Is Dallas part of the League?

The League of American Bicyclist (LAB) is currently lobbying for legislation in Congress that promotes the Complete Streets concept.  Basically, the bill requires state and local agencies to build roadways that can be used by all, not just cars.  And yes, that means bike lanes!  Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that a bike coordinator of any city would work to prevent something the LAB strongly supports??

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  1. No, please do explain what is “odd” about someone thinking for himself rather than simply accepting whatever some organization says just because it has “Bicyclist” in its name. Many people are unhappy with what the LAB has become over the last 10 years.

    I don’t automatically believe everything that the LAB or Mr. Geller says but I certainly don’t believe everything Mr. Summers says either.

  2. The “many people” you mention, are actually the small Vehicular Cyclists faction, which you belong to. There’s nothing wrong with that…in fact, VC is perfect for a city the size of Duluth, but for a major metropolitan city like Dallas, being held hostage to a thoroughly discounted philosophy by a single person, is detrimental.

    The League is THE most respected bicycling organization in the US. You obviously disdain because it’s counter to your own ideology. Your statment:

    “what is “odd” about someone thinking for himself rather than simply accepting whatever some organization says ”

    is exactly what we are fighting against. Dallas bicycle infrastructure should not be dictated by a single person, but by a group of educated, rational, forward thinking planners, that are actively engaged in getting people out of their cars. Portland’s motto has been: Make Bicycling Irresistable. No matter how much you loathe that, they’ve been extremely successful.

    Dallas, on the other hand, has not.

  3. Do you honestly believe that the position of “Transportation Alternatives Coordinator” (aka Bicycle Coordinator) has any clout whatsoever within the city government? Do you really think that if it were not for him, Dallas would be covered in bike lanes? You love to use that 2nd-hand quote despite the fact that Mr Summer has repeatedly said that he considers bike lanes to be one tool within the larger toolbox.

    I’d like to see Dallas improve its bicycle infrastructure as much as you, even if that includes bike lanes, I simply don’t understand why you seem to be focusing so much of your energy on this one person. Let’s get the City to commit to the resources first, then we can focus on implementation.

  4. As I read the posts and comments here I just don’t get it. Why all the attacks and rants? If the issue at hand is making cycling in Dallas and OC better, these obsessive attempts to debunk VC thinking in general and PM Summer personally seem a bit counterproductive. I would think that you would seek to unify the cycling community around the goal of making cycling in Dallas irresistible, not polarize the community with attacks and insults. I don’t have a clue how much clout Summer really has where the rubber meets the road, but if it is any at all, I would think that you’d better off engaging him (and the rest of the folks in the city) in a positive, collaborative way.

    If the goal is to get more people on bikes and improve safety, what Dallas needs is a change in mindset. Placebo effect or not, lots of folks seem to think that bike lanes boost both safety and the number of people using bikes. I really don’t know the research on this but I can see both sides of the issue. Dedicated bike lanes can feel safer, and I can see that they might encourage more people to ride. I can also say that having lived many years in NYC there were typically as many hazards in the bike lanes as not, and the one time I’ve been hit by a car I was in a bike lane. That’s not to say I’m against bike lanes—I’m not–I just think sometimes people see them as a more as a symbol and ignore certain realities. They are not a panacea. Of course NYC and Dallas are completely different environments, with HUGELY different densities, built environments, and transportation infrastructures. Are bike lanes a possible solution for parts of OC? Sure, though I’d like to see the details. What are the costs and projected benefits? What are the alternatives? Is there a specific solution or plan that you are backing? Who is city government is supporting it? Who have you targeted? Are details available online?

    As for the comment above, it is really almost shocking. To say that you are fighting against free thinking is, well, weird. I would think that you would want to encourage thought, dialog and change, not try to enforce some thoughtless dogma. If LAB reversed itself tomorrow based on politics, would you follow in lock-step? If you are looking for support, you need to engage peoples’ minds and emotions, unless of course you are going for some kind of creepy Maoist Cultural Revolution or Khmer Rouge Year Zero kinda thing. Yuck.

    Who is this “group of educated, rational, forward thinking planners” that you reference? They’ve studied and endorsed some plan for OC which Summer has dissed? Is this right? What’s the plan?

    I was car free for more than a decade (not in Dallas of course), and am a HUGE proponent of making Dallas a more bike-friendly/car-free city with more livable neighborhoods. I’ll be the first to commend you for any progress you make in that direction. I’d love to be involved in this sort of progress in the city. Honestly, I’m just a bit put off by the nature and tone of what I’ve read here so far. I hope that changes.

  5. Waco,
    Well said, I agree with you 100%. The main purpose of this site is to raise awareness for the need for improved bicycle infrastructure in Dallas.
    Of course bike lanes are not a panacea and we are not pushing to have them on all roads. But we do believe they are an important part of the equation.
    The purpose of this site is not to tar and feather PM. There are frustrations with him because of is die hard VC stance and his unprofessional comments towards our efforts on his own blog. We do believe that with almost 20 years of his service at the City promoting VC every step of the way there have been many opportunities lost to make Dallas a more bike friendly City. In the larger scheme of things though, we both want the same thing, to be able to ride our bikes safely. With that goal in mind we should be able reach some sort of middle ground and move forward.

  6. Gotcha. Not knowing all of the back story and reading the blog for the first time, it seemed like the focus was all problem, problem, problem instead of solution, solution, solution!

    When I moved here a couple of years ago, I was really bummed out about seeing so few bikes on the streets and the apparent lack of bike culture in Dallas. I am excited to see folks like you pushing for change and raising awareness.

    As you say, it is in everyone’s best interest to get more people on bikes and design neighborhoods and our transportation infrastructure to accommodate bikes and people.

    I was out of town for the last Bikefaire, but look forward to the next one!

  7. I would echo what zlytle noted. We actually had no idea that we were being attacked by our own city official, until someone pointed out his blog entry belittling our desire to implement bike lanes. We’ve been in meetings with this gentleman, shown him plans, and assumed there was a mutual feeling of respect…when we read his statements, our group of volunteers was mortified.

    Had it just been a simple, “I disagree”, we could easily have understood, but it fell into name calling (“Neo Urban Hipsters”), and subtle attempts to provoke a culture war (“[They] are at once proud of Oak Cliff and desirous that it be something else [Portland]”). The latter was a direct shot at our community, and is incredibly reckless. An educated official should not publish those sentiments on his blog, and should have used a bit of discretion and simply stated, “we agree to disagree”.

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