By Christina Sebastian
Along with two other Bike Friendly board members, I serve on the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission, created by the Fort Worth City Council in March 2015. The commission is made up of nine members total — one representative from each council district.
As a new commission, the city seems to still be defining what our exact responsibilities are, but so far, we have been asked to provide recommendations on facilities, recommend programs or studies for the general budget, and bring up issues that we would like to hear more about as a commission. The commission was recently asked to provide a recommendation for on-street bicycle facilities for Carroll Street near West 7th; the commission recommended on-street bike lanes in lieu of a very-short (3 or 4 blocks) two-way cycle-track.
Citizens are allowed to speak about issues important to them at the end of each meeting; be aware that our meetings tend to run long, with us being forced to leave our meeting space at 8 p.m. The schedule has been set up to meet quarterly, but we’ve realized that we have more to discuss than that allows, so we recently asked to make that six times a year instead.
Personally, serving on the commission has been a great opportunity to get more connected with my city, better understand how Fort Worth operates, and (hopefully) provide an additional perspective on city issues. I’ve also appreciated hearing from the diverse members of our commission and getting their input on issues that may not be on my mind. I am looking forward to providing input on future bicycle and pedestrian-related facilities and programs and seeing the commission help Fort Worth receive a Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists.
Find out more about PABAC here. The next scheduled meeting is 5:30 p.m. June 9, at the Fort Worth Central Library, 500 W. 3rd Ave. Meetings are open to the public.