Admittedly, I don’t follow the goings on in our sister burg Funky Town as closely as I do our own, but I like to think I have a basic sense of what is happening in Fort Worth. Apparently not. I was taken aback reading today that Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price was named “America’s Most Bike Crazy Mayor” by Bicycling magazine.
Turns out that Price, a cycling enthusiast for more than 40 years, rides her bike to work, hosts weekly rides to meet residents, encourages her staff to take up cycling (every member of her staff and city council have biked to work at least once, she claims), and has led Fort Worth to add “66 miles of bike lanes and put $1.2 million toward building trails, to make it safer and easier for residents to exercise.” She is also spearheading a complete streets program, and Fort Worth participates in the bicycle bike share program. Actually, every major Texas city participates in that program, except for Dallas. Dallas’ bike share is limited to Fair Park, remember?
And there’s more:
“The health of communities is critical to your economic development, to your engagement, to the vitality of your community,” Price says. “Biking became a huge piece of that.” She launched an initiative called FitWorth that includes programs devoted to wellness, including the Tour de Fort Worth, which overlaps with the Tour de France and features 21 days of cycling events. Price rides them all. “You’d have to be crazy to be me,” she laughs. “In a good way.”
Which all leaves me with two simple questions:
- When Price’s term is done in Fort Worth, can she run for mayor of Dallas?
- And what would happen if the Dallas City Council and mayor’s staff tried biking to work once in a while? What if they tried to take public transit? Sometimes it can feel like mobility issues are so poorly dealt with in Dallas because the people making the decisions have no real understanding of what it is like to move around Dallas without car. I like Price’s answer to this political disconnect because it is so simple: try it, and see how it makes you feel and think differently.