Transportation

Dallas Has Its First Real Bike Lane, and It's in Oak Cliff

It's easy to bemoan Dallas' glacial progress on the bike plan that is supposed to, one day, connect the city with an extensive network of bike lanes, but credit should be given where it's due. In the spring, it was the shared lane that randomly sprung up on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard next to Fair Park. This time, as Bike Friendly Oak Cliff informs us, it's the first piece of real estate on city streets dedicated exclusively to bikes.

What you see above is the city's first and only buffered bike lane, running by Rosemont Elementary on Mary Cliff Road. Bike Friendly Oak Cliff co-founder Zac Lytle said the group has been working with the city for a year to get the bike lane installed.

"It took a long time for (the city) to get everything in place, from funding to communication between various departments," he said.

The buffering is important because, while those stylized bicycle icons on MLK theoretically let drivers know they might run over a cyclist if they're not careful, they're often reluctant to cede the road. Giving bikes their own lane makes it less likely they'll be plowed over.

And while the bike lane at Rosemont is short, almost laughably so, stretching less than a quarter of a mile between Ranier and Taft, it's undeniable progress.

"This is something to celebrate," Lytle said.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson