Monday, October 24, 2016

Disconnected Roads

I love riding a bicycle, but I'm surrounded by roads that I'd rather not ride. To the West I have Crowley Road, which is a six lane road that is constantly flowing with traffic. The City of Fort Worth is planning to put an on-street bike path along it at some point, but they won't tell me when. An on-street bike path is a glorified sidewalk that is wide enough for bicycle traffic, but it still has to contend with driveways along the street.
To the North I have Sycamore School Road, which is another busy street that they aren't likely to do anything with anytime soon. To the East there is Hemphill Street. It's a little better than the others. The speed limit is only 40 mph, so only some of the traffic goes 50 or 60 mph and there is less traffic. I do ride this street when it isn't too busy. The plan is to remove two lanes on this street south of I20 and mark it for bicycle traffic. I like the idea, but I don't see it happening soon.
To the South there is Risinger Road. It might be okay except it is incomplete. There is a private road that connects it, but that does me no good. Going farther South there is Crowley Cleburne Road, which is narrow and I would have to ride some distance with the 60 to 70 mph traffic on Crowley Road before I reached it. It would be well out of my way if I wanted to go North.
In looking at the map I noticed that that are as couple of streets that would make a world of difference to my bike rides if they weren't dead end streets. One is Winn Drive in Edgecliff Village. If there were a bike trail connecting it to Camelot Road I could avoid Hemphill Street completely on my way to Westcreek Drive and the Trinity Trail.
But then I noticed another one. If Cunningham Street were connected to something on the other side of the train tracks most of my heavy traffic concerns would disappear. On the other side of the tracks, there are plenty of residential streets.
In time it will probably be different. Those empty spaces will be swallowed up with housing and there will be streets connecting everything. Right now that isn't the case. I just think it is interesting how much difference a few yards of concrete would make in terms of improving cycling in my neighborhood.