Downtown Dallas Now Has a Working Network of Bike Lanes

Categories: Transportation

SharedBikeLaneDallasTrinityTrails.jpg
Dallas Trinity Trails
When the city first began putting down bike lanes last year, it was hard to divine if there was any grander vision than simply flinging paint at random patches of asphalt. In a century or so, we figured, they'd coalesce into the long-awaited Dallas Bike Plan. Until then, we were left to puzzle over how a lonely mile of bike lane on Malcolm X Boulevard or Main Street was supposed to help cyclists get any place useful.

But wait. It seems that logic has emerged from the expanding tangle of bike paths. On Saturday, the city, DART and various trail groups will unveil the CentraLink, which is the somewhat awkward name for the cluster of bike lanes downtown that now connect all the downtown-area trails -- the Santa Fe, Katy and Trinity Strand -- with Union Station and the the Jefferson Cycle Track.

See also
- City Will Add 70 Miles of Bike Lanes by the End of 2014. Beyond that, Things Get Complicated.
- To The Guy Who Thought It Was Funny to Shoot Me With a Paintball Gun on the Santa Fe Trail: You're a Dick

Think about it. You can now get from White Rock to Uptown, or from Uptown to Oak Cliff, or from Oak Cliff to the Design District without ever leaving some form of bike infrastructure.

The city linked the Santa Fe and Katy Trail several months ago. DART chipped in recently to extend the network to the Trinity Strand and to Jefferson.

Jared White, a transportation planner with the city who lives downtown, says the bike lanes have already attracted more cyclists. He expects those numbers to grow now that additional connections are complete.

The fact that these are shared lanes with no barrier between bikes and cars will likely discourage some riders, but the mere existence of a clear way to get from Point A to Point B starts to make cycling seem like a reasonable transportation option. It's a step, anyway.

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61 comments
kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

5 PM on Friday (last week).......weekend and holiday traffic, and some fat  guy was riding his bicycle on Parker Road in Plano, holding up traffic, as he was cruising along in a/on a presumed heroin induced haze.......get on the f+cking bike trail tubby?  Now every a+shole from here to Denton realizes he he can clog up a lane to ride his freakin' bike on the road? 

Monica Pinon
Monica Pinon

And apparently, they're for drunken cyclists. Good luck finding straight lines!

audiojunkie10
audiojunkie10

This is quite misleading as "sharrows" are not actual bike lanes. They're simply adding signs to illuminate rights bicycles already have on the road. When we get actual bike lanes there might be something to throw a headline at, but I feel this "milestone" just shows how far Dallas has to go.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I was driving up bishop the other day where they have a bike lane.  There were 3 bikers, 2 were biking side by side with the 3rd in the actual vehicle lane.  after following the guy in the car lane for 20 seconds he finally drops in behind the other 2 allowing me to pass, but it was still a dangerous pass with the other 2 bikers riding side by side. You wanted your fucking bike lanes so you could be safer, maybe they should use them and not side by side either.  

Threeboys
Threeboys

I'm totally down with the "share the road" movement as long as the bikers obey the same traffic laws as drivers on the same road. Namely, stop signs.

Car has to stop, so should bike.

Quinn Bogar
Quinn Bogar

Brutal Pothole Problem > Bike Lanes - The correction of one leads to a better experience of the other!

Nairb Retseik
Nairb Retseik

Good job Dallas. Keep up this foreward thinking for another 20 years and you just might grow up to be Ft. Worth. Oh, and get rid of your city council, they're making you all look like idiots.

Hillary Whitehead
Hillary Whitehead

From personal experience living and riding around downtown, I must warn bikers they chose lanes with a ton of potholes. Be careful.

Pebble+Pine
Pebble+Pine

This is great! Now people can ride safely from Oak Cliff through downtown

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

Bike lanes? The very large shirtless backhair guy clogging traffic on Abrams every morning did not get the memo.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Somebody should tell those delivery people from Jimmy John's about the bike lanes so they can get the hell off the sidewalks.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@Efriam Antonio Garza 


Eric, I thought we were going to ban people from Facebook?  

snpeebles
snpeebles

@ScottsMerkin I guessing you never got a bike for Christmas. I don't defend other biker's bad riding. I make mistakes riding my bike just like when I drove.  The main problem is your vehicle will probably kill me if you make a mistake. My mistakes will just annoy you. See the difference? You're living proof that smug assholes drive cars and bikes. 

EliotLandrum
EliotLandrum

@ScottsMerkin It's ok for you to change lanes to pass. Sometimes we enjoy being socialable and riding side-by-side. Bishop isn't usually very busy. Simply change lanes when there's no oncoming traffic.

gangstead1
gangstead1

@ScottsMerkin The other day I saw a car driver do something dangerous and represent all car drivers everywhere.

GlenW
GlenW

When riding my bike, I will stop at stop signs whenever other cars, or bikes, are stopped.

