More Dallas Bike Lanes Are on the Way

Interest in cycling surges in Dallas with arrival of bike-share companies

A surge in cash for new bicycle facilities in Dallas will soon provide more places to ride safely.

The 2017 bond referendum approved by voters in November includes money for new bike lanes and trails.

And thousands of new bicycles from bike-share companies are scattered around Dallas, making it easier for people to ride.

Casey Rauschuber was on one of those bikes Wednesday on the popular Katy Trail.

"All you do is download the app, and when you come upon a bike, you unlock it and you're on your way," she said.

But she said places to ride safely are limited in Dallas.

"Dallas's ever-growing car population makes it kind of hard for people to enjoy bikes and get out on them," she said.

Riding his own bike on the Katy Trail Thursday, cyclist Bill Sass said he avoids riding on streets, even those marked for shared bike lanes with cars.

"They like to drive right by your edge. They like to get right up close of you and hit the horn right when they get by you," Sass said.

About $35.6 million in city bond money for trails will leverage an additional $50 million from other sources. The referendum included about $48.8 million for road projects that include bicycle improvements like wide sidewalks or dedicated bike lanes.

"Dallas is a little bit behind some of our peer cities in its off-street bike infrastructure. This bond program helps," said City of Dallas bike program manager Jared White.

Some people find the shared bikes a nuisance.

Security guard Trey McCashland protects a restaurant near the DART West End Station, where a dozen shared bikes are scattered outside.

"It's a bit of an eye-sore, in my opinion," he said.

McCashland said vandals have learned now to break the security device on the bikes to ride them without paying, then dump them when the ride is through.

"It seems every day we get more, and they just come here to die. That's plain and simple," McCashland said.

Dallas is considering new regulations to force the ride-share companies to look after the bikes instead of letting the companies police themselves. White said the Dallas City Council will review the ride-share company activity early next year.

"We want them to be successful, but as a city we have a responsibility for the public well-being and quality of life issues," White said.

Sass said he voted for the 2017 bond referendum and looks forward to improvements.

"There will be a lot more bicycling if there's trails and access that's safe," Sass said.

Projects to be funded with the 2017 money may take years to complete.

MORE: Click here to read all of the 2017 bond referendum project information.

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