Cyclists Say Dallas Bike Plan Unnecessary - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Cyclists Say Dallas Bike Plan Unnecessary



    Not all cyclists are on board the new Dallas Bike Plan.

    Dallas City Council passed the Dallas Bike Plan last week after several public meetings and months of research.

    The Plan is set to bring close to 1,300 miles of bike lanes to the city, which has never had a reputation for being a bike friendly city.

    The last time the city's bike plan was updated was in 1985.

    Dallas Bike Plan Not Necessary

    [DFW] Dallas Bike Plan Not Necessary
    Dallas is trying to change its reputation with bikers, but some cyclists say the plan to add 1,300 miles of bike lanes isn't necessary.
    (Published Tuesday, June 14, 2011)

    And after much noted conflict between cyclists and walkers on  the city's existing hike and bike trails, the passage of the new bike plan was a sigh of relief for some cyclists.

    The Katy Trail has been a victim of it's own success, said Dallas City council member, Angela Hunt.

    "Especially on the weekends or during holidays, a lot of people come here so it's very crowded," said Marco Alatrista, a regular cyclist and walker on the Katy Trail.

    Alatrista says the city needs more bike paths and the Dallas City Council agrees.

    "There are so many cyclist who are comfortable riding on the roads but I've got to tell you, I think a majority of folks feel better when they are separated from traffic in some way," said Angela Hunt, a Dallas City Council member.

    The city plans to add bike paths onto existing streets.
    "Dallas is already maintaining our streets and re-doing our streets and as we reconstruct streets we can incorporate this at little or no cost," Hunt said.

    But not all cyclists agree the city needs more bike paths.

    Richard Wharton has been a cycling coach for close to 20 years and say adding bike paths onto existing streets is a waste of city resources.

    Wharton says cyclists are a vehicle on the road and they should integrate into traffic by using appropriate hand signals. He believes educating drivers and cyclists is key to a creating a bike-friendly city.  Cyclists shouldn't feel like they have to bike on bike paths, he said.

    "It creates conflict because it tells people, 'You should ride here.' And we should be spending the money telling people if you want to ride here, there, everywhere, lets teach you how to do that. It's quick and it's easy and it's really, really cheap," Wharton said.

    The city hopes to begin adding bike lanes to existing roads this summer.

    Some of the more extensive projects of the plan will be paid for by bonds.

    Some of them are still unfunded.

    The Dallas Bike Plan will be completed in phases over the next 10 to 15 years.