North Texans want more dedicated bicycle facilities — trails and paths separated from vehicular traffic — according to a survey of 1,900 adults conducted by the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The survey was completed by telephone in both English and Spanish.
Currently, the region boasts more than 700 miles of off-street paths and more than 400 miles of on-street bikeways, with more funded or planned for the coming years. This will include efforts to connect residents to transit stations, jobs, schools, entertainment options and parks throughout the region.
A majority of respondents (55 percent) would like to bicycle more. However, hot weather and a lack of various types of bicycle facilities were the reasons most often identified among all respondents as the top obstacles to bicycling more often. In addition, respondents reported a strong preference for bicycle facilities separated from vehicle traffic such as an off-street path or on-street dedicated bike lanes that are separated from traffic by wide buffers or physical barriers.
Only a small percentage of respondents indicated they are comfortable bicycling with traffic on streets that do not have bike lanes separating them from vehicle traffic lanes.
The closer respondents lived to a bicycle facility, the more likely they were to report riding a bicycle. This included both on- and off-street facilities.
The survey also sought to gauge safe riding practices. About half of those who reported they bicycled said they wear a helmet at least half of the time, but usage varied by age of the rider.