December 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
In November, the Friends of Fair Park, in an attempt to wag the dog, setup a single bike share station to try and get the ball rolling on our city’s stagnating program. The Dallas Observer covered the event, spotlighting the ridiculous nature of having only one station sitting in a park that goes unused for most of the year. One of the obstacles facing the program was the city of Dallas’ interest in procuring bids from multiple vendors, which would normally be a good course of action, but the problem is that Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth, who all have bike shares in place with stations throughout their cities, are using a service from B-Cycle.
This same group operates in cities around the nation with a successful track record of planning and launching programs. Given that passes can be purchased once and used in every bike share program in Texas, it just makes sense to continue for continuity sake. Unfortunately, the back and forth that’s occurred due to over-analysis has left us years behind most every major city in the nation…or for that matter, the world.
At a time when our city is debating over spending billions on a tollroad that has dubious environmental ramifications, it’s notable that we are unable to find the time or resources to roll out a program that would cost less than 1% of the roadway project and impact communities throughout the city. Maybe it’s not all that surprising considering our ranking of “Worst City For Bicycling in the Nation.”
Fort Worth Bike Share
November 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
A couple of local, Oak Cliff advocates and BFOC board members have a start up company manufacturing cargo bicycles right here in Oak Cliff! Please help support them by checking out their rewards, many from other local businesses like Oil and Cotton and Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters! We’d love to see them reach their funding goal so they can design and build a new, scratch built cargo bicycle frame to compliment the recycled frames they’re currently building. Go to http://oakcliffcargobicycles.com/kickstarter or launch the campaign from the link below.
November 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
A rare opportunity to see the great bicycle documentary, Aftermass, and have the filmmaker, Joel Biel, in house for a Q and A at the end. Also, you’ll get to see it at the legendary Texas Theatre here in Oak Cliff, who is currently raising funds on Seed and Spark to get digital cinema . There will be a ride from Main St Garden to the event.
Check out the trailer:
Here are the details:
Meet Up Ride Location: Main St Garden, downtown Dallas
Meet Up Ride Time: 6:00 pm, depart 6:15 pm
Movie starts at 7:00 pm
November 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
Just received this interesting nugget about Downtown Dallas Inc working on a bike share plan with the city of Dallas.
The recent appearance of a private bike-sharing stand in the Dallas Arts District leads us to wonder just how far off public bike sharing might be for the city of Dallas at large. According to Kourtny Garrett, executive vice president of Downtown Dallas Inc., that day is a lot closer than you may think.
Garrett says that Downtown Dallas Inc., the nonprofit group that works to improve downtown on a number of levels, has recently been working with the City of Dallas and various neighborhood organizations to develop an integrative bike-sharing system.
“We have been doing a tremendous amount of research on systems in other cities and talking to operators and trying to figure out how to get the job done,” Garrett says. “Our goal is a system that would enable a user to, say, pick up a bike in Deep Ellum and drop it off in the West End. That entails finding one operator with compatible stations and the whole host of operational issues.”
“If we were to get the funding that we need today … you’re looking at a 12-month timeline,” says Kourtny Garrett of Downtown Dallas Inc.
Even though Garrett acknowledges that those issues are far from insignificant, she wants the public to know that solving them is one of the most important things they’re working on currently.
“There’s a huge economic component, and that’s really where we are right now — working through the profit and loss, working through a balance of the number of stations and number of bikes, and then working with the city on a public-private partnership that would entail sponsorships and grants,” Garrett says.
Still, even though public bike sharing is near the top of downtown Dallas’ agenda, don’t expect to see stands popping up next month.
“If we were to get the funding that we need today, in order to order all of the bikes and all the stations and have them installed in all the different locations, you’re looking at a 12-month timeline,” Garrett says.
And that’s only if the group had secured the necessary funding, something it has yet to do.
“There’s a plan in place — I wish I could give you a timeline, but I can’t right now because it all hinges on the funding — but there are a lot of components in the works because bike share is obviously something that’s very important to bring to Dallas and that we want to make happen with all of our partners,” Garrett says.
But when they do find sponsorships and other funding for the project, Garrett sees few other roadblocks toward its implementation.
“The city conceptually is on board,” Garrett says. “There are some things from an ordinance perspective that are already in place. But it’s really finding the dollars.”
While phase one of the project would focus on downtown and the surrounding area, Garrett envisions a time when it will become sustainable enough to go citywide.
“An important component of this is that you have all stations in a dense enough geography that it’s usable,” she says. “You don’t want to have a whole bunch of very disparate stations throughout the city that aren’t very usable.”
Garrett knows some segments of the city are clamoring for bike sharing, but she’s making sure they do their due diligence and not leaping before they look.
“What we don’t want to do is come out with a system that isn’t financially viable,” Garrett says. “And we want to make sure that the system also is very cost-effective for the user. We want something that’s accessible, that doesn’t preclude anyone from being able to afford to pull a bike out.
“I do think it’s important for the public to know that there are very serious conversations and very serious planning going on surrounding bike share, and that it will happen sooner rather than later.”
November 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
‘Ello Guvnor! BFOC is getting all dolled up once again for the 2014 Dallas Tweed Ride on Sunday, November 23rd. Once again we’ll meet at the Grassy Knoll in downtown Dallas at 1:30PM, ride through downtown, inside of Dallas Heritage Village, across the Houston bridge (if it’s completed), through Bishop Arts, and on to the Turner House in North Oak Cliff. Oddfellows Restaurant will sponsor the activities on the lawn including tug-of-war, jousting, and more! Matt Tolentino of the Singapore Slingers will be back performing accordion on the lawn, and there’ll be plenty of beer. The Facebook event is here.
It will be the perfect backdrop for the ride and we’ll plan on having a series of over-the-top British games inspired by the Chap Olympiad:
If you’re still looking for outfit ideas, be sure to stop by some of the event sponsor’s shops like Zola’s Everyday Vintage in the Bishop Arts District, and House of MacGreggor hats who are both offering discounts to all riders.
November 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
Dressing in tweed this time of year in Dallas just feels right, so that’s why BFOC presents the annual Dallas Tweed Ride on November 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm. We will ride from the infamous Grassy Knoll, staging from behind the white fence and take a nice, leisurely ride around downtown, ending in Oak Cliff at the Turner House. There we’ll have games, a band, food truck, and some delicious beverages so bring some cash. Wear your favorite Tweed, fancy dress, or steam punk outfit to look your best for all of the Dallasites who will be watching and waving you on!