Fort Worth is moving into high gear to get more people out of their cars and onto their bicycles.
The city will spend an estimated $182,000 with funding from the 2014 bond program for a project on 10th Street between Fournier Street and Forest Park Boulevard. This is the next step in a number of projects that could benefit pedestrians and cyclists.
The project would mean more sidewalks, bike paths and a connection to the popular Trinity Trails.
Down the Trinity Trail from the 10th Street location is Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop.
“It's safer [in Fort Worth]. Dallas and the north suburbs are doing well but still have some work to do,” bike shop manager Adam Spears said.
Spears knows the importance of bike-friendly city streets personally.
“I have been passed very close and I have had some friends hit and some acquaintances hit and killed. Not necessarily here in Fort Worth,” he said.
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He understands why the city is paying so much attention and money on these projects.
“Well, it gets people to stick around and stay longer once they get there if they know they can get in and out on foot or on bike,” Spears said.
It’s hard to estimate just how popular cycling is in the city, but the bike sharing program may give some indication.
2016 Fort Worth Bike Sharing Statistics:
- 55,841 trips
- 286,149 miles
- 270,690 pounds of carbon offset
- 11.4 million calories burned
2017 Fort Worth Bike Sharing Statistics (So Far):
- 39,276 trips
- 179,140 miles
- 169,422 pounds of carbon offset
- 7.1 million calories burned
Bicycle enthusiasts said the interest is there, now there needs to be more safe places.
“That's one of the largest hurdles, is to getting into cycling, is ‘where do I ride?’ You can only go around your block in your neighborhood so many times before you get bored,” Spears said.
Fort Worth resident Elizabeth Devell is one of the many looking to give it a spin.
“More designated lanes would be very helpful,” she said.
Devell knows both sides of the safety issues.
“As a driver I think sometimes we feel there is a little conflict of lanes so it would help to have more bike lanes in the city,” she said.
Future projects include areas of Carroll Street and the area near John Peter Smith Hospital. There is a plan that would connect the Eastside of the city and the “Near Southside” area.
The city is also looking at a possible bike network around the TCU campus.