After a couple of recent cyclist input meeting reschedules, the Denton city engineering staff have committed to a March 22 (Monday) public input meeting for cyclists. When I say cyclists, I don’t just mean people who already ride bikes. I also mean people who would ride bikes if they felt more comfortable on the roads. As far as I can tell, the listening staff work for the Streets engineering department, and if bike lanes, sharrows, and cycletracks are to be built, these folks will be planning and doing the work. The purpose for this input meeting is so staff can deliver our input + staff’s conclusions to city council in early April. That council meeting in April will set the tone for future action and any kind of cohesive planning. Ideally, if Denton city council calls for a Bicycle Master Plan like Fort Worth, then staff could design facilities to match the guiding document.
The timing for this input hearing is perfect. We are one year from having a commuter train station downtown, and we have about 40,000 college students at two university campuses. Our roads inside Denton cannot expand to accommodate our rapidly growing population. Denton is out of federal air-quality compliance. Neighborhoods and the square are oft concerned with parking woes. Denton neighborhoods want improved bike/pedestrian connectivity across town and safe routes for children to get to school. The inertia for Denton’s bike/pedestrian discussion is very real, and at least half the city council and the mayor believe in this cause.
If you care about this topic, this is THE time to make your opinion heard. This may be the first time in the city’s history that staff has held a dedicated cyclist input meeting, and we shouldn’t let it go to waste.