EliotLandrum
EliotLandrum

@Threeboys I agree that cyclists should obey the rules to encourage civility, and I encourage it among my cycling friends. However, what you're asking for (100% compliance before acceptance) is impossible and illogical. Motorists break the law all the time (speed much?) and no one says "if motorists obey the rules, THEN they can use the road". (I wouldn't mind if that were the case, though!) The law says that I, as a driver of a car and a bike, have the right to the road.

brint.crockett
brint.crockett

@Threeboys The nice thing to do when seeing a bike approach a 4 way stop intersection, is to let him roll right through. Getting back to speed is more difficult for the bicyclist than for you in a vehicle, and it may cost you all of 2 seconds. This is common practice in Chicago.

audiojunkie10
audiojunkie10

@Threeboys Does this also apply to speed limits and turn signals?

snpeebles
snpeebles

@Hillary Whitehead No Shit! Main St. is awash in potholes.

EliotLandrum
EliotLandrum

@Lakewooder per Texas law, cyclists are allowed to use the full lane on any non-highway. You probably sat at the stop light longer than that cyclist delayed you. He's part of traffic too.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I couldn't change but I wasnt in a hurry, no biggie. thanks for the reasonable response

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@gangstead1 @ScottsMerkin the problem with your argument is that most bikers behavior mimmicks each other far more so than vehicles.  You dont see drivers coming here to defend each other over shitty driving skills, but bikers will defend each other running stops signs and ignoring traffic laws and sharing horrible riding tactics to piss off cars.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@EliotLandrum @Threeboys  

Based upon my own observations the compliance rate among bicyclists is far, far lower than for automobile drivers.


At a four way stop, my expectation is that the automobile will come to a complete stop and that the bicycle will blow through the stop sign.


I'll settle for similar (higher) compliance rates.

Threeboys
Threeboys

@brint.crockett @Threeboys 

Well, since we're all being nice here.

It takes longer for an electric car to get up to speed than an SUV.  Should we let them blaze stop signs too?

doublecheese
doublecheese

@brint.crockett @Threeboys The problem I have always seen with doing the "nice thing" in traffic, is that it causes confusion.  It makes a predictable situation unpredictable.  That is dangerous without a steel cage to protect you.  As a cyclist, I would prefer that things stay predictable, and that I be expected to stop and wait my turn.

To other cyclists: PLEASE stop at stop signs and stop lights.  PLEASE signal your turns.  PLEASE be visible and predictable.  I don't care if motorists break the law all day, every day.  It doesn't excuse you from obeying the law.  If that doesn't seem fair to you, tough shit.  Life isn't fair.  

snpeebles
snpeebles

@ScottsMerkin @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Wow dude, you seriously hate bikes! I read most DO posts about biking around town and you've always have something negative to say. I wish the fuck you would try to knock me off my bike, asshole.

EliotLandrum
EliotLandrum

@ScottsMerkin One of the things I really dislike about bike lanes (besides the horrid safety implications at intersections) is that they take away the opportunity to be sociable while riding with friends. Not all of us want them, FYI. [And look! I figured out how to spell sociable. ;) ]

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I believe you started the trolling with your generic quip.

gangstead1
gangstead1

@ScottsMerkin @gangstead1 Oh dear I've wandered right over the troll's bridge and now his nonsensical comments are targeting me.  Perhaps drivers band together at a perceived common enemy on two wheels as a way to defend each other's shitty driving skills.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@Threeboys @brint.crockett  

SUVs and large heavy duty pickups have a greater weight and more energy to dissipate when stopping.  We should be more energy conscious and thrifty and allow the large SUVs and pickups to roll through stop signs.

brint.crockett
brint.crockett

@Threeboys @tom434 @ELFlaco714

Didn't mean to enrage anyone. Just sharing what I've observed, and that from my perspective it worked quite well to optimize some four-way intersections, even if it wasn't law. 

Regarding your point about electric vehicles, I imagine empathy was part of the consideration in this unwritten rule playing out.

Tom434
Tom434

@ElFlaco714 @brint.crockett @Threeboys Because they lead the country in dooring.  The practice of opening your car door as a cyclist goes by and knocking the hell out of them.  Yes it is against the law.

snpeebles
snpeebles

@ScottsMerkin @snpeebles @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I hate bike riders who go on sidewalks too, so we're never going to run into each other. Feel free to assault anyone you like. You can tell your fellow inmates at Lew Sterritt all about it. I'm sure they'll be very impressed with your story.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@snpeebles @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I dont hate bikes, I love them on trails and obeying road rules on the streets.  I hate the mother fucker who feels the need to use the street and sidewalk as it pleases him, especially when the mother fucker almost hit, so yeah, If Im walking on the sidewalk in downtown and you nearly hit me, I may take you down for being an asshole cyclist

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