Bike Lane-Starved Dallas Moves Forward With First Bike Boulevard

Competition between cities is a healthy thing when it comes to bike infrastructure. Of course, the thing about competitions is, somebody’s going to wind up being the loser, for lack of a better word. And in the race for bike-friendliness, Dallas, Texas is bringing up the rear.

Dallas can do better for these folks, pictured on the Annual Ride of Silence. Photo: Ride of Silence

Dallas is the largest US city without a single mile of dedicated, on-street bike infrastructure, according to Jason Roberts at Network blog Bike Friendly Oak Cliff:

[In] a list of the top 30 US cities by population … of all the cities listed, Dallas is the only one with no on-street bike lanes. Also, of the cities listed, almost half have upped the ante by applying for and receiving official “Bike Friendly Communities” status from the League of American Bicyclists, which means they have shown a high dedication to the LAB’s “5 E’s”: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning.

The Dallas Observer has posted several articles recently highlighting the struggle our city has in installing a single mile worth of on street bike facilities. Meanwhile, the above graphic is from the Detroit Free Press highlighting the fact that even the “Motor City” has begun buildout of multiple miles worth of onstreet bike lanes.

In related news, Dallas was ranked 5th in the nation for highest rates of heart disease and obesity in the country by Prevention Magazine, with the comment “despite its big city status, only 7% of Dallas residents’ trips are taken by foot or bike, according to the Alliance for Biking and Walking.” Given our lack of bicycle infrastructure, this is understandable.

The good news is, Dallas is getting its first bicycle boulevard, on Seventh Street, as Bike Friendly Oak Cliff later noted. It will be a shared roadway, so that won’t count as dedicated bike infrastructure, but it’s an improvement none the less. Another sign that notoriously car-centric Dallas is urbanizing, ever so slightly.

Also notable: Detroit, you are inspiring envy! Way to go!

See? Competition is fun!

Elsewhere on the Network today: My Wheels are Turning shares a video that celebrates “the culture of walking.” Baltimore Spokes offers the ultimate infographic, designed to explain to health professionals “how bikes can save us.” And the Bike League explains that while cycling deaths dropped slightly in 2010, pedestrian deaths jumped alarmingly.