UPDATE: City Councilman Scott Griggs says he expects the two-lane bike way plus additional lighting on the bridge to cost about $85,000: “We’re looking under seat cushions in other places to see if we could come up with the money.”
After a car struck and seriously injured a cyclist on the Jefferson Viaduct last month, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff sprang into action, calling on city hall to help make the bridge safer.
They garnered the attention of City Manager Mary Suhm, who has taken the lead.
So far, Suhm and BFOC are considering turning the left-hand lane of the Jefferson Viaduct into a two-way bike lane, for north and southbound bicycle traffic. Ideally, physical barriers would separate the bike lane from motor traffic.
The Jefferson bridge was one of a handful of “early implementation” projects outlined in the Dallas Bike Plan, but the plan has stalled because it is not included in the city’s annual budget.
Suhm and city staff are figuring what the best plan for Jefferson would be; how to get cyclists onto the bridge from Zang and how much the whole project would cost. Then they will work with community volunteers to figure out how to pay for it.
Bike Friendly Oak Cliff is planning to stage a cyclovía in honor of the Houston Street Viaduct’s 100th birthday this spring. Perhaps some bike-lane fundraising could take place there. A recent fundraiser for another injured cyclist reportedly raised $3,000 to help with her medical bills.
Marissa Torres, whose husband, Dallas, is the cyclist who was injured on the bridge, has an interesting suggestion for the city. A police report shows the unlicensed driver didn’t hit his brakes until after he hit Dallas, which means he couldn’t have been watching the road, and he might have been speeding. Marissa says Dallas Police ought to write speeding tickets on the bridges and donate all the revenues for a bike lane.