This morning, Angela Hunt made a discovery: Dallas City Hall has no bicycle rack.
"It's nuts!" said Hunt, who was standing with other bikers on a chilly morning in the plaza. "We're going to get us some bike racks for City Hall if I have to buy them myself."
Dallas has been rated a number of times as one of the worst cycling cities in the country. Jason Roberts, the 35-year-old musician, activist and Best of Dallas-winner who co-founded Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, has lost enough friends to other more pedestrian-friendly cities, and decided to do something about it.
"If you create these events, people will come," Roberts tells Unfair Park.
Five council members -- Hunt, Jerry Allen, Ann Margolin, Pauline Medrano and Dave Neumann -- showed up to ride. So did various DART officials, Trinity Strand Trail members, as well as representatives from the Park Board. Roberts began organizing the event more than five weeks ago after calling Hunt and discovering that she'd be on board. He spoke to several other council members, as well as the city's new bicycle coordinator, Max Kalhammer.
"We also wanted to use the opportunity to announce a couple new initiatives," added Hunt, who stood talking with Roberts in the plaza. And they are ...? Jump for it.
Update: Here's Hunt's Flickr photostream from this morning's bike ride -- 63 pictures' worth.
The Complete Streets Initiative will aim to make Dallas a more bike-friendly city by using bike lanes to connect DART stops with local hot spots. Hunt mentioned the city was hoping to build some "demonstration" areas in certain sections of the city sooner than later. The other announcement was that the Dallas Bike Plan, something that had sat untouched for 25 years, said Hunt, had been infused with new life.
The plan had received a $400,000 grant that came mostly from North Central Texas Council of Government and only partially from the city. The money will pay for a "new vision for Dallas," says Hunt. The research will examine "how we integrate bicycles into the daily infrastructure of our city."
More information will be announced tomorrow at the screening of the documentary Contested Streets at the Texas Theatre, where Hunt will host the evening and speak before the screening.