Back in high school, on boring summer days and weekends, I would grab my trusty Gary Fisher mountain bike and haul butt for downtown from the parents’ north-of-635 abode. I won’t go into the nitty gritty details of the route, but it involved going south on St. Michaels/Boedeker Drive and hurdling helmetless through the usually-red light at Northwest Highway and into the Park Cities after nearly getting flattened and often getting cursed at by swerving motorists in their Lexus and Mercedes SUVs.
That whole nearly-getting-myself-killed thing was fun back in the day, but I have a kid now and understand that most (all?) reasonable people prefer not to take the death-by-bicycle route. Which would make Bob Ikel a reasonable person.
Ikel, an architect by trade, has been trying to make streets safe for cyclists for several years, Boedeker in particular. He’s been working with the city (and county and the North Texas County of Governments and DART) on an overhaul of the Dallas Bike Plan. He is also the founder of Bike Friendly North Dallas, which is dedicated to building easily bikeable streets (with bike lanes) in the area. Ikel is especially pushing for the establishment of bike lanes to link NorthPark Center with the White Rock Trail (the tentatively named C-Trail) and one that will run along Boedeker (the N-Trail) and link with a growing bike system in the Park Cities. The Windsor Park resident is also an all-around interesting guy who I will write about eventually once the vision for a bike plan in North Dallas becomes a little clearer.
All of which is an incredibly long-winded way of getting to the point that Dallas is hosting a meeting at 5 p.m. this evening at City Hall. They want to know what you want to see in a bike plan. Chances are, there will be a lot of Oak Cliff types in the crowd but, if I know Ikel, he’ll get his two cents in and probably a bit more. So, if you’re interested, pedal (or drive) down to City Hall tonight. I won’t be able to make it as I’ve been in sunny Florida for four days learning how to be a journalist, leaving the wife handling the incredibly energetic 10-month-old alone and me doing penance. But Oak Cliff People colleague Josh Hixson should be there and can fill me (and you) on what the Bike Plan could look like for Preston Hollow.