Since Ashley Haire became Dallas’ latest bike czar a year and a half ago, almost 27 miles of bicycle lanes and shared-lane markings have been added to the city’s network.
Dallas is now up to about 40 miles. And officials hope to reach 101.5 miles by the end of 2018, Haire told a group of about 30 cyclists — including City Council members — on Wednesday, the annual Bike to City Hall Day.
All the talk and planning that has gone into Dallas’ bike plan is now coming to fruition, Jared White, Dallas’s bicycle transportation manager, told the group.
“Now is the time it’s about to get really, really exciting,” White said.
According to a 2008-to-2012 American Community Survey, only about 0.1 percent of the Dallas-Fort Worth population rides a bike to work. The national average is 0.6 percent.
When Haire moved to Dallas in 2012, she said, she rarely saw others on bikes. When she did, “it was like this miracle moment.”
But times are changing, said Haire, the bicycle transportation engineer who manages the city’s on-street bicycle program. “It’s becoming more prevalent to see people on bicycles here.”
When the Dallas Bicycle Plan was adopted in 2011, there were no on-street lanes — shared or otherwise — for cyclists. The bicycle plan envisioned an eventual network of 840 miles of on-street lanes.
Council member Lee Kleinman said the addition of bike lanes in his highly residential North Dallas district has had the effect of slowing down traffic and making the neighborhood safer, but he’s eager for more lanes.
“It’s a nice start,” he said. “We’re building out as fast as we can. Doesn’t seem like it’s as fast as we’d like.”