Dallas' New Strategy For Revitalizing Fair Park: Bike Sharing

Categories: Park and Rec

AntwerpBikeShare.jpg
TheEnvironmentBlog.com
Whatever "dramatic ideas" Dallas' new task force will propose to revitalize Fair Park now that the summer amusement park has gone belly up are still months, if not years, away.

In the meantime, the city is moving forward with smaller initiatives aimed at attracting visitors to the park. Key among these is Mayor Mike Rawlings' "Turn on the Lights" program, which got $1.4 million in funding in the current budget. It's gone mostly unnoticed because there's not been much to notice. So far, it's been spent mostly on doing things like running the fountains every day and literally turning on the lights to make Fair Park a slightly more inviting place.

It will be more difficult to ignore the next item on the agenda: Dallas' first bike-share program. The Park Board will decide on Thursday whether to give the nonprofit Friends of Fair Park up to $125,000 to make it happen.

See also: Fair Park's Summer Amusement Venture Is Dead. Is Anyone Surprised?

This is a far cry from Fort Worth's $1 million bike-share initiative, which debuted last year. Craig Holcomb, FFP president, says Fair Park will likely be home to a pair of bike-rental stations.

Other details, like which company will run the program and rental costs, will be hammered out later.

Holcomb says that Fair Park's size -- it's 277 acres of historic art deco buildings and cultural facilities -- is one of its biggest assets. But it's also one of its biggest drawbacks, since it can be too big to comfortably navigate on foot. Visitors will be more inclined to come and explore if they can do so on two wheels.

The current plan is to have the bike-share stations in place by late spring or early summer. Holcomb says there's a "sense of urgency" when it comes to revitalizing Fair Park

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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53 comments
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

They should rent 4-wheeled bikes that have a big basket in the back part.  The cats would love an outing in the Park on a bike.

volitionspark
volitionspark

By the way, why do any of you care?  Do any of you actually live in the City? Oh yeah, Lakewood.

volitionspark
volitionspark

They have things like this in Europe. I am glad to see it, though the Black Forest or something isn't nearby.  The Fair Park area is beautiful, and quiet. I will be taking advantage of this.

volitionspark
volitionspark

If these idiots had let more people know Fair Park was open this summer, it would have made money. People kept waiting and waiting to hear this and nothing.  Then we hear that it WAS open and no one came. Really? Why is there a media campaign for every other idiotic thing and nothing about that?

casiepierce
casiepierce

They have these all over Minneapolis and St Paul and people use them all the time.

carter.robertg
carter.robertg

I can barely stop laughing at yet another idea out of City Hall to type the word STUPID!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

At least when this fails it won't cost anyhere close to the $30 Million spent on the amusement park fiasco.

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

Sounds like a good idea, but actually, Dallas is awfully hot in the summer, and only if white-collar workers like to sweat like an orange pulled out of the freezer would I advise bike sharing for commuters.  


From 1980 through 1986, I commuted to work by bicycle because bicycles make perfect sense in terms of living with a low overhead like the dude in the "Being John Malkovich" movie, the man who works on the seven-and-a-half floor and has to stoop simply in order to get to the file cabinet that sends him through a tunnel where he gets dumped on the side of a freeway. 

When I worked as a cashier at the old Skaggs-Alpha-Beta grocery location at Mockingbird and Abrams, the ride to and from work (I lived on Oram at the time) was pleasant and refreshing after a long day standing there checking groceries in the fast lane.  Since my girlfriend at the time lived only a few blocks away from that job location, it was especially convenient to drop by her home on Kenwood after work--where I would wait on her porch until she opened the door to let me in, always a matter of excellent timing. 

Then, while working first as a page and then as a clerk at the downtown library, that ride down McKinney Avenue was exhilarating in the morning--and a way to just crush the tension riding back to the apartment at night.  Of course, because locals in 2,000 pound automobiles have about as much sense as a box full of hair, at least insofar as dealing with bicycle commuters, I had to be quite aggressive, take the right lane to myself and ignore the dummies honking behind me.  Carrying my work clothes in a backpack, I could change in the employee restroom, clean off a little and be ready to work.  The parking garage at the library had a bicycle rack. 

