Twice in the last several weeks I've attended gatherings in Dallas City Hall regarding a revamp of the Dallas Bike Plan.
The city has contracted with Toole Design Group for the project.
Dallas Bike Plan Maps (the plan under development)
Greater Dallas Bike Plan Map (the older, but current system)
I have a paper copy of the current bike plan maps but never use them. While I've been commuting by bicycle since 1982 (San Angelo, College Station, Houston, Dallas) I've never had much use for a bicycle map. I've always traveled the most efficient route to any destination. Most efficient means 'that combination of safety and speed that keeps one healthy'.
I was able to ask a question at the second meeting and did receive an excellent response but I'm still a bit suspicious of info that I don't understand.
The speaker had explained early in his presentation that business streets with on-street parking are safe for cyclists while productive also for drivers and adjacent businesses. The stores and shoppers like customers being able to park nearby and cyclists are safe because automobiles move slower in a business area.
My question concerned whether this was also true in residential areas.
"Does residential on-street parking create a safe roadway for cyclists as you've described for business areas ?"
Let's take a poll
On which street would you prefer to ride your bicycle ?
My immediate response is Street C because no cars are parked on the street. I'm thinking that no (or few, as in Street B) cars parked in the road makes the roadway wider hence safer for cyclists. The gentleman from Toole Design Group thought otherwise.
He explained that the empty roadway encourages motorists to drive fast creating a poor safety record for cyclists. This may well be true. Street A's average speed is probably closer to 10mph than to 30mph while Street C's average speed is probably closer to 30mph than to 10mph. Slower moving automobiles are better for commuter cyclists.
I know nothing about the science of traffic. For now, I'll trust the opinions of the experts and keep watch as the Dallas Bike Plan 2011 is implemented.
"The strength or weakness of a society depends more on the level of its spiritual life than on its level of industrialization. Neither a market economy nor even general abundance constitutes the crowning achievement of human life. If a nation’s spiritual energies have been exhausted, it will not be saved from collapse by the most perfect government structure or by any industrial development. A tree with a rotten core cannot stand."
-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) Russian novelist, Soviet dissident, imprisoned for 8 years for critizing Stalin in a personal letter, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1970
Source: National Review article (Sept. 23, 1991, p.24)
"I have great sympathy for the oppressed but I do not expect them to be morally superior to the oppressors. I merely expect them to be oppressed." -- Jerome Barkow Anthropologist Source: Dalhousie University, 1989
"Government can do something for the people only in proportion as it can do something to the people." -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
"You just can't beat the person who never gives up." -- Babe Ruth
[George Herman Ruth, Jr.] (1895-1948) American Major League baseball player (1914-1935) http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Babe.Ruth.Quote.7482
"If we expected self-reliance of family groups, if we expected hardiness and resilience and initiative on the part of individuals, and if we rewarded initiative instead of dependence on government, we would not only ameliorate many of the family-related social problems we see at present, but we would also reduce our vulnerability to terrorism. People who are hardy, resilient, and self reliant are a lot harder to terrorize."
-- Bernard H. Levin FBI National Academy Associate
Source: November/December 2004, Volume 6, Number 6, Page 25.
"The patriot, like the Christian, must learn to bear revilings and persecutions as a part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite and praiseworthy. It requires, indeed, self-command. But that will be fortified in proportion as the calls for its exercise are repeated." -- Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Thomas.Jefferson.Quote.E35A