Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bike lanes come to downtown Dallas — shared bike lanes, sure, but that's ... - Dallas Morning News (blog)

A worker from Striping Technology applies a blowtorch to the bike-lane markings going down on Lamar.

At July’s end we noted that thanks to Downtown Dallas Inc.’s generous donation, the city at long last had enough dough to lay down Phase 1 of Dallas Bike Plan’s Central Core Connector, which links the Santa Fe Trail and Katy Trail through downtown. And so it’s off to work they go â€" “they” being the three workers from Striping Technology, which the city’s hired to lay down the bike-path markings being affixed to Lamar Street at this very moment.

Now, you’ll note: The 2011 iteration of the Central Core Connection doesn’t run down Lamar (in both directions, turns out); Market and Griffin made up the original loop. I’ve got a call in to Keith Manoy, one of the city’s senior transpo planners, to discuss the change of plan.

But Jim Wood, director of Planning, Transportation and Development for Downtown Dallas Inc., says, yes, Lamar’s the route â€" from the American Airlines Center, where bike lanes were laid down a couple of weeks back, to the Dallas Convention Center. And, yes, these are shared bike lanes, not dedicated or buffered lanes, like the one that showed up around Rosemont Elementary last week.

But “the markings are better than nothing,” says Wood. “Everybody would like to see designated lanes, but there are some challenges, especially with downtown â€" intersections and parking, for instance. But this is the first bike path through downtown. We’ll see how this works, and maybe we can figure out some designated paths in the future.”

As for when this will be finished: The workers putting down the markings guesstimate they have 200 to go as they make their way to the convention center and back to Woodall Rodgers. So … “maybe a week?”

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