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Saturday, October 24, 2020
Government Council Report: City moving forward with active transportation plan for bicycles, pedestrians

Council Report: City moving forward with active transportation plan for bicycles, pedestrians

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Transportation played a key role in Tuesday’s Fort Worth City Council work session.

The council was given a powerpoint presentation on the Fort Worth Active Transportation Plan by the city’s Senior Transportation Planner. Regional Mobility and Innovation Officer Chad Edwards presented a briefing on regional mobility, followed by Trinity Metro Senior Vice President Bob Baulsir presenting that company’s initiative.

The Fort Worth Active Transportation Plan aims to create a regionally coordinated and locally connected bicycle and pedestrian system. The idea is to have a safe, comfortable, accessible and equitable network of trails, sidewalks, and on-street bicycle facilities for people of all ages and abilities.

Ryan described active transportation as “a way of getting to your destination that doesn’t include a vehicle. No matter your age or ability, you can get around in Fort Worth.”

The plan is also designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle, economic development, and increased community awareness and funding for alternative modes of transportation.

Stakeholders representing 53 groups are guiding the project. Several public meetings and education events have been held since the spring of 2018.

Statistics pushing the program show that pedestrian crashes increased from 11 in 2010 to 36 in 2018, and since 2010 pedestrians have accounted for 15.5 percent of all road deaths. Also, the top crash causes for bicyclists were driver inattention and failure to yield.

In considering that sidewalk, trail, and bike design should meet the needs of all users, of all ages and abilities, the program notes these needs:

*Appropriately designed for land use context.

*ADA accessible curb ramps and signals.

*Appropriately wide sidewalks with buffers from traffic.

*Separated sidepaths along busy roadways.

*Buffered and separated bike lanes.

Statistics also show that 53.5 percent of the majority-minority communities are within a half mile of access to existing bicycle lanes or trails, and 6 percent of majority-minority communities are within a half mile of existing bike shares.

Targets for the plan include:

*Zero annual bicycle/pedestrian fatalities by 2030, current average is one per year bicycles and 22.4 pedestrian.

*Decrease missing curb ramps in super majority-minority area from 68.6 percent to 48.6 percent by 2025.

*Decrease missing/poor condition sidewalks in super majority-minority areas from 67 percent to 47 percent by 2023.

*Decrease Fort Worth overweight/overweight residents from 68.1 percent to 61.3 percent by 2030.

*Increase majority-minority land area within a half mile access to trails or bike lanes from 34 percent to 44 percent by 2025.Moving forward includes:

*A Vision Zero Policy and creation of a Vision Zero Plan.

*Continuing to educate the public on safe behavior and interaction for people who are driving, walking, bicycling, and using transit.

*Adoption of an Equity in Transportation Policy to facilitate the ongoing identification and eradication of racial and cultural disparities in transportation affordability, access, and safety.

Funding targets are:

*Sidewalks/pedestrian safety – $10 million from 2014 bond, $17 million from 2018 bond, $34 million from next bond, $68 from subsequent bond.

*On-street bicycle facilities – $1.2 million from 2014 bond, $3 million from 2018 bond, $6 million from next bond, $12 million from subsequent bond, $250,000 annually from general fund by 2022.

*Trails – $1.9 million from 2014 bond, $7.5 million from 2018 bond, $14 million from next bond, $28 million from subsequent bond.

Ryan said figures from the 2018 bond were doubled (or close to) and then doubled again for an estimate.

“With that large amount of needs we wanted to make a recommendation that we could bring forward, to have as a discussion point, somewhere to begin. We can’t predict grants or other funding, but we can predict bond funding a little better,” she said.”

A resolution is expected to go before the city council at its April 9 meeting.

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