How might the bond improve cycling in the neighborhood?

(Photo by Danny Fulgencio)
Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Dallas is not known as a bicycle-friendly city. The urban sprawl and propensity for highways paved the way for cars to be the focus of development. But that could be changing as new urbanites move into the city center, and our neighborhood is leading the charge into a more cycle-centric culture.

The November bond has a number of projects that will make cycling in our neighborhood more accessible. The largest project is a Complete Street along Columbia and Main, which includes separated bike lanes, reduced traffic lanes and more public transport infrastructure. But there are other projects headed to the neighborhood.

Matilda, which runs parallel to Greenville Avenue, is set to be resurfaced if the bond passes, and with that resurfacing is a proposal to reduce the street from four traffic lanes to three, including a designated turn lane and marked bicycle lanes. There are two schools within a couple miles on the street, which used to be a trolley line, and the city is looking for ways to slow traffic down in the neighborhood, says City of Dallas Bicycle Transportation Manager Jared White.

Another initiative to slow traffic is planned on Richmond Avenue between Greenville and Abrams. White says the east-west thoroughfare is wide enough for four lanes, but the city wants to employ traffic calming measures, which could mean reducing right turn lanes such as the one at Richmond and Skillman. Designated bicycle lanes may also be installed, which would connect Greenville to the White Rock Lake area.

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Our neighborhood’s trails are set for expansions as well. The bond has plans for a bike trail to extend south from White Rock Lake and connect to the trails near the Trinity River Audubon Center. The Circuit Trail Conservancy is matching the city’s funds, and passing the bond would move Dallas one step closer to The Loop, a 50-mile bike trail that will connect White Rock Lake, the Great Trinity Forest and Downtown.

Additionally, the Katy Trail extension over Mockingbird will open next month, uniting Katy Trail to the lake. The SoPAC trail, which runs along the old rail line between White Rock Lake and Northwest Highway, is already under way and will be completed in the next two years with bond funding.

Early voting for the bond is underway, and can be done at Samuell-Grand Recreation Center.


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  • Los_Politico

    If we want Dallas to embrace bikes and bike lanes we need to make sure they are put in places where they will be used and will make the city more bike friendly. In our incremental approach to building a bike-friendly city we should not start with a street that will be underutilized. If you build a bike lane and no one uses it then the anti-bike folks will have any easy talking point next time we have money to expand the network.

  • stuart

    Well, I shouldn’t guess what Melanie meant but I read that as the transportation network as a whole is safer when you add bike lanes.

  • CitizenKane

    Stuart; Melanie said as much =

    “On-street (or street adjacent) bike lanes often are used differently
    than recreational trails, and help create a stronger network for safer
    and and more-direct accessing jobs, services, neighborhoods, and schools.”

  • stuart

    Nobody said bike lanes are safer than trails. Streets with bike lanes are safer than streets without bike lanes.

  • Los_Politico

    We seem to all be in agreement that street calming is a win for the neighborhood. I personally think less concrete is better– easier to cross the street on foot.

    I cycle from Lakewood to work downtown on occasion and much prefer the parallel routes of Swiss or Worth, people in HHSM would prefer the trail, no one would prefer Columbia.

  • Los_Politico

    All great reasons to narrow the street. I personally like the idea converting the excess land in a swap with developers.

  • inklenotrump

    the trail isn’t ideal. it would be if the bike lanes were given priority over the cars but it’s the other way around.

  • CitizenKane

    Utter non-sense to claim that bike lanes that are mixed with car and truck traffic are somehow safer than a bike trail with no such conflicting traffic?

    And in terms of convenience and un-interrupted transportation flow; the Santa Fe Trail is ideal – no stop lights every block, no intersecting traffic, no turning on/off from adjacent properties, no buses, no trucks, no cars.

  • CitizenKane

    Crosswalks with light signals?

  • CitizenKane

    Wrong analogy; claiming we need a 2nd set of bike lanes that parallel the already existing Santa Fe bike trail is like claiming we need another six-lane road paralleling the existing six-lane Columbia Avenue. We don’t.

  • stuart

    That’s like saying we don’t need Greenville Ave because we have Central Expressway. They just don’t serve the same purpose.

  • CitizenKane

    We don’t need “bike lanes” along Columbia because we already have them in the form of Santa Fe Trail.

  • Melanie Vanlandingham

    Good point – Routes to 3 schools cross Abrams/Columbia, and there’s the library as well. Three major neighborhood shopping areas are along this corridor, providing services to a variety of families and multi-generational users. Walking, biking, pushing strollers, folks in wheelchairs and walkers, seniors, folks with mobility and vision issues all need to cross this corridor to get to the store (at a minimum). Improving neighborhood safe access for everyone is a primary goal, along with beautification and boosting local businesses.

  • Melanie Vanlandingham

    Narrowing streets by removing traffic lanes that are not needed, and adding bike lanes don’t merely benefit those who use the street. Street narrowing reduces speeds and makes crosswalks (crossing that street) shorter and safer for everybody. Routes to three schools cross Abrams/Columbia. Three significant shopping areas are along this route, a library, and a senior-living development. Not everyone drives to the store or other businesses. Pedestrian deaths have increased in Dallas, particularly in neighborhoods with seniors and where biking and walking are necessities (rather than exercise). On-street (or street adjacent) bike lanes often are used differently than recreational trails, and help create a stronger network for safer and and more-direct accessing jobs, services, neighborhoods, and schools. There can also be areas dedicated to corridor tree planting and beautification. It will be a Complete Street – with a focus on the needs on all modes of moving along and across the street, beautification, improving access to local businesses and neighborhood services, and re-connecting residents to their neighborhood – safely.

  • Los_Politico

    I think bike lanes on Matilda is a great idea, for the record.

  • stuart

    Sorry, the article mentions two schools but that was about Matilda.

  • Los_Politico

    Why would a kid want to ride their bike to school on Columbia? What is the point to point you’re thinking of?

  • stuart

    What about people on bikes who want to access businesses along Columbia or kids who want to ride their bikes to school?

  • zeke

    There is an often misplaced causality involving bike-ability, which gives many people the wrong idea; they seem to think we don’t need bike lanes because nobody’s using them, but how can they be used if they aren’t there?! Complete Streets can only benefit a community – it has been proven in cities all across the United States.

    Bicycle (and other non-motorized) infrastructure is severely under-funded in Dallas. This is a great bond measure and I look forward to it passing!

  • CitizenKane

    Dallas taxpayers just paid for and built a bike path that connects from White Rock Lake to Deep Ellum. We do not need special bike lanes along a route that parallels the existing Santa Fe trail.

    A waste of taxpayer money; turn Columbia into 2 lanes each way and using the two lanes for pedestrian/landscaped buffers that beautify the corridor. And use certain parts of the converted ROW as incentive for development goals that the neighborhood wants.

    BTW, the Santa Fe Trail will be over 8 miles long when full implemented. There is no demonstrable need for bike lanes along Columbia Avenue.