Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why so Late?

Loyal readers no doubt understand that I am an advocate for transportation balance. Transit, walking and biking are the three main ones that I place forth ideas to increase mode share. Betting transit planning has been discussed as has pedestrian-friendly and urban design to increase walking. Biking will naturally follow those two, but otherwise I haven't offered much in the way of increasing bike share.

I mentioned briefly that San Antonio has a bike share program after my visit there. I have also discussed bike lanes as a strategy, though for personal reasosns, I have avoided the local battle over the lanes. I do feel like the old guard has a hard time embracing the change from the old way of doing things. As a case in point, the continued support of the Trinity tollroad versus the can't do nature on the bike lanes.

Yet, it appears that once again, even in Texas, Dallas is about to get left behind. I really feel a bike share is one of the best ways to increase bike use. As it turns out, Fort Worth is been working on plans to introduce a service. Unlike Dallas, they have also figured out a way to start bringing bike lanes to the city. If you read the link, it also mentions that Austin is working on a bike share program too.

Now, add Houston to the list of major Texas cities that have figured out or are working on a way to implement the program. They used federal funding to get it started, proving a will will find a way.

I just get frustrated by the lack of urgency Dallas is has in approaching this. On the one hand, you hear officials talk a good game. Reduce congestion, increase biking, good.

But when it actually comes to doing something that increases bike use, the feet start to drag. It is frustrating. By continuing to status quo, the city is ignoring the obvious shift in society towards a more urban preference. Unless Dallas embraces something other than the car, Dallas may have troubling competing, even in Texas. Already, officials were concerned by the lack of population growth in the last census. But trying to grow the same way and expecting different results...well, I think we all know what that definition is.

No comments: