Denton has four bike lanes, and the one on Hinkle faces possible removal to accommodate a left-turn lane for a proposed townhome development. Over the last several years, bicycle lanes on Shady Oaks and Wind River have been quietly removed. In that time, no new lanes have been striped, despite repaving of numerous streets.
- Hickory (lacks “no parking” signs)
- Hinkle (disrepair, endangered)
- Stuart (disrepair)
- Hercules (disrepair)
- Wind River
- Shady Oaks
Last night, City Council discussed a controversial “Special Use Permit” proposal regarding a 100 home development at the southwest corner of Hinkle and Windsor. One slide of the developer’s proposal recommended removal of the Hinkle bicycle to accommodate a left turn lane for northbound drivers.
From the developer presenation:
- Construct an 8′ wide bicycle and pedestrian trail along west side of Hinkle
- Work with city to re-stripe Hinkle street to remove bicycle path and put in a left turn lane
The developer did not indicate a length for the proposed shared path, nor did they indicate whether it would be privately or publicly owned and maintained, and nobody spoke to whether the proposed shared path would traverse the full length of Hinkle like the current on-road bike lane. City planning engineer, Frank Payne, responded:
Neither Mr. Vokoun nor myself are familiar with the specifics of this development or what was discussed at City Council on Tuesday night in this regard.
Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods spoke out vociferously against the proposal, citing concerns over insufficient traffic control, unsightly appearance of multi-family homes, increased flood risk from storm runoff, and removal of the bicycle lane.
Two cyclists in attendance spoke in favor of bike lane preservation, and they pointed out that UNT recommends Hinkle as a designated safe route to UNT Discovery Park on Hwy 77. One cyclist mentioned that if the Hinkle bike lane is removed, that constitutes removal of 1/3 of all bicycle lanes in Denton. The other cyclist pointed out that UNT designates Hinkle as a safe route to ride to UNT Discovery Park, on Hwy 77, and the cyclist read a quote from the Denton 1999-2020 plan:
“Maintain direct, continuous bicycle routes, and make all appropriate streets bicycle-friendly. Reduce use of cars over time, particularly for commuter trips.” -Denton Plan, 1999-2020
City Council voted 5-2 in favor of tabling the proposal until the following meeting, on August 4. Council members Jim Engelbrecht and Charlye Heggins voted against tabling. Because Planning and Zoning denied this Special Use Permit 5-0, a supermajority vote of council is required to approve the SUP.