Denton now has 8.5 miles of bike lanes, a goal of the city’s Master Plan

Originally published on the North Texas Daily website.

Two years after Julie Anderson was appointed to be the City of Denton’s new bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, or “Bike Czar,” Denton’s mobility plan and its continued progress is sparking a revision to the wording in the Master Plan.

The powerpoint, which now features a crossed out “Implement Bicycle Master Plan” under the transportation section, outlines the entire Simply Sustainability project.

“‘Implement’ makes it sound like the plan has not yet been started, but Julie is hard at work and she’s been doing a lot of good stuff, so we’re changing the wording,” sustainability coordinator Stephanie Corley said. “We haven’t finalized the plan, but something along the lines of, you know, ‘Continue progress on.’”

Anderson’s work has allowed the city to dedicate 8.5 miles of bike lanes and 9.5 miles of sharrow lanes, or road lanes that are expected to be shared equally between cyclists and vehicles.

“So much of the plan since the time they implemented it in 2012 has already [been achieved],” Corley said. “So we’re trying to find a way to honor the fact that they’ve achieved these goals and continue progress with them.”

Anderson attained her master’s degree in city and metropolitan planning in 2012 and previously worked on a similar bicycle and pedestrian project for the city of Topeka, Kansas.

The mobility plan seeks to follow in the footsteps of other metropolitan planning organizations that “echo the overall goal targets set by the U.S. Department of transportation in 1994 “by attempting to double the percentage of trips made by foot and bicycle, and to simultaneously reduce the number of injuries and fatalities suffered by bicyclists and pedestrians by ten percent,” according to the city’s website.

An increase in bicycle and pedestrian transportation coincides with Environmental Protection Agency’s suggestion of “building public transportation, sidewalks and bike paths to increase lower-emission transportation choices” as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emission, helping to ease a major concern in Denton.

“I think she’s done some pretty tremendous things so far for the city,” Corley said. “As far as I know, there are no plans to do anything other than continue the implementation of it.”

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