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Okay, So We Have Bike Lanes. But What if Cars Just Drive Over Them?

A demo-project bike lane on Sylvan Avenue in West Dallas. Source: the terrible camera in my phone

The blurry photo you see above is a new bike lane, a demo-project one, on Sylvan Avenue, between I-30 and Fort Worth Avenue. It was installed a few weeks ago, and I drive past it every day on my way to work. The problem is that while I drive past it, most people drive through it. It’s a matter of location – the I-30 service road dumps vehicles right onto it; there’s a bottleneck heading north on Sylvan, too – but also a matter of education.

I called Max Kalhammer, the city of Dallas’ bike plan guru, to ask him what the city could do to make sure cars use car lanes, and bikes use bike lanes.

“We’re hoping to improve and increase our outreach about these tyes of facilities, and we’re still ramping up to do that,” he said. “Personally I’ve observed a vast majority of motorists are doing it correctly.”

And maybe that’s true – he mentioned a bike lane on Fort Worth Avenue which has 97 to 98 percent compliance, but that’s a wider road, with better-defined lanes – but the city still needs to do something. Signs are coming, he said, as is a media campaign. And the city applied for an almost $750,000 STEP grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to help finance this campaign; the awards are granted in July.

Until then, here’s a plea: stick to your own lanes.