Friday, December 8, 2023

Frustrated by anti-cycling attitude

I moved to the Cross Timbers area over 30 years ago and our family has enjoyed many thousand miles cycling together in North Texas and neighboring states.  Now retired and 76 years old, I still cover over 6,000 miles a year on the bike.

In a nation plagued with obesity and Texas being high on the list, I feel saddened by the Bartonville anti-cycling attitude.  Other towns like Flower Mound, Lewisville, Grapevine and even Dallas are building hike and bike trails to meet the community’s interest in cycling and promote health.

The recent press and TV coverage of the Bartonville situation has failed to point out that the problem is mainly the result of widening FM 407 by eliminating much of the shoulder on each side of the road that cyclists previously used.  With this change, the ‘Bartonville straight’ next to Lantana has become a motor speedway with motor bikes performing wheelies at well over 100 mph.  I pointed this out to the TxDOT planners but got no response.  The outcome is that cyclists’ only safe option is to go through Lantana or Bartonville itself.

The lack of a response from TxDOT is no surprise since Governor Perry recently vetoed a cyclist safety bill.  I also subscribe each year to special Texas ‘Share the Road’ car license plates to promote cooperation between cyclists and other road users but get no response to my inquiries on how the money is being used.

As a final point, I wish to mention that my cycling companions are complying with Bartonville’s rules to restrict the number of riders in a group and we never litter.  Most of all we would like to see Bartonvillians forsake their SUV’s and big-screen TV’s and try cycling.  World oil reserves are only good for about 50 years using present technology so they’ll need to get used to riding a bike sooner than they think.

Bill Hodgson   
Lantana, TX

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