I miss bicycling a great deal.  My RA, having stricken my back, does not allow me to bicycle as I once loved to do--21 to 47 miles a day in the early 1990s.  Not to brag, but during the first Hotter Than Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, 1981, I kept up with the U.S. Air Force Olympic Training Team for the first half of the race, and then took the rest of the 100 easy.  Fun in the sun. 

Sure did beat bloated auto insurance costs, bloated gasoline prices, bloated maintenance costs, and because bicycles are relatively simple to repair with the proper tools, I could take care of myself without excessive payment to banks, lending institutions, and better, I was not guilty of adding to the disgusting air pollution car culture in Dallas seems to take for granted. 

My favorite bicycling experiences?  Waiting for the light at Northwest Highway and Lawther when Chuck Norris, also riding the White Rock Trail, shimmied-up and said "BOO!".  And, in first place, waiting at the light at Exposition Park, when a nice Black lady oozed forward, took one look at me and then used her automated door locks. 

I flashed her the POWER TO THE PEOPLE! fist and laughed. 

bushwood.smithie
bushwood.smithie

It wouldn't be "Dallas' first bike-share program."


There was a similar program on the Katy Trail, but ended quickly once all the bikes were stolen. I haven't been to the far north end of the trail lately, but I believe the lockers are still there.

patrick.j.kennedy
patrick.j.kennedy

I've got a feasibility study in the works on bike-sharing in Dallas. 125k is not nearly enough and it needs to be part of a much broader network.  But, it could be enough to pay for the Fair Park 'phase' of expansion or one portion of the starter network.

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

Fine with having bike share in Fair Park, but how about other places where people actually use bikes - like the Katy Trail and White Rock?

monstruss
monstruss

I'm ok with this. It's a lot of fun to ride around Fair Park on a Sunday afternoon, because it's usually dead quiet and there's a lot of room to haul ass around. 

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

I hope they will be solar power...just like our water taxis.

Voot
Voot

I bet there will be big demand for these once Wick's crew gets 345 torn down. People will drive in to where 345 once was, exclaim "What?!?", then park their cars, get out, hunt around for one of these, and take off like a bat out of hell.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

How long do think it will be before the first one shows up at a scrap yard on S. Lamar and the scrapper professes no knowledge of it being stolen?

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

Yeah, brilliant idea. Rent out bikes, and work out exactly where you'd go on them later. Craig Holcomb has been hanging out a lot with Sam Adams, the former mayor of Portland, hasn't he? I ask because Portland is currently covered with idiotic "I don't care if it's profitable or even sane, because it's sooooo cool" ideas that cost a hell of a lot more than Adams claimed they'd run, and the only people who made any money on these moron plans were Sam's buddies and mentors within the Portland development community.


In fact, let me make a suggestion to Mr. Holcomb on running Fair Park like Portland. Let's take the money he's planning to blow on bike rentals, and on all of his other brilliant ideas, and get it into a pile of big bills. Then we're going to put another $389.99 on the bill. That's the cost of a brand new 212cc chipper/shredder from Harbor Freight, and we're going to run all of that money through the wood chipper and spread it out on the flower beds. It'll accomplish the same exact thing as all of his other plans, and the cleanup will cost the public a hell of a lot less.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Cant wait for Carolyn Davis to start complaining (like she did Uber) because "her people" won't be able to use them.

Daniel
Daniel

@volitionspark  Um, Lakewood is probably something like 2.25 miles as the crow flies from Fair Park. I would say Lakewood residents are legitimate stakeholders. (No, I don't live in Lakewood.)

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

@volitionspark  I care a lot about Fair Park. I've given money to Friends of Fair Park and I went to Summer Adventures last year. 


I want big, bold ideas to revitalize the neighborhood and the park. Bike share would be great, but it's just a gimmick at this point.

volitionspark
volitionspark

@gordonhilgers  People here are not known to be nice to Black people, so it reflects back. I have smiled and waved at lots of people, even asked questions like "Where did you get that pizza?" and haven't been given so much as a Hello.  Coldness begats coldness. I remember when Albertson's was Skaggs Alberstons then Skaggs Alpha Beta, yes.  But I was a child.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

JFC, did anyone in this city not live on Oram at one point? The other day The Hardline mentioned both Oram and La Vista. I've lived on both.

ruddski
ruddski

Just out of curiosity, why did Chuck say BOO?

