The Knox Experiment Was a Disaster, Some Say

Photo: Chris McGathey

Last weekend, the folks at Better Block helped the city of Dallas convert Knox Street into a “complete street,” full of a bike lane, angled parking, and vibrant sidewalks.

I went out, thought it was a neat idea, and wrote about it. Business owners were wary, understandably. Turns out they weren’t the only ones. I’ve received a few emails this morning about the story. Here are a few excerpts:

If some guys from Oak Cliff are itching to spend someone else’s money to build a bike lane to the Katy Trail, I suggest they put it 1 block north of Knox, on Hester Avenue – a street that has 95% less traffic than Knox, is just about as wide, and has no commercial retail shops.

And this one:

…while I am in favor of bike lanes, this lane was added to bring bike traffic from Central to the Katy Trail. Is that logical? The design was awful and I cannot imagine any business owner finding that acceptable. I don’t know what follow up, surveys, monitoring etc… that were performed over the weekend by the city of Dallas or the Better Block people. Suffice it to say, I think it was a “Fail.”

Any other opinions? Drop ’em in the comments or email me: bradford at peoplenewspapers dot com.

Update: D Magazine contributor Patrick Kennedy ran some numbers on the Knox installation. I’ll let him get the page views.

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3 thoughts on “The Knox Experiment Was a Disaster, Some Say

  • October 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Utter Failure.

  • October 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Bike lanes are always and without exception a failure.

    They’re generally designed and promoted by people who don’t actually ride bikes and whose agenda is either self promotion through some type if ‘sustainable green community building diversity’ experiment paid for by someone else, or by people who want bicycles the hell off the road because it slows them down by 30 seconds on their home to sit on the couch.

    I think anyone proposing any type of bike lane ought to have a verifiable 1,000 miles experience riding in them before they opine. And they ought to show how their solution is going to be privately funded.

  • October 7, 2012 at 12:09 am

    As an avid rider logging well over 1000 miles in the Park Cities, RBM Saturday AM Plano/Parker/Anna rides, White Rock, Katy Trail and downtown, in my opinion, the whole Knox experiment didn’t work for several reasons (I did not ride Saturday or Sunday, so I didn’t experience it first hand). First, it was only for two days, and one of them was rainy so car and bike traffic was probably down significantly. Second, I imagine that a large number of people traveling to the area on the weekend hadn’t heard about it, I only found out about it Friday after being out of town all week. The confusion with lane markings, parking changes, etc. probably made situations worse than they would be if the set up stayed in place for a couple of weeks so people could get used to it.
    Third, it makes no sense to put a bike lane on Knox for folks on the Henderson side to get access to Katy Trail. Henderson is a traffic nightmare, and like the other commenter above mentioned, Hester is a decent street, but McCommas is far superior. Unlike Hester, it has a bridge over central, and gets less traffic than Monticello, and connects to the “M” streets and Lakewood, with easy access from Fitzhugh residential area via Capitol and Glencoe. Downtown residents can hit the south end of the trail at AAC, ride up Katy and go to establishments on Knox, continue north, then cut across and back down Glencoe and Capitol, or Abrams to Ross.
    CW knows that almost 100% of bike riders also own cars and pay fuel taxes, so the comment on bike lanes being privately funded is disingenuous. I would advocate some type of separation from vehicle traffic (Large Botts Dots) as many of the roads I drive and ride on in Dallas are a) in poor shape for both activities, b) have too high a disparity in speed between vehicles and bikes (30-35 MPH limits are almost NEVER adhered to AND distracted driving (i.e. texting) is getting much worse in this area. So, unfortunately, more injuries and deaths will occur as bikes and cars share the road here in Dallas.


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