Another day, another bike plan for Oak Cliff. But Jason Roberts, founder of Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, says the Seventh Street proposal and another for Bishop Avenue are all part of efforts to brand the neighborhood "a major bicycling corridor." The Bishop Ave. concept is this: Install bike-only lanes connecting Methodist Dallas Medical Center with the Bishop Arts District, then call the track the Lance Armstrong Gateway -- because, after all, the cyclist was born at Methodist in 1971.
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"Yes, it's a marketing angle to go after the Lance Armstrong Parkway, but Oak Cliff needs any kind of positive press it can get," Roberts tells Unfair Park this morning. "Besides, Austin seems to get a lot of Dallas glory with Stevie Ray Vaughan, and there's gonna be something we can do."
Roberts says the plan was hatched a few months ago, when property owners up and down Bishop Ave. realized that almost $4 million in bond money set aside for Bishop Ave. improvements was still available. Roberts says that David Spence of Good Space mentioned over breakfast how some median improvements had been made, but that their upkeep was dependent upon property owners who had other things to worry about. The two, along with other property owners and community advocates, approached Methodist about the plan; conceptual renderings were drawn up; and council member Delia Jasso got involved.
"It's definitely not a sure thing, but I am pushing it hard, and so are a lot of us," says Roberts, who adds that streetcars once proposed for Bishop have been moved to Beckley Avenue at this point. "You could still put a streetcar on Bishop -- it has the same footprint as a bus -- but the [bond] funds are there for Bishop." But before this plan can proceed, there will need to be several public meetings, not to mention briefings before the council and its committees.
"This is still very much in the nascent stages," Roberts says. "But you have so much bicycle momentum in the nation, and with Angela [Hunt]'s work to get Katy Trail connected to downtown and other plans like it, this is exciting -- especially this project, because there are already funds in place."