didn't unless there was an on-site fitness center.

Come on y'all, this isn't Seattle, San Francisco, or Portland.

NealK
NealK

This bicycle cargo cult drumbeating is getting tiresome.  A lack of infrastructure is not the reason we don't ride bikes to work in Dallas.  It's the heat and humidity.  We are vain but practical people.  Bike route or not, most people don't want to show up for work wet and sweaty.

Dalguy
Dalguy

Half a billion in bonds for the Omni Light Show Hotel and zilch for bike lanes pretty well spells out Dallas City values.

Richard Wharton
Richard Wharton

www.cyclingsavvydfw.org, Feb 3 and 4. Come learn Truth and Techniques --- if you want. Surprised that City Council will listen to someone who advocates infrastructure and not education, when one is far cheaper than the other, can be implemented immediately, is truly effective, and creates options you never thought might exist. Robert - when was the last time you commuted to work, and if not, why not come take the class?

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

I still haven't heard a valid argument about the expense of having bike lanes, when Dallas has a litany of other problems to allocate money to.  Everyone just comes in here, and spouts off about bikers rights, blah blah blah.......I get that, but, most of us don't care.  And that is how you know when an issue is pertinent.  I realize you can't get across the Trinity on a bike-I'm real sorry!  I can't get to Oklahoma on my bike; it's called reality.  Fix your crappy schools, decaying streets and drug addled neighborhoods, and will  I personally come down on a Saturday, and paint a bike lane.  Calling for change is good......asking for change when Rome is burning is just plain dumb.  Affecting a change is also good, but throwing a cup of water on a forest fire is completely impractical. 

ps-Get an elliptical bike. ________

List of Dallas City Priorities:

1)Schools2) Streets3)Gangs..............................................................................................................................................................1487) Getting bike lanes. 

Rider
Rider

Biking to work is impracticle for most people which is why they don't do it. Unless bike lanes are seperated physically from traffic they offer virtually no protection and little benefit based on their cost. How many people do you see using the bike racks on Dart buses? Dallas isn't Europe or China and the sooner people realize that the sooner the city can begin focusing on improving basic services and quit spending money on projects that will never have a pay back. 

Silmaril
Silmaril

There is no way on God's green earth I am going to bike to, and more importanly from, work in this environment.

Denise
Denise

Maybe it's because the cops keep stopping riders on the road and telling them to get on the sidewalk.  At least that's what they do up here in the north suburbs.  Sheesh!

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

It's not the absence of infrastructure that keeps me from riding the 5 miles to my office, it is the presence of Audi-driving, texting-while-driving, self-absorbed douchebags on the roads who find it too big of an inconvenience to fully exit my lane while passing me.

Plano has recently added "Bicycles May Take The Entire Lane" signs on a lot of roads.  I'll give that message a few months to sink in and I'll try it again.

baghdad4lovers
baghdad4lovers

If they add some sweet jumps to the bike plan, i'm behind it...100%! Party on, dudes!

LaceyB
LaceyB

DART isn't being very awesome either. I just got a ticket for pressing the "reduced one-way" button instead of the "full-price one way" button. $.20 difference = $50 fine. In considering whether to pass me on, the lady asks, "Where stop are you getting off?" I says, "Cityplace." She wrote the ticket. I wonder if I had said "Oak Cliff" if she would passed me by? Smells like discrimination. And udder idiocy. From now on, I'm walking to school, and drinking Maker's the entire way there.

SWMDAL
SWMDAL

Some years ago, I worked as a banker in Austin. I rode my bike about four miles each way to work, partly on bike lanes and partly through slow-moving traffic on the UT campus and downtown. When I got to work, I swabbed off with wintergreen rubbing alcohol in lieu of a shower (I took a shower before leaving home.)  I parked my bike locked up to a fence at the entrance to the parking garage in view of the guard. I never had any problems doing this year-round, and it saved me the monthly parking fee, as well as keeping me in shape. This was back when Lance Armstrong was still riding his tricycle in Plano. :-)

Nice
Nice

Apparently Austin, Tucson, and New Orleans didn't get the memo about being "too hot" for people to bicycling in.

shortbusbasementdweller
shortbusbasementdweller

That shit about the cargo cults describes Dallas to a t! Fake suspension bridges, convention center hotels, the Woodall Rogers Park.....my minds been blown!

