Friday is national Bike to Work Day, and while Preston Hollow may not be the bike-friendliest neighborhood in Dallas, a few have braved the car-clogged streets on two wheels.
Our March 2012 story, “Building a Path for Cyclists,” looked at the future of cycling as transportation in Dallas. Since then, the Northaven Trail has brought neighbors together (and recently received funding for the extension to Denton Drive). But what about co-existing on the roads with motorists?
Here’s an archived excerpt from Preston Hollow resident Waco Moore who has routinely ridden his bike during rush hour near Preston and Northwest Highway as a “vehicular cyclist”:
Moore is like Bigfoot. Even if you catch a glimpse of him cycling down Preston in rush-hour traffic, no one would believe you.
“I’m just a guy that rides a bike,” he says. “It’s not about speed. It’s about being predictable. I get honked at maybe three times a year. It’s really uneventful and really pleasant.”
Every day, Moore travels from his home in the Hockaday neighborhood to work Downtown.
He follows the same general rules as cars but doesn’t prefer the label “vehicular cyclist.” He says it carries a negative tone, divides bicycle riders as being for or against bike lanes and ignores an important gray area.
“The city is focused on planning, and the main focus is on transportation and infrastructure and to rebuild more functional neighborhoods. I agree with about 99 percent of that. The issue is the way in which they view cyclists.”
He says that a bike-lane separation downgrades a cyclist to simply a pedestrian on wheels.
“They are much more a vehicle.”
Councilman Lee Kleinman (who was on the Dallas Park Board at the time) told us that small steps can make a difference:
The cultural change doesn’t necessarily mean people should try to commute 20 miles to work every day. But they could bike to the grocery store or to dinner at a nearby restaurant.
“Everything within a 3-mile radius, any casual cyclist can bike to within 20 minutes at the most,” Kleinman says. “Dallas is very big. In order to make a more livable city, we have to break it down into smaller components. That’s the only way to cope with a city this size.
“I don’t think we’re going to live in a Danish utopia where 40 percent or so of the population goes everywhere on their bike … but I don’t think it takes a lot of bikes to make a difference.”
Read the rest of this back issue, which includes tips on road rules, bike safety and etiquette.
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