Sharing the City with Bike Share

It’s incredible how many bikes appeared so suddenly. And then came the users: experts to novices, biking EVERYWHERE.

It’s a shame to see people defacing property the way we’ve seen people destroy some of these bikes. Thrown in the Trinity and into White Rock Lake? Rows of bikes driven over?! Seriously? There may be too many of them – but there’s no excuse for the bad behavior we’ve seen. Yeah, they’re cheaply constructed – I’d hate to see what Dallasites would do if they actually were great bikes. This behavior is appalling.

It begs the question, do we really want cyclists in our city?

What’s the real issue here?

The only issues I see are:
– The need for more designated bike parking areas
– The need for more safe roads/trails/bike lanes for cyclists
– A small constituency of very disrespectful people

Granted there are a LOT of bike share bikes. But it’s way fewer bikes than I’ve seen in some very bike friendly cities though. Granted most cities have docked bike shares so the bikes strewn about tend to be personal bicycles, and they’re usually parked in more respectful locations (not at an intersection, blocking the handicap ramp to the sidewalk), but along buildings, along sidewalks, near entryways, generally out of the way but EVERYWHERE.

Lake St Minneapolis

Lake St in Minneapolis (Isn’t it too snowy most of the year for a bike culture in Minnesota?)

Maybe it’s time for some citywide campaigns about where we think IS appropriate for bikes to be parked – and funding and design assistance for business who would like to incorporate bike parking areas! Those are real solutions to problems attributed to a growing bike culture.

You could say, “Dallas doesn’t have a growing bike culture, we just have too many bike share bikes!” But I’ve heard a few acquaintances already say “Guess I should get my old bike out and tune it up” because of their experience with bike share. I challenge you all – pick one company, download the app, and plan your adventure. Bike to dinner one evening. Bike to the park on Saturday. Bike to your closest DART rail station. You’ll quickly see how these random bikes scattered everywhere are INSANELY useful. Even if you own your own bike, you don’t have to ALWAYS have it with you! Park your car at City Hall and bike share to dinner in Deep Ellum!! I’m telling you all, this is going to change our city. We are growing our bike culture, like it or not.

Bike Trail Plan 20018

All the bike plans, back in 2008

And we DO have more bike lanes, more trails, and more sharrows on neighborhood roads appearing all over the city. One could even argue that we have our own Bicycle Superhighway coming together. Between the new I-30 bike and pedestrian bridges (if only we can fix the poorly built debacle!), the finally complete bike/ped bridge over Mockingbird Lane, the recently conceived southeastern section of what’s being called The Loop (connecting Trinity Trails to Katy Trail to White Rock Lake and south back to the Trinity!), AND under construction: the Union Pacific Trail (old railroad right-of-way of course, through neighborhoods just east of 75), and the Northhaven Trail (with multiple phases including a massive bike/ped bridge over 75, extending nearly to 35E and connecting to the ped bridge over 635!) Not to mention the well-known White Rock Lake, White Rock Creek, Santa Fe, and Katy Trails.

Union Pacific Trail progress 2.16.18

Union Pacific Trail progress as of 2.16.18

We also have newly funded bike lanes coming to Oak Cliff in addition to the bikeable connectivity we already have on a fairly well-connected neighborhood street grid in much of North Oak Cliff.

Those of us who live in this great neighborhood have the distinct privilege of being able to bike to places in our neighborhood more easily than most of Dallas!

If you want to add your two-cents to this conversation, join us at Oddfellows Tuesday Feb 20th 7pm-8:30pm for a conversation hosted by Better Block, with panelists Craig Miller of The Ticket, Philip Kingston of Dallas City Council representing District 14 (basically Uptown to Greenville Ave), and Lime Bike’s General Manager in Dallas Anthony Fleo.

Bike Friendly Oak Cliff advocates for a more bike-friendly neighborhood. It benefits us all in so many ways. Let’s take us the challenge that bike share has presented us and move into a more Bike Friendly era in Dallas. Hope to see you Tuesday!

 

Need more? Last week BFOC’s Amanda Popken talked with WFAA’s Verify Team about Bike Share

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