G_David
G_David

Gangs are no. 3 on your list?  That's funny.

kf9as
kf9as

I use the DART bike racks all the time. However, I have also found that it's usually faster to ride my bike to wherever it is that I 'm going rather than waste my time on DART. Given that the rail station is 3 miles/20 bike minutes from my house but it takes 2 buses and an hour to get there on DART... I am better off just hopping on the Trek and riding to my destination. Chances are, I'll be there before the bus even gets me to the rail station. I know many more people that will ride a bike before they'll ride DART. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!

Anon
Anon

can you name a road that has paid us back? I'm still waiting for the check

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

No way, it's either 120 degrees, or 45 and windy....and then EVERYONE is driving 100 MPH, and half of those folks don't have a license or insurance.  I'd walk before I took a bike to work.  Besides, I wouldn't want my co workers to LAUGH at me......nothing is more lame.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Maybe you should take the training wheels and streamers off and they'll think you can handle it.

Seriously though, name these cities. I call bullshit.

Subnx
Subnx

I bet your slow lane hogging ass smells real good when you get to the office.

Subnx
Subnx

I bet your slow lane hogging ass smells real good when you get to the office.

db
db

me too

Guest
Guest

Why did you push the button?

Storm_71
Storm_71

I'll hold the bottle for you and bring the limes.

Mooburb
Mooburb

Udder idiocy?  Are cows involved in this somehow?

Anon
Anon

you must have a high tolerance for heat. forget the issue of smell/shower - I'd be drenched even in mildly warm weather. of course, I'd drive a car even if biking were relatively convenient. taking a subway/train, on the other hand, I'd consider.

NealK
NealK

My half-serious reply:

They wear shorts to work in Austin - perfect for bicycling.  Tucson is all dry heat, no humidity, and cooler in the early mornings and evenings.  New Orleans: smelly, gross yet kind of charming, much like people who ride their bikes five miles to work in 90º and 90% humidity. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

No sir, that's practical.  Cars-road.  Fish-sea. Grass-yard.  Bikes-sidewalks/bike trails. 

______________

Just because you ride yer bike once a month, and squeeze your GIANT body into a Lance Armstrong costume, it doesn't give you the right to go 5mph on the road; causing all manner of confusion and traffic.  Ya'll just do it cause it's a bit-admit it......it's makes you happy causing chaos!

shortbusbasementdweller
shortbusbasementdweller

Makes me thirsty for a milkshake and burger. If I only had something other than this stupid bike, i'd go get one. Stupid, stupid bicycles :(

LaceyB
LaceyB

Cows, wait, what?? There was a fake pig involved, if memory serves. Wait, what?

Guest
Guest

Uh, maybe start doing some cardio and you won't be "drenched" by a short bike ride in warm weather?

Guest
Guest

Everyone, please excuse Kergo. He's a buffoon.

fast guy
fast guy

not a morning commute you don't.  maybe on your weekend morning group ride, maybe.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Look I know, and I don't care....bikes belong on THE SIDEWALK, so they don't get run over!  This isn't Portland, ok.

Kdstagg
Kdstagg

Kergo -- as a longtime cyclist, I average about 20-23 mph on my bike.  Explain how I am supposed to do that on a sidewalk?  The simple answer is YOU CANT.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Too much; I was done after "course, ".  Just stay off the road, you freakin' creators of chaos!  Like I always say, go ride your bike around the block. But you can't block traffic, and create chaos when you do that....AND THEN people can't see you in yer fancy Lance dud's.  Lame.  When I ride a bike, guess what?  I use the frickin' bike trail.  Kergie out!  Go Pats.

Intellectualdiot
Intellectualdiot

Of course, even I have to admit that my argument takes a leap of faith in assuming that bikers who are riding in traffic (as is within their legal limits) are doing so in lieu of the presence of a clear and adjacent sidewalk path.  Dallas is charged in equal turns of being unfriendly to pedestrians and being unfriendly to bikers and my knee-jerk reaction was determined by adopting that stance. I apologize for my presumption. Still I'm sceptical of this strange reality you've constructed wherein the only persons interested in biking are either obese or training for the Tour de France... it is entirely possible for bikes and automobiles to co-exist on the road even in the absence of dedicated bicycle boulevards and proper trails. Hardly ideal, but possible....That said, please don't recommend that everyone just drive cars and be done with it, since that completely avoids the issue of needing to establish effective, alternative means of transportation in a city perennially beset by traffic jams and aggressive, lead-footed drivers. :)

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