A study was done recently about encouraging folks to exercise more. Here’s one of the suggestions that came from that study: using a street map of your home and/or work, put a pin in one or both of those locations. Then draw a one-mile circle and a 3 mile circle around that pin. Take note of the places within those circles that are on your ‘errand’ list and think about walking or biking to do those errands instead of driving your car.
When we moved to Frisco, we joined approximately 30,000 other people living here. Frisco now has about 120,000 plus people. All the experts believe that we’ll build out between 280,000 and 290,000 folks here in Frisco. What I’m looking at is the roadways. Unless we begin to plan in a more aggressive way for shared use roadways, we are going to be looking like a lot of other cities that are only car-friendly. The Dallas Morning News reported recently that the city of Dallas has updated their bike plan and are going to spend millions of dollars retro-fitting roads to make them more bike-friendly, providing both on and off street biking options.
Bikes are not the enemy. Some people look at bicycles on the roadways and view them as the enemy.
Granted, there are bikers who do not use good common sense sometimes. Julie saw a person riding northbound on the toll way access road at 5:00pm. Well, that’s just not smart. He’s riding on one of the major thoroughfares in five o’clock traffic in the direction of the commute. There are so many other roads that run parallel to that road that are less trafficked. We don’t know his story. We don’t know what he was trying to do or where he was trying to go, but he was certainly not using much common sense.
The other day I saw a person that I don’t think would be signing up for my regular Saturday morning bike rides. Although he did look like he was enjoying himself, he was riding on a main street against traffic at 8:00am. We need to do a better job of reminding people that a bicycle is a form of transportation and therefore shares the same responsibility as other forms….. go the same direction!
One of the major complaints about cyclists is that they are sometimes seen running red lights or not stopping at stop signs. It is one of my complaints, also. I’m the guy who will pull up to that person and remind them that what they have done is illegal and that they are making it difficult for other cyclists. Another common complaint is about the cyclist who does not wait his turn at a light, but works his way to the front of the line on the shoulder of the road. Here’s the deal, buddy: If you want the same rights and treatment on the road as a vehicle, then you need to start acting like it and wait your turn. If you don’t make the light that cycle, well, that’s part of the deal.
Now is the time for Frisco. We have a pretty nice hike and bike comprehensive plan. I think it’s time to get a little bit more aggressive. I’m interested in hiring an engineering firm out of Austin which has years of experience producing plans and economic studies for what a city could look like with a better multi use plan. If you’re also interested in something like that, let me know. We might not be able to change the world. But what if we could change the Frisco roads? Or maybe add a kids program called ‘Safe Routes to Schools’. There are a lot of things that we could do. Let’s change Frisco.