FORT WORTH -- For the last decade, Kyle Dykes has been braving streets from his home in Haltom City to commute by bicycle to work in downtown Fort Worth.
It hasn't always been easy, with drivers honking or trying to brush up against him.
But in the last couple of years, Dykes, 34, has seen an improvement.
"I think it's because of the extensive trail system and more urban environment; you see more cyclists on the road," Dykes said.
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Three weeks ago, Fort Worth striped new bike lanes along 10th and Texas streets that allow riders to access downtown directly from the trails along the Trinity River. The new lanes are the first of about 11 miles of downtown lanes that are scheduled to be striped before the end of the year.
Since the first lanes were striped, city officials said that ridership has been limited but that they expect that to change in the coming weeks.
"I think it will take a little while for people to realize they're there," said Julia McCleeary, a senior planner.
"But the anecdotal evidence shows a lot people have started cycling along West Seventh Street since those bike lanes went in there last year."
Fort Worth already has bike lanes on West Seventh and on the near south side.
The city has upward of 1,000 miles of bike lanