Oak Cliff People: Ride to City Hall is Off the Chain

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Ride to City Hall is Off the Chain
Officials saddle up to promote cycling awareness

By Margaux Anbouba

Forget about the year of the horse. For Dallas, 2014 is going to be the year of the bicycle.

More than 100 people gathered Wednesday morning to bike from Main Street Garden to City Hall promoting bike safety and awareness downtown.

Afterward, the group celebrated the accomplishments the city has made so far and spoke about what is yet to come. Some of the future plans include a biking bridge on Interstate 30, dedicated biking lanes on  Riverfront Boulevard, and a bike-share program.

"What we see here is a great testament and dedication that the city has to promoting cycling," said Jared White, the city's bicycle transportation manager. "[But] we are just getting started. Our next big push is to get more dedicated bike facilities across Dallas, in and out of downtown, connecting all the neighborhoods."

Scott Griggs, outfitted in a suit, and eight of his fellow City Council members led the group of cyclists.

"This is my third year to be involved [with the ride] as a council member, and it just keeps getting better and better and bigger and bigger," said Griggs, who represents North Oak Cliff. "Lets let the wole city know that we are focused on bike safety."

Another strong supporter of creating more bike lanes is Councilman Dwaine Caraway, who clearly recognizes the dangers cyclists face because of Wednesday's ride.

"We are going to do everything we can to make sure we have safe bicycles coming out of Oak Cliff," Caraway said.

The Oak Cliff Bicycle Company was a sponsor of Bike to City Hall Day, equipping participants with helmets.

While Dallas still has a lot of work to improve biking safety, White said the city has come a long way.

"Currently, we have 18 miles of on-street routes on the ground," he said. "That's a huge increase from two years ago when we had zero, last year we had 11, and we are up to 18. There are a lot of things happening right now, and it's going to be very different in a short period of time."