Archive for January, 2015

Dallas, You Just Lost Some Cool Points

Posted by    |    January 29th, 2015 at 7:40 pm

We can all agree on the “Best State in the Union,” however most Texans disagree on city superiority.

I imagine the argument has raged since William Barret Travis first drew a line in the sand.

Remember the Bikes!

Remember the BICYCLE!

We may always disagree on the best city in Texas, but we can agree on what makes one city “cooler,” than another.

Take the Big 5 for example: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. All five have bike share programs.

This may come as a surprise to Dallasites. Yes, Dallas has a bike share. Our bike share program debuted in November, at Fair Park.

Fair Park Bike Share

There are currently two bike share stations.

How does that compare with other cities in Texas?

Texas City Bike Friendly Power Rankings:

  1. San Antonio, 55 bike share stations with 450 bicycles
  2. Austin, 45 bike share stations with +-300 bicycles
  3. Fort Worth, 35 bike share stations with 300 bicycles
  4. Houston, 29 bike share stations with 22o bicycles
  5. Dallas, 2 bike share stations with +-20 bicycles

Dallas may have hopped on the bike share bandwagon late, but would any self-respecting Dallasite ever imagine that we are less hip than Houston?

In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Mayor Mike Rawlings used a restaurant analogy to describe the debut as a soft opening.

Rawlings went on to say that he would like to see the program throughout the city.

Mike on a Bike!

Mike on a Bike!

Let’s hope so. A soft-opening could smother the program’s ability to thrive. A productive bike share relies on a network of stations.

Mr. Rawlings, let me use a telephone analogy to describe Dallas’ bike share.

Two bike share stations are like using two tin cans and string as a telephone. It works great, as long as you’re within shouting distance.

So if Dallas really plans on expanding the bike share program, now is the time to voice your opinion about station location, before the money is spent and the ground is broken.

Thomas Cantu, Community Cyclist

McAdams Family Cemetery Clean Up

Posted by    |    January 28th, 2015 at 3:32 pm

 WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Please help us clean up this important link to our past on February 28th from 9:00am – 1:00pm.  

This is the cemetery before and today.  It won’t take long if we all pitch in.  

THANK YOU!!!

click poster for downloadable pdf file

Edgefield Ave: Oak Cliff’s North-South Cycling Route

Posted by    |    January 27th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Yesterday I discovered my new favorite bicycle route!

As a cyclist, I often struggle to find a safe, north and south bike route that allows access to all areas of Oak Cliff.

Faces of Elmwood

Faces of Elmwood

Most of the north-south through-ways in Oak Cliff are very hilly, have high speed traffic and are not exactly what I would call “scenic.”

Edgefield Ave. is the perfect solution to our North-South Cycling Dilemma. The street is wide, the traffic is slower and it passes through residential areas.

I knew I could access Kiest Park by use of Edgefield but I had always been intimidated by the distance from North Oak Cliff. It just seemed so far.

Finally I mustered up the guts and to my surprise, the ride was smooth and less strenuous than anticipated.

I’m the kind of cyclist with one speed: all out, pedal to the metal. But the cute houses and bright day seemed to invite me to slow down and savor the scenery.

My favorite stretch of the ride is in Elmwood, between the DART Rail Tracks and Illinois Ave.

Hugo's Tacos

Hugo’s Tacos

There are taquerías, muffler and tire shops, salons, and a boxing gym. Everything you would ever think to ask for or need. A great place for a pit stop and a quick bite.

The only significant road hazards I encountered were on the north side of the intersection of Illinois Ave and Edgefield. The road is really rough there.

Saner Ave on the south end of the route leads straight to Kiest Park.

Edgefield Ave offers access to:

To Edgefield and Beyond!

To Edgefield and Beyond!

1. West Dallas
2. Trinity Groves
3. Belmont Hotel
4. The Foundry
5. Chicken Scratch
6. Sour Grapes Crew Studio
7. Steven’s Park Golf Course
8. Kidd Springs Park
9. Methodist Hospital
10. Lake Cliff Park
11. The Kessler Theater
12. Bishop Arts District
13. The Texas Theatre
14. Dallas Zoo
15. Elmwood Neighborhood
16. Kiest Park
17. Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
Edgefield Ave really is a cyclist’s paradise, so enjoy and ride safe!

Thomas Cantu, Community Cyclist

Where Do YOUR Kids Go To School?

Posted by    |    January 26th, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Tonight is the annual “Where Do YOUR Kids Go To School?” meeting for Rosemont Early Childhood PTA (RECPTA) families and North Oak Cliff families trying to navigate options for preschool, kinder, and some upper grades, such as magnet options that open at 4th grade or private options that shift at 6th grade, and more.

Monday, Jan 26th
6:30 pm
At ENO’S Pizza Tavern
407 N Bishop Ave.

(Eno’s will technically be closed, so there won’t be food, but they will have drinks available.)

 

The meeting is open to anyone who want more information about the school choices Oak Cliff neighbors are making.

