Below, I list getting rid of this as one of my proudest accomplishments. It only took 12 years and $1,500,000. It was replaced with a 12" wide, 800 ft. long bike/ped bridge, and 3/4 mile of new concrete trail.
FYI: The flex stakes would only last about two weeks. Oh, and it's two-way.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
LAB member signatures required to get a reform (non-paint sniffer) candidate on the LAB ballot: 800
Valid signatures gathered by reformers: 411 (request denied by LAB)
Number of LAB members who voted: 560
Number of LAB members who voted in the previous election: 400 +/-
Let the spin begin.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The Pedestrian Bridge across White Rock Lake, and the 3/4 mile trail extension along the old landfill: Yeah. Guess who. I was also able to remove the singularly most dangerous trail segment in the state, much to the dismay of those with their heads in the sand. More toes bruised.
The High Five, connecting the White Rock Trail System with the Cottonwood Creek and Preston Ridge Trail: During the early phases of the High Five planning, I was able to show TxDOT that there was existing pedestrian traffic from Hamilton Park to the 7-11 store on the northwest quadrant. Utililizing provisions of the Sunset Review law existing at the time, I was able to force TxDOT to build the trail. The High Five really became the High Six, with the lowest being a bike-ped connection from the northwest to the southeast quadrants.
Bike Racks in Oak Cliff along Jefferson Boulevard. I was able to use Housing Department funds to install 100 quality bicycle parking spaces. I chose Jefferson Avenue because of the high number of immigrant cyclists in the area (who parked their bicycles behind their work places).
Bike Racks Downtown and in Deep Ellum: I was able to secure funding to install over 144 bicycle parking spots at minimal expense to the City of Dallas (less than $10,000). Two to a block (mostly inverted U racks), they are painted yellow so cyclists can spot them at a distance, and pedestrians won't walk into them.
This project would have been completed in 2006, but just as the City was about to let the construction contract, Angela Hunt demanded it be stopped, redesigned, and re-routed, so that a (unfunded at the time) $10,000,000 bridge connecting the Palomar Hotel to the Mockingbird Station commercial development could be constructed, with public money. Ms. Hunt objected to cyclists and runners being expected to stop at the signalized crossing of Mockingbird Lane at McMillan. She also was responding to requests from campaign donors unwilling to spend private sector funds for such a potentially beneficial project for their developments. Engineering and funding issues remain unresolved today, five years after the trail would have been opened.
Bicycle Mode Share: In spite of being the only major city in the USA to require mandatory bicycle helmet usage for adults, I was able to see the trip mode share in Dallas double from 2000 to 2010. Still a low number, but one that compares favorably with not just benchmark cities, but also with Austin. Demography, geography, and population density remain the constant defining factors.
Bicycle Bans on Lawther Drive: I successfully argued against two serious attempts to ban bicyclists from the roads around White Rock Lake. Expect that effort to succeed in the future.
...and bunches of other stuff, much of which I repent of now, almost $40,000,000 worth of bike/ped projects. But every new trail that was built reduced on-street riding, as people got the message to "stay off the streets". Jim Crow rides a cruiser.
Failures: Too many to enumerate. My greatest failures were not being able to convince Council that a mandatory helmet law was a counter-productive idea, and to twice secure funding for an on-street bicycle education training plan for all school children and adults in Dallas, but to see the programs killed. Twice I secured funding, twice it was killed. The first time (for a trial project) it was killed by the local TxDOT Safety Officer, solely because he knew I was opposed to mandatory helmet laws. The second time (for a more ambitious project), the City Manager decided to give the money back (almost $1,000,000) because no City department wanted to actually implement the education program. You might be surprised to see which current City Council member voted to kill the bicycle safety education program.
Not being able to get bicycle parking written into the City's building code (mirroring handicapped parking requirements) was an opportunity lost as well. Be able to get bicycle parking requirements written into City Code for transit stations (against DART's wishes) was a plus.
P.S. Did I mention that the budget for my program was completely removed in 1996? Zero dollars allocated for bicycle issues. I had to steal it from other departments, sticking bicycles onto other people's projects like lamprey eels on sturgeon.
Adios, and Tally Ho!