Survey Gauges North Texans' Opinions Toward Bicycling
Regional planners continue to examine ways they can provide more active transportation options that will allow residents to safely bicycle to destinations throughout North Texas. Public involvement is a key component of any transportation project. Residents need to be updated about projects that directly affect them, and they often have ideas that can positively influence projects or policies. One way to ensure their voices are heard is to go directly to them.
NCTCOG has completed a bicycle opinion survey of adults in the 12-county metropolitan area, which involved interviews with more than 1,900 adults covering a range of bicycle-oriented subjects from how often they rode a bicycle (if at all), their level of comfort of bicycling on various types of bicycle facilities, and barriers to bicycling more often. The survey found that the closer people lived to bicycling facility such as an off-street trail or a street with designated bike lanes, the more likely they were to opt for making a bicycle trip.
The survey asked questions about both on- and off-street facilities, which NCTCOG works actively with local communities to improve through various transportation funding programs. In October 2018, for example, the Regional Transportation Council approved $36.74 million toward significant expansions of the Fort Worth-to-Dallas Regional Veloweb Trail and for crucial parts of the Cotton Belt Regional Trail that provide connections to multiple rail stations. With the addition of local matching funds, this recent investment in the regional trails will top $40 million.
The opinion survey found people bicycle for recreation, as well as transportation purposes such as commuting to work or school. Bicycling remains popular, and a majority of respondents of the statistically valid opinion survey reported they would like to bicycle more often, including those who have not bicycled in the past year. With more dedicated bike facilities, that would likely happen, as the survey indicated people identified distance from trails as a barrier to bicycling. For the full results of the survey and presentation slides, visit www.nctcog.org/bikesurvey. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the region’s bicycle facilities to bike to work and log their alternative commutes on www.tryparkingit.com.