 

If you’re a Cliff Dwelling parent who will be representing a school, please let us know so we can circulate a list of who is represented. So far we have: Rosemont SchoolsThe Kessler School, Harry Stone Montessori, Travis TAG, Bishop Dunne, Mount St Michaels, St Elizabeth’s, Art of Peace/Casa de Paz, and some info from parents applying to Great Hearts.

Presentation guidelines:
Keep it to 3-4 minutes per SCHOOL
Include info such as:
Name of school
Location
Ages accepted
Description of school- Is it Parochial, Montessori, dual language, arts academy, etc.?
Any info about application deadlines or scheduling tours
Personal remarks- “I love it there because…”

This should leave time for Q & A and perhaps some smaller groups to break off for discussion about specific schools.

See everyone tonight!

Pre-order a Bicycle Brewery Tour tee for $15!

Posted by    |    January 26th, 2015 at 12:06 pm

DrinkBeerRideBikes_orange_front

The Front of the t-shirt. The back will have event details on it.

 

I’ve decided to do a tee shirt this time around for our fourth edition of the Bicycle Brewery Tour – The Winter Edition on February 7th. 

The design is being done by Richard Ward of ReplyWard.com.  You can pre-order a tee in men’s or women’s sizes, small – XXL.  Click here to Pre-order.  Add your size and gender to the special instructions.  Only a limited number of tees will be produced, so get in your order!

 

Thanks,

Jonathan Braddick

Bicycle Brewery Tour – The Winter Edition, February 7th, 12:30 PM

Posted by    |    January 22nd, 2015 at 1:54 pm

jonathantallbikeRiding a tall bike while eating dumplings on the Continental bridge epitomizes the fun times we’ll be having in our next edition of the Bicycle Brewery Tour!  Meet up at the Continental Bridge at 12:30 pm, 02/07/15.  RSVP link is below.

Dallas’s craft beer industry is growing faster than we can keep up.  All 5 breweries in this 4th edition are brand new to the tour.  First up, the original and one of the very first craft brewers to open is Peticolas Brewing Co..  We’ve been trying to get them on a special tour for awhile, but gave up and will be attending their open house tour.  Several great beers to taste, include the illustrious Velvet Hammer.  Be on guard, most of their beers are high ABV (Alcohol by Volume).  $10 for entry gets you 3 beers.

Next, we’ll move around the block to Noble Rey Brewing.  They’ve been trying to moving into Dallas for a little while now, as we’d hoped they’d open here in Oak Cliff, but their location became a nightmare once the I-35 construction started, and they chose to move to the Design District, or should we say the Craft Beer Design District.  It boasts four craft brewery’s now!  Noble will offer a special tasting for our group at no cost to our participants, and offer their merchandise for sale.

The third stop will be another newbie, the brewpub Texas Ale Project.  These new kids are yet another new addition to the Design District.  They’ll be open to the public and have $2 5oz taster or $5 pints offerings.

If you’re wondering how on earth we can fit more beer into this tour, get ready, we’re not done yet!  The fourth, and not final stop will give us a chance to stretch our legs a bit and ride over to Deep Ellum to visit Braindead Brewing Co.  This new edition to the scene will challenge you after 3 earlier stops.  A stop for food will be a must at the food trucks in Klyde Warren Park before arriving at Braindead.

Finally, the most die hard and still standing brewheads will be heading to the 5th and final stop at the beautifully designed, and much appreciated Small Brew Pub on Jefferson Blvd in Oak Cliff.   We’ve been to their location in a past tour, but it was a shell of what it looks like now.  There’s a food menu and daily offerings to choose from.  If you make all 5, I’m cookin’ something up for the Last Brewhead Standing!

Read here for some bicycling and brewery tour tips and RSVP here!  This is not an excuse to get drunk.  It’s about the beer.  Being a responsible adult, while tasting good craft beer, and knowing your limits is the key to a good bicycle brewery tour.  Bad behavior will NOT be tolerated, and you’ll be asked to leave the tour.

Another round at Craft and Growler
communitybreweryblog
John, the brewmaster at Four Corners, on the pour
It was a good turnout!
bicyclebrewerytour_020
Just swinging around at Four Corners

Oak Cliff Residents oppose managed toll lanes on I-35 and 67

Posted by    |    January 19th, 2015 at 2:23 pm

From The Dallas Morning News- 1-15-15
by Roy Appleton

 

‘We don’t want this’

The meeting, organized by Dallas City Council members Scott Griggs and Dwaine Caraway, attracted about 80 people. Nineteen of them took turns standing before Nguyen, microphone in hand, to challenge project assumptions and plans.

“We don’t want this. We don’t want these tollways here. Not in Oak Cliff,” said Juanita Lozano, drawing an “amen” and applause from the crowd.

“You’re creating a system where people with means can zip from one end of this area to the other while they wave at the rest of us on the sidelines,” said Michael Amonett.

Others targeted the highway widening and the project’s necessity.

“Where will you get the additional land you need?” asked Alicia Quintans, who lives near I-35E and observes its daily traffic flow.

“There’s maybe two hours of the day when traffic is jumbled up on I-35,” she said, “and I don’t understand why we’re building these toll lanes for two hours of the day.”

