Is our neighborhood bikeable? Only ‘somewhat’

Bike Score's heat map of the Oak Cliff area (photo from walkscore.com)

Bike Score’s heat map of the Oak Cliff area (photo from walkscore.com)

Around this time last year, Advocate editor Keri Mitchell told us about Walk Score, a website that rates how walkable a city is based on how far residents must go to reach grocery stores, entertainment, parks and other amenities. Dallas was rated “somewhat” walkable with a score of 47 (out of 100), classifying our city as “car dependent.”

The Seattle-based company recently expanded the site to include Bike Score, which uses a similar algorithm to rate a city’s bikeability, based on factors like terrain, bike lanes and destinations. Dallas is rated, you guessed it, “somewhat bikeable” with a score of 41.

A closer look at the heat map of the Oak Cliff area reveals a score of 47 — not much higher than the city average. You wouldn’t know it judging by the neighborhood’s bike culture and the number of folks out their on two wheels. Plus, Oak Cliff reached a milestone recently when the city finally installed a bike path on the Jefferson bridge.

We’ve done a lot of reporting on Dallas’ effort to become more bike-friendly, particularly in Rachel Stone’s March 2012 cover story on the future of biking in Dallas and the faces of Oak Cliff bike culture. The ambitious Dallas Bike Plan is still trucking along in its 10-year plan with tweaks from council members (and, of course, there’s always the issue of cost). At a recent city council meeting, departing councilwoman Angela Hunt reminded everyone that we still have a long way to go.

In the meantime, let’s take a look back at our video from last year, interviewing several neighborhood bike enthusiasts about how they’re co-existing with motorists.


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