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.
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.