I don’t want to parrot what our friends at Bike Friendly Oak cliff posted today, but it describes exactly what I’d like to see happen in Denton. A cycling renaissance. Pave the way with intelligent & connected bike routes, safe routes to school, racks at destinations, community bike education, and we’ll see a transformation that attracts good people, the same people who want to move to Portland, Chicago, Austin, Davis, Boston, etc. The key seems to be that those places have voices, voices of cycling/pedestrian advocacy that work cooperatively with the city and citizens.
I see an NTDaily editorial article from today that hints at big changes to come from UNT and the city working together to relieve some stressful traffic congestion around the UNT campus. The areas from Jagoe to Bonnie Brae on Oak and Hickory get so crowded with cars that cyclists have no choice but to occupy the lanes, and cars/buses/etc get trapped behind them. It’s stressful and dangerous, and the relief will be tangible.
I consider that a pretty significant change, and if we like the results, we should all encourage the city to seek more such improvement. Not only are they here to serve us, they are happy to serve us, the citizens. If you review the annual citizen survey mentioned in my previous post, you can see the city response to citizen feedback. In that response, you can see that the top two complaints are mentioned and responded to by the mayor. Cycling and pedestrian paths are on number three on that list of calls for change, folks, and the city knows it.
Top 3 City services rated as Fair or Poor:
- Street Maintenance: 65.3%
- Code Enforcement: 42.2%
- Bicycle and walking paths: 38.9%
The Hickory bike lane was paved in the mid-90’s, and the Hinkle bike lane was done even longer ago. Plenty of cyclists constantly use both of those bike lanes. With all the talk of stimulus and infrastructure investment, that makes this the perfect time to expand cycling and pedestrian pathways.