My favorite bicycling experience in Texas was when I gave the thing to Goodwill.

volitionspark
volitionspark

@bushwood.smithie  Seriously, who wants those bikes? I have never seen anyone (other than the renters) riding those kinds of bikes. 

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

I salute you sir standing up for yourself today in the DMN. Well done.

volitionspark
volitionspark

@lakewoodhobo  Oh God.  Another person from Lakewood who thinks they are the only person living in Dallas.  People would like to use bikes to ride around Fair Park, too. Katy Trail & White Rock get plenty of attention. Oh yeah, by the way, why don't you all clean up White Rock?

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Fair Park is actually a great bike ride. Give it a try some time.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

They have a transponder that locates them. Too bad your truck didn't have one. Ultimately it's the card holders responsibility just like renting a car.

volitionspark
volitionspark

@LeroyJenkem  Portland is a great place to live. I would be glad to see things they have there adopted here.  As for cost, we waste millions placating evil Highland Park people who give nothing to the city (not even their taxes), so we might as well do this, too.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@LeroyJenkem Actually a way to make your idea work and make money in the process.  Take the $125,000 they want to spend on the bike rental thing, break it up into weekly drawings of $5,000.  I think the 'Summer Fun' thing last year was a $30 admission.  You'd only have to draw 4200 people to the park over a 25-week period to recoup the $125k.  That's 168 people per week.  A chance to win $5k is more likely to get me to go to FP in the middle of July than the opportunity to wait in line to ride a rental bike through a concrete cauldron.

volitionspark
volitionspark

@Sharon_Moreanus  Excuse me?  Plenty of us can and will use them. As long as the idea doesn't get axed. And she has the right to say what she feels like any of the rest of you or politicians or whomever.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@TexMarine @volitionsparkI never saw an ad or a billboard or heard a radio commercial for Fair Park, but I heard and saw a lot for Six Flags and water parks and every other outdoor in Texas summer heat place.


Daniel
Daniel

@volitionspark @gordonhilgers  Hmm. And asking a stranger "where did you get that pizza" is usually such a foolproof conversation-starter. 

Daniel
Daniel

@P1Gunter  I've lived on both Oram and LaVista, for a couple of years each. Why is LaVista Court a big diff? I always liked that block, but it's not a "big diff." It's the next block up. Some of the buildings are sadly falling into disrepair now.

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

@volitionspark Calm down. I've taken my bike to Fair Park several times and encourage others to do the same. I'm also a huge supporter of bike share, but my point was that if Fair Park is to serve as some sort of pilot program for bike share, it'll likely fail due to lack of interest.

Bike share needs to be a citywide initiative with multiple kiosks in different parts of the city.

ruddski
ruddski

@bvckvs

It worked out just great until the Republicans stole all the bikes.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@bvckvs I'm curious.  Do you keep a straight face while you type shit like that?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@Sharon_Moreanus  

Except at Fair Park, after a law abiding citizen rents the bike, meanders outside the gates, and encounters a local who wishes to "borrow" that bike, it may be difficult to return it.

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

@volitionspark @Sharon_Moreanus  In the Uber debate, she made the incorrect claim that Uber only accepts credit cards and it amounted to some sort of racism. It was complete BS, because Uber accepts debit cards as well as Paypal.

ruddski
ruddski

The bike rentals might require photo ID.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@Daniel In my day, LV Ct was really cool. Walk to lower Greenville, and the street itself was so unlike anything else in Dallas. Very urban feel. I wish there were whole neighborhoods like that street. Not a lot of wasted space for lawns that nobody uses, but plenty of covered porches and balconies to hang out on.

ruddski
ruddski

@tpfkap

If Dallas cops do locate your stolen bike, they'll probably shoot it.

volitionspark
volitionspark

@Montemalone @Sharon_Moreanus  The "locals" as you call them aren't even around on weekends.  The kids stay closer to the school to hang out.  The homeless go nearer to the grocery store.  Rehashing hackneyed stereotypes about people you don't know doesn't change the fact that this is a good idea that can work.

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