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Tue October 23, 2012
Dallas Bike Lane Plan Hits The Curb At Council Committee
The proposed Dallas bike lane ordinance may need more than some air in its tires to coast to a favorable vote at City Hall.
Some council members are calling for a ten-speed overhaul.
Two weeks ago, city council members were surprised to see proposed rules for new, shared bike lanes on the agenda for a vote. The issue had not gone through the committee process. Council members decided it should, and that prompted a spirited discussion among Quality of Life and Public Safety committee members.
Council member Sandy Greyson took issue with the shared bike lane on Main Street downtown. There’s nowhere to pass a cyclist.
“Talk about creating frustration in a motorist, and that’s why people do these things they shouldn’t do which is get too close to a cyclist or pass them in a dangerous fashion,” said Greyson. “I’m not in any way saying that that’s acceptable. I’m saying why create conditions that aggravate motorists.”
Council colleague Angela Hunt, a cyclist, calls the shared lane concept is a recipe for failure.
“It’s aggravating to me as a cyclist. It’s aggravating to my good friend Sandy as a car driver,” said Hunt. “And there’s something so simple that we can do to make her happy to make me happy and that’s separated lanes. It works. It works in other cities.”
Hunt says the shared lanes are lip service to the bike friendly image Dallas would like to cultivate. Council member Carolyn Davis says they’re certainly not what she envisioned at all.
“See the only reason I got involved in these bike lanes was the hype. Everybody talked about it. It was to change the future of how we look at transportation,” said Davis. “And so, I’m not quite feeling it yet because it’s just a bike lane, striped and mixed in with everybody else”
Police say the marked shared lanes and new rules should help keep cyclists safer, and establish rules for the two and four wheelers that share the road.
Committee members, however, want some major revisions in the bike plan before a final vote.