City Hall

Council Told City Can't Afford Bike Lanes, Which Is Why BFOC's Looking for Donors

So much for that Bike Plan briefing. The council's transpo committee didn't have time to get it today, so it's been backbenched for now. Shame too, since Street Services second-in-command Beth Ramirez's pavement markings briefing was so fascinating, as in: Did you know it costs anywhere between $17,400 to $24,500 for a single mile of bike lane in this town? Which means: The $25,000 the Fort Worth Avenue Development Group is putting toward lanes along Fort Worth Avenue from Colorado Boulevard to Beckley Avenue

doesn't even cover a mile, as Ramirez told Pauline Medrano when she asked how far that dough will stretch.

"We are looking for ways to fund that gap," Ramirez told the council. Because right now, she said, "our operating budget does not include money for bike strips."

Which brings me to Bike Friendly Oak Cliff's proposal to privately fund at least some of the Jefferson Avenue Viaduct, at the top of the Bike Plan's to-do list.

I asked Jason Roberts this afternoon if the organization's decided how to proceed in the wake of Israel "Dallas" Torres's accident one week ago. Because, if you'll recall, BFOC met last week to discuss a kick-starter of some kind to help pay for bike lanes or, better still, Jersey barriers to protect cyclists entering the bridge from the Oak Cliff side.

Says Roberts they're actually meeting with city officials tomorrow to see how much City Hall can contribute, after which BFOC will decide how to move forward.

"We're playing catch-up," he says. "So we'll see if there are other opportunities that give us the chance to put some funds out there. Let's see if we get buy-in from the community to shoulder some of the costs and make the numbers work. Like, with the [Margaret Hunt Hill] Bridge, the city puts in X amount and donors put in the rest. Even the [Woodall Rodgers] deck park, it's partially funded by the city and partially funded by donors." (The feds too.) "We just thought: We should follow that model."