The city of Denton plans to add a bike lane on Hickory Street

The city of Denton plans to add a bike lane on Hickory Street

The city of Denton plans to add a bike lane on Hickory Street
November 01
05:35 2018

Following the City of Denton’s approved Bicycle Plan, Denton is trying to construct a bike lane along the majority of Hickory Street, said Marc Oliphant, city bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. The city and Fry Street merchants have yet to come to an agreement on the bike lane installation.

According to the update to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Linkage Component of the Denton Mobility Plan, this bike lane will start on West Hickory Street and continue through Welch Street and down North Carroll Boulevard. The lane’s budget ranges from $8,077 to $20,192.

Oliphant said this lane serves as an important west to east connector between the university housing, UNT campus and downtown Denton.

“The bike lane was striped along the majority of Hickory Street except for the two-block section from Avenue B to Welch Street because the merchants in that area were strongly opposed to the bike lane eliminating any on-street parking,” Oliphant said.

The City of Denton has hired a consultant to look at new options along the two-block stretch to accommodate both on-street parking and the already approved 2,132-foot bike lane, Oliphant said. Two weeks ago, the city’s staff met with the Fry Street merchants to review the consultant’s draft designs.

At the meeting, neither the city nor the merchants came to a consensus but did “have a good conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of each design and came away with a better understanding of the merchant’s position,” Oliphant said.

Lou Delaney, owner of one of the businesses along the proposed bike lane, Lucky Lou’s,  said the addition of a bike lane on Hickory Street is not an issue but that the delivery and loading zone is. The large number of businesses in this area requires daily deliveries to be made.

Lucky Lou’s has been in Denton for 22 years, but only six months ago were customers legally allowed to park in front of the bar. However, that is no longer the case.

“During the six months that cars could park there, the delivery trucks couldn’t,” Delaney said. “The trucks then double parked in the road and caused innumerable safety issues between cars in traffic and between cars and pedestrians. The delivery and loading zone issue is never addressed in these conversations, and it seems to be the most dangerous element to consider in the bike lane discussion.”

Delaney said something needs to be done to ensure safe access to roadways for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. At the same time, he said every effort needs to be made to keep all the parking spots for the sake of small businesses in the area.

“There is a large contingent of cyclists in Denton and they absolutely deserve safe access to their roadways as much as anyone in a car does,” Delaney said. “Something needs to be done through the area. Whatever solution is final, negatively impacting the total number of available spaces in the area could be quite disruptive to some of the small businesses down there.”

As of now, the city’s consultant is working on one more draft design to accommodate the bike lane and achieve no net loss of on-street parking, Oliphant said. In this area, the city is working on a block-by-block repaving project and the city traffic engineering staff is planning to have the bike-lane design finalized and approved by the city council by the time the repaving project has been completed.

Sociology senior Antonio Chambers, who commutes to school, said the Hickory bike lane is fair to drivers and bike riders because some UNT students commute to campus by riding bicycles.

“I can always find other places to park but you can’t ride your bike down the sidewalk because that will be a hazard,” Chambers said. “Somebody can get hit, so I think having a lane specifically for bikes can be very conducive to students getting to class and commuting home.”

Featured Image: A new bike lane is being constructed across from U Centre close to Lucky Lou’s. Emilia Capuchino

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Jacqueline Guerrero

Jacqueline Guerrero

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2 Comments

  1. mintaslanxor
    mintaslanxor November 02, 12:38

    The stretch of Hickory from UNT to Carroll is in a worse shape than what I’ve seen in many Third World countries. Ironically, they’ve been working on it on and off for almost 18 months now. Why is it that Denton always beats all the records for road contruction/repair duration?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jr
    Jr November 04, 21:28

    I just wanna dance

    Reply to this comment

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