NCTCOG Oct 21, 2009 recap

So I made it to another NCTCOG meeting yesterday, and there were a couple interesting presentations I’d like to mention:

  • TXDOT just opened their program call for “Transportation Enhancement” project submissions.  They have about $70 million to give out, and bike/ped programs will get top priority.
    • I didn’t see any representatives from Denton present at the meeting.  Contact your council member and mayor if you want to encourage participation.
    • Caveat: TXDOT will give priority to shovel-ready projects, so if Denton’s planning department doesn’t have a proposal ready, we won’t have a good chance at getting funding.  You can call them at (940) 349-8541 and ask that they submit application to TXDOT.
    • Remember this opportunity, because next time you hear “we’re broke” as an excuse to not improve Denton’s bike/ped infrastructure, you’ll know we missed a chance at federal funding.
    • The program call closes in December.

The federally-funded program supports transportation-related activities that promote the quality of the environment through aesthetic enhancements associated with transportation.

Projects should go above and beyond standard transportation activities and be integrated into the surrounding environment in a sensitive and creative manner that contributes to the livelihood of the communities; promotes the quality of the environment; and enhances the aesthetics of our roadways.

Eligible projects must demonstrate a relationship to the surface transportation system through either function or impact. Project nominated must incorporate one of the following 12 categories:

  1. pedestrians and bicycles facilities
  2. safety and education activities for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Don Koski, respected planner for Ft Worth and BFOC interviewee, has left to work for the Federal Transit Administration.  Could this bode well for public transit in DFW?  We’ll see.  He was the chair of the NCTCOG bike/ped committee, so we’ll see who replaces him.  He’s left an impressive standard in Ft Worth to uphold.
  • Dave Carter of Richardson gave a presentation on their Bicycle Route Masterplan.  It’s a great start, and they worked hard with the community to include all angles.  The Canyon Creek HOA, stakeholders at Richardson Bike Mart, and cyclists were all included in the planning for this since 2007.  There are only a couple dedicated bike lanes, but it’s a start.
    • I liked Dave’s candid admission that post-WWII planning has been negligent of non-car transit.
    • Dave presented pictures of the Custer Rd bike lane, and it’s pretty interesting because it allows parking in the bike lane.  Now, that lane appears to be 11′ wide, so it may turn out to work just fine.  I’m skeptical, but I could see how this might work ok.
    • If you look at this diagram, you’ll see that the City of Richardson is just fine with a 10′ car lane, an 8′ parking lane, and a 4′ bike lane.
    • Denton’s traffic engineer, Bud Vokoun, uses totally different math, as seen at the controversial Oak/Hickory bike lane proposal, which was tabled and shows no signs of reappearing.
    • I am flabbergasted that the suburb (Richardson) in which I grew up is executing more progressive transit planning than Denton.  Is that because they’ve sprawled to capacity and are now looking inward for improvements?  When will Denton catch up/wake up?
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3 thoughts on “NCTCOG Oct 21, 2009 recap

  1. […] BikeDenton attended the most recent NCTCOG Bike and Pedestrian advisory committee meeting and heard a suburban planner from Richardson admit that post-WWII planning had been negligent of non-car transit, and that overwhelming support for bicycle specific infrastructure by neighborhood associations had begun in his area. We also went to the archives to pull a Car Free in Big D entry spotlighting an Austrian city engineer in an article titled “A Traffic Engineer Whose Mother Actually Loves Him”, who is quoted “I discovered that traditional traffic planning is merely based on assumptions. For a long time there was no consideration for the consequences for the society or the environment. Nobody cared about noise or pollution, about fatalities, about the economy being altered or unemployment being created.” There’s definitely a change in mindset among the new set of planners and engineers coming out of schools today. It’s almost as if they’ve finally taken heed of Jane Jacobs warnings in the classic Death and Life of Great American Cities. Annecdotally speaking, we even note a split inside of many city offices among one generation of planners to the next. One will state “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and these new ideas won’t work here”, while the others are stating, “what we did 30 years ago IS the problem.” Only time will tell on what our city will look like in the coming decade, but it is heartening to see traditional planning ideas look beyond the idea of simply getting people in and out of places as fast as possible without regard to effects on livability. […]

  2. […] 24, 2009 · Leave a Comment So around DFW, many cities are talking about accommodating bicycles and pedestrians.  A few DFW cities are just starting to publish […]

  3. […] 1, 2009 · Leave a Comment As we previously mentioned on Oct 21, TXDOT has about $70 million dollars to give out as part of their State Transportation Enhancement […]

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