By Sriya Reddy
The city of Dallas is asking for public input on its Dallas Bike Plan update and ForwardDallas Comprehensive Land Use Plan through community workshops starting on Wednesday until Nov. 5.
ForwardDallas is a comprehensive master plan designed by the city to be a guide on how land citywide should be used. This will affect urban design, transportation and housing
The updated bike plan will modernize the 2011 version. The Department of Transportation began the development early this year and is set to have a plan by late spring next year.
Kathryn Rush, chief planner with the city’s transportation department, said that right now Dallas has a lot of shared roadways for cyclists, which are just signage and markings on the road.
“They’re very cheap to build and we can build a lot of them, but they tend to not be super comfortable or really connect and be useful in our higher-density areas,” Rush said. “We want to focus on building higher-quality facilities, but also focus on building the critical connections.”
The city approved $500,000 for development of the plan and $2 million from the general funds to implement the bicycle facilities.
The workshops, co-hosted by the Department of Transportation and Planning and Urban Design department, will include activities to visualize the plan and add input.
“The City of Dallas deserves a land use plan that embodies everyone’s goals and vision. We’re excited to delve into the land use visioning discussions with the community this fall,” said Planning and Urban Design Chief Planner Lawrence Agu III in a press release.
Meetings will begin on Wednesday at the Bachman Recreation Center and continue at six other recreation centers and libraries throughout the city. Each will address a particular area of Dallas.
Tekisha Hobbs, president of Bike Friendly South Dallas, said she wants to see more infrastructure that makes cycling safer in the city.
“South Dallas is an area where you’re probably going to see more cyclists than other areas in the metroplex because the residents here, a lot of times the bicycle is their only form of transportation,” Hobbs said. “So you see a lot of bicycling activity here, but it could be safer with infrastructure, signage and protected trails or protected lanes for cyclists.”
Hobbs also wants to see more connected bike trails because they often go into busy roads or intersections, making them unsafe.
Hobbs is working with the city to develop the bike plans and hopes to see more diverse voices at the workshops.
“We want to hear more from women and Black and brown cyclists because the majority of the input from what I understand … has been middle-aged, white men,” Hobbs said.
Rush said that the public input meetings are for any resident, not just bicycle enthusiasts, because bicycle infrastructure provides safety for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.
“We want people’s input because it’ll impact transportation systems in their neighborhoods,” Rush said. “We want this to reflect the residents of Dallas.”
Want to go?
Here are the dates and times of the community workshops.
Bachman Recreation Center: Wednesday,6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Pleasant Grove Library: Saturday, 10 a.m to noon
Churchill Recreation Center: Oct. 25, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Park in the Woods Recreation Center: Oct. 27, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Hiawatha Williams Recreation Center: Nov. 1, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Central Library: Nov 2., 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Forest Green Library: Nov. 5, 10:30 a.m. to noon