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  1. #1
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Fort Worth Bicycle Plan

    NOTE: I am posting this here and not in the Texas forum because I want to encourage discussion by bicycle advocates from all areas.


    Earlier this year, the Fort Worth City Council passed a "comprehensive plan for developing a friendlier bicycle environment" in the city. They recently updated the city website to include links to the plan and other bicycle resources for the city (link).

    For those of you who have contributed to similar plans in other cities, what do you think of Fort Worth's plan? Does it strike a decent balance between the different types of infrastructure (bike routes, bike lanes, off-street paths)? If you lived in the area, what improvements would you suggest?
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  2. #2
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    I did just a cursory glance, while all 5 "E"s seem to be there I would like to see some mention of specific measurable results that would be obtainable in the 5 year review cycle, so many miles of bike facilities, x% reduction of bike crashes, x% increase in bike counts, x% of police trained in bike safety, participation levels for bike events and so on.
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  3. #3
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I'm kind of new to this aspect of advocacy. What are the 5 Es?
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    Just from looking at the map, there are many places, especially outside of the city center, that would benefit from the installation of short paths to improve connectivity. I haven't spent much time in Fort Worth, but if the arterial roads are anything like the ones in Dallas, Richardson or Plano, I'm not sure painting bike lanes on them would attract many people.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zizka View Post
    Just from looking at the map, there are many places, especially outside of the city center, that would benefit from the installation of short paths to improve connectivity. I haven't spent much time in Fort Worth, but if the arterial roads are anything like the ones in Dallas, Richardson or Plano, I'm not sure painting bike lanes on them would attract many people.
    Agree - more circumferential bike routes are needed, with particular emphasis on crossing the major radial car routes. It would be useful if they added location of bike shops to the map, and links to bike clubs.

  6. #6
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    It breaks down at the resolution of the map, but they do plan to foster permeability and connectivity in several places.

    One place in particular is a section of highway access road that will be desginated as a bike route. I ride it every day I commute and traffic is very light because loops around under the highway in each direciton after one exit because it is bounded by a river on one end and a train track on the other. There is a MUP along the river with a low water crossing, so there is a way for a bike to get through at one end. At the other end, I get across the train track by popping the curb and driving across a short distance (less than 100') of dirt and stone to get to a road that does cross the train tracks. when the plan is implemented there will be a short bike path connecting the access road to the road that crosses the train tracks.

    Little paths like that, though, are hard to notice because of the scale of the map.



    Here's a map of the area I was talking about. On my way to work, I enter the picture at the lower right on the Southwest Blvd access road. I follow it until it loops left under the highway. I pop the curb and cut across to Riverwood Drive, which has a traffic light to cross W Vickery Blvd. I can either proceed straight across and follow the Southwest Blvd access road (which leads to a wide shoulder when the freeway turns back into a highway), or turn left on Vickery with the aid of the traffic light and follow W Vickery Blvd a block before turning right onto Valhalla Rd. (I usually do the latter, which takes me through a residential neighborhood and gets me off the busy street.)

    Anyway, a "sidepath" is planned to connect the Southwest Blvd access road south of the tracks to Riverwood Drive.
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    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  7. #7
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    I'm kind of new to this aspect of advocacy. What are the 5 Es?
    Engineering - bike facilities
    Education - bike safety training and motorist education
    Enforcement - Enforce traffic laws fairly for both cyclists and motorists
    Encouragement - bike to work day and organized rides around town
    Evaluation - track metrics
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  8. #8
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    Driving a car in the Dallas/Fort Worth area can be tricky. Here's hoping that Ft. Worth takes some cues from Austin, as Austin has made many avenues bike-friendly.

    If Ft. Worth does it right, they'll be encouraging people to ride, which is great in many ways. If, however, they drop the ball, it could be disastrous.

  9. #9
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    The mayor is not a cyclist and seems ambivalent about the whole thing in my opinion. He doesn't want to see cycling grow for cycling's sake, but he does recognize the political advantages of being bike friendly: can help rebuild neighborhoods, ease congestion with less investment than building roads to keep up with population growth, help city acheive clean air standards. That said, there are several local muckity-mucks including some members of the city council that very strongly feel that cycling can be a big asset to the city.

    In my own experience, there are good paths in place along the river for recreational cyclists. For transportation cyclists, the thing I like best is that the vast, vast majority of drivers treat cyclists well (as long as the cyclists don't act like jerks). I've learned over the last few years how to mostly not act like a jerk, so drivers rarely give me any guff. The next best thing is that the city really is permeable. You can get from Point A to Point B by riding through neighborhoods instead of riding along major roads. My commute route goes 17 miles each way; probably 15 miles or more are on low-traffic, residential streets or bike trails. It's a big, scary city until you start to ride it, then it really is, at its heart, bike friendly. My biggest concern, frankly, is that the bicycle plan doesn't mess that up too much. I like the idea that an increased number of bike routes, lanes and paths will get more people riding, but for me right here and now, my needs are more along the lines of small adjustments than wholesale changes.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    well, looks like the train carrying both those commodities is rolling in for a fullstop in Fort Worth. the small adjustments AND the wholesale changes.


    This is THE Fort Worth attached to the Dallas metroplex, right? looks good- what is Dallas doing, same thing?

    our former mayor used to say 'paint is cheap!'.

    a lot of these types of quite accommodating roadscape modifications suitable even for higher speed roads, like buffered bikelanes, etc can be done in relatively short order. if the first gothru isn't right, its easy to retrofit paint and intersection striping. A number of intersection designs improved here relatively quickly after initial implementation thru the process of evaluating the planning for bikes in the transportation mix.

    Road diets can help facilitate greater ADT as well as provide more physical preferred class space for bicycle traffic.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #11
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Yeah, this is the FW in DFW. Dallas has its own soap opera going on. In some ways they are light years ahead of us, especially with rail transit. They have a working system of light rail. All we have is a passenger train that goes from our downtown to Dallas downtown. And not on Sundays. As far as bike specific stuff goes, Dallas had a bike coordinator named PM Summer who wanted to achieve an increased bicycle share through education and vehicular cycling, but the city I guess wanted bike lanes so they pushed him aside. I haven't heard too much about the new coordinator. There are pockets of bike friendliness in Dallas including Bike Friendly Oak Cliff. They have some actual fixie culture over there. Here in Fort Worth you see a few fixies but they are rare and they don't seem to congregate in packs.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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