The city’s public works department presented changes to the thoroughfare plan, which includes bike lanes in our neighborhood, in a meting with neighbors Tuesday.
Any time the city wants to install bike lanes or cycle tracks, they are required to amend the thoroughfare plan, including conducting neighborhood meetings. City staff members Tanya Brooks and Ashley Haire stressed that these plans are preliminary.
The plan calls for a protected bike lane, or cycle track, along Beckley from Greenbriar to Zang. Where the protected cycle track on the Jefferson Viaduct will end at Oakenwald, it will transition to bike lanes on either side of the street. Shared bike lanes would be painted on Neches to Bishop, which already has bike lanes. Bike transportation coordinator Ashley Haire says she thinks directing bike traffic onto side streets generally works better than having bike facilities on main traffic thoroughfares, such as Colorado or Zang. Bike Friendly Oak Cliff board members present at the meeting said they were pleased with the plan.
East Kessler Park neighbors were not too pleased with plans for Beckley, the current design of which encourages speeding (the posted speed limit is 30 mph, but traffic typically moves much faster) and discourages walking. While the proposed redesign does include a cycle track, it doesn’t do anything to slow traffic.
Neighbor Katherine Homan says she would like Beckley to be a real complete street with “women pushing strollers” on wide sidewalks. The city’s minimum sidewalk width is 4 feet, and the minimum for a cycle track is 8 feet. So the design minimizes bike and pedestrian amenities while allowing 64-76 feet for cars.
These amendments are expected to head to a subcommittee of the City Plan a Commission, and it could go to City Council in May.
That being said, this is just a plan. The Beckley changes have not been funded, and neither have the bike lanes on Zang, nor the shared lanes on Neches.
Offer your feedback directly to Tanya Brooks at 214.243.2083, or by emailing her.