Dallas doesn't have on-street bike lanes. So it’s a stretch to imagine a day in the city without cars on the road. Bike Friendly Oak Cliff creates a version of that scene - on one bridge, for a few hours.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, cyclists, pedestrians, and skaters will have full run of the Houston Street Viaduct as part of the first Cyclovia de Dallas community fair.
The viaduct links downtown with South Dallas over the Trinity. Organizer Andrew Howard says that makes the site ideal for Saturday’s closure to motor traffic. People from both sides of the river will have to slow down, he says.
"When people can gather in a public space, mostly on bicycle or walking, there’s a new bond that’s formed there. Business relationships form as well as personal," he said. "We’re also demonstrating how this bridge can be used in the future. When the streetcar comes online, it’s going to change the dynamic of that bridge.”
The Cyclovia concept has been used all over the world to promote bike culture and sustainable infrastructure, ideas groups from Oak Cliff have helped the city embrace. And change is happening in small steps: the streetcar system being installed along the Houston Street Viaduct is owed to a grant secured by Oak Cliff Transportation Authority, Howard says.
And WFAA reports advocates raised $25,000 to re-stripe streets for 2.5 miles of on-street bike lanes in West Dallas, which the city hopes to have in place by July.
Comers on Saturday can expect live music, yoga classes, food trucks and an urban market along the bridge. Find out more about the event here.