Bike to City Hall Was a Great Success!

This morning’s Bike to City Hall event — part of Dallas’ week-long bicycling event, Cyclesomatic — was a great success!  I was worried it was going to rain and have to be postponed, but luckily, the weather agreed with us, and we had a terrific turn-out.

My husband and I biked from our home in the M Streets, down the Katy Trail (where we met others heading to City Hall), then met with the larger group at Union Station.  There were well over a hundred cyclists, from road warriors to slow riders to everyone in between.  Bicyclists came from East Dallas, Oak Cliff, Plano, Uptown, University Park, and elsewhere.  Five other councilmembers joined in the fun — Pauline Medrano, Sheffie Kadane, Jerry Allen, Dave Neumann, Delia Jasso, and Ann Margolin.

At around 8:30 a.m., we rode from Union Station to City Hall, where our master of ceremonies, Jason Roberts, thanked everyone for coming.  All the councilmembers welcomed the group to City Hall and discussed the importance of creating a more bicycle-friendly city via better infrastructure and education.

I mentioned the city’s new bike plan update as well as our complete streets initiative, to create a multi-modal infrastructure that isn’t solely focused on moving cars, but is rebalanced to move cyclists, pedestrians, and the disabled in an inviting, safe way.

We also reassured our road warrior friends that separated bike facilities would not force cyclists to ride there: cyclists who feel comfortable in traffic will continue to have that option.  We just want to expand options for folks who may have a different tolerance and comfort level in traffic.  It’s all about options, education, safety, and better infrastructure.

My hat is off to Jason Roberts and his team who did an amazing job planning this event.  I look forward to seeing everyone next year, as we begin to transform Dallas from one of the worst cities for cyclists into one of the best.

In the meantime, enjoy these pictures!

Bike with Me to City Hall on October 7

Dallas currently has the dubious distinction of being the “Worst City in the US for Bicycling,” but we’re working to change that.  Join me on Wednesday, October 7 as we “Bike to City Hall” and unveil some of the initiatives that will help transform our city into a bike-friendly destination.

The City of Dallas, in cooperation with DART, the City Parks Department, and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff invites everyone to bicycle to City Hall to promote greater bicycle awareness on the morning of October 7.  Councilmembers will leave from Union Station at 8AM and bicycle down Young Street to City Hall. Meet up with me at Union Station so we can ride together.

Afterward, we’ll introduce the city’s new bicycle coordinator, update everyone on the city’s new bike plan, and unveil upcoming initiatives that embrace Complete Streets policies. Complete Streets are streets designed to provide safe access for all users — not just cars. Developing multi-modal streets improves safety, eases transportation flow, improves air quality, and promotes the overall health of communities that have adopted them.

Please join me and pass this on to bicycling groups that may be interested in participating.

Council Quality of Life Committee Meeting: 311 and Trails

We had two agenda items today: COGNOS and the Citywide Trail program.

COGNOS is a computer program for manipulating city data, specifically 311 information. Data is not much use unless you can slice it and dice it and find patterns. COGNOS will allow us to really analyze 311 information. For example, we’ll be able to compare response times for different service requests, look at service requests by geographic area, and basically determine where the City needs to be improving. It’s going to be a very powerful tool, and will help us set goals for improvement. It will also give us concrete numbers to show residents whether the City is improving. Right now, staff is working with the Council to figure out exactly what types of reports we’ll want to run, and how to build the program.

The other agenda item was on our citywide trail system. I’m a big fan of hike and bike trails. My husband and I are out of the Katy Trail all the time, and I can’t wait for it to link up with the Old Trinity Trail.

We’ve got a master plan for our trail system, unlike most cities. We’ve also got more completed trail miles (about 85) than most cities. The goal is to triple that in a decade, which will complete our master plan. It’ll cost more than $100 million, but in addition to city money we’ll also seek grants and private funds.