After cynically thanking the project staff for “the use of our giraffe in your logo,” Bill Evans, the Dallas Zoo’s chief financial officer, said adding toll lanes to I-35E would make travel to the zoo more difficult and have “an adverse impact on the city of Dallas.”

Stan Aten blamed the highways’ congestion on “that [roadway] mess downtown.” He called for more focus on mass transit and for highway builders to “think cost effective,” as fuel-efficient vehicles cut into fuel-tax revenues and more young adults make do without cars.

“You need to be rethinking how you’re doing it,” he said, “not thinking about widening a road and hoping people use it.”

One speaker asked if the project had to go forward at all, or if it could be “turned off.”

“The no-build alternative is still out there,” said Dan Chapman, a vice president for the project’s design firm, HNTB.

Core questions remain.

“Can you tell me who wants this?” asked Judy Pollack. “Who is going to benefit? Who is going to make the money?”

READ MORE

Everyone Bikes: Anita Mills

Posted by    |    January 18th, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Everyone poops and everyone bikes.

This is the first in a series of short bios of neighborhood cyclists.

EVERYONE BIKES!

EVERYONE BIKES!

Meet your neighbor, Anita, she bikes too.

Anita Mills: 66 yrs, Gardening Consultant, Bishop Arts Neighborhood

Anita Bikes!

Anita Bikes!

Cyclist Questionnaire:

1. Why do you ride?

Health – recreation

2. Type of riding?

Short errands in neighborhood, exercise

3. Where do you ride?

I ride in the neighborhood, mostly. After years of duking it out with cars, I now prefer “safer” routes, with bike lanes. That’s why I’ve been a constant lobby-er for cycle tracks and separated bike lanes. I love biking trails like the Katy Trail, but it’s a hassle to put my bike in the car, then drive (where do I park?) to the Trail, then unload bike to ride. Seems counter productive. But there does not seem to be any way from my house to the trailhead without either riding with traffic, or going into the Trinity River Bottoms, which I do not perceive as advisable for a single female biking alone! (Yes! I have opinions!)

I took a Traffic Skills 101 course a couple of years ago (that’s when the picture was taken). I can ride the streets, just like I did in 1977 when I first got to Dallas. And I can ride with cars (just think like a car and seize the lane). But what I realized was that if I hit a snag, or my wheel caught in something, the car behind me would run me over. I’m just too old for that. 🙂

4. Why is cycling important to you?

Cycling is so important for health as well as reducing the polluting vehicles on the road. We don’t need more roadways, we need more cycle-tracks and trails. We need to remove barriers to cycling in Dallas.

5. Why is cycling important to the community?

Cycling also puts one more in touch with their surroundings. We can greet people, notice new businesses, plants and houses….smell the flowers so to speak. It slows us down in this rush-rush rat-race.

I lived for 11 years (1965-76) in Davis, California, where “bike is king.” The campus was closed to motorized vehicles, and it is a large campus (measured in square miles, not acres). Further, there were 25,000 people, and 20,000 bicycles! There were bike lanes everywhere, and drivers were used to navigating streets with lots of bicyclists out – in all weather. I might add, speed limit in the city was 25 mph.

Davis, CA Bikes!

Davis, CA Bikes!

6. What improvements do you hope to see for cyclists in Dallas?

Definitely more bike trails, and cycle tracks, as well as bike lanes that are separated by more than just striped pavement – how often do you see a car move into the bike lane to make a right turn? Slowing traffic down, and prominently marking bicycle paths and lanes are very important.

When I sat a table with a League Cycle Instructor a couple of years ago, we talked with a lot of seniors who wanted to (1) learn to ride a bike; or (2) wanted to ride with their grandchildren. But they didn’t feel safe on the streets. We must work to make the streets attractive to seniors (and mothers with children).

Thanks Anita for allowing us to ask you a few questions and also for your opinions and suggestions!

-Bike Friendly Oak Cliff

The 2015 Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade

Posted by    |    January 12th, 2015 at 11:22 pm

10857928_10152920235864441_2488924587399172143_nThe annual Mardi Gras Oak Cliff parade is on Sunday, February 15th!

Enjoy marching bands, festive floats, and infamous entries like the Sheriff’s Posse and the World Famous Free Wheelie-ing Elvi, all while catching tons of beads!

This family-friendly parade rolls at 4 o’clock sharp down West Davis from Montclair Avenue to the Bishop Arts District.

644510_10151528300915948_163994568_nStay tuned to our Facebook event page for more information about parties along the route. We’re hearing rumors of crawfish boils, oyster parties, grandstands, specialty brews, and more!

There are still a few spots left for those who want to enter a float or group. Sign up online here!

Last Opportunity for Public Comment on the Trinity Tollroad

Posted by    |    January 12th, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Marcia R. Hackett with the U.S. Corps of Engineers wants to hear from you regarding plans to place a Tollroad in the Trinity River Basin. This is your last opportunity for public comment on this issue. Tell your friends!!! 

EMAIL MS. HACKETT HERE

Signed DF Extension Notice 8 Jan 2015