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Fort Worth: Walkable and Bikeable

Via StreetsBlog New York City, we find this morning on Bike Friendly Oak Cliff an interview with Don Koski, the man charged with making Fort Worth cyclist-friendly -- got that? Good. What BFOC really wants to know, of course, is what Dallas can learn from Fort Worth's plans. To which Koski replies, in short: Dunno.

Dallas will obviously be following closely the changes that Fort Worth adopts due to the similarities we share in density and temperature. How do you feel that this type of planning has merit given these challenges?

Regarding density, I can't speak for Dallas, but in Fort Worth we are planning and developing more mixed-use centers and urban villages and redeveloping and infilling downtown and other neighborhoods near downtown. We are also planning for higher-density development along existing and future commuter rail stations and potential streetcar lines. Making these areas and the city as a whole more accessible by bicycle is consistent with these plans and visions. We have a lot of work to do in order to get there.

Regarding temperature, I don't buy the argument that people won't bike because it's too hot/cold/wet/etc. Look at the cities that have the highest bicycle commute rates in the country: Portland (wet), Minneapolis (cold), Seattle (wet), and Tucson (hot). Certainly there are many cyclists who won't bike for transportation purposes when it's hot, but there are other ways to address that, like by promoting the provision of shower and change facilities at major employers. In fact, I would say Fort Worth has great potential as a bicycling city: relatively flat, decent street block pattern, great trail system to which to make connections, great cycling weather 8 months out of the year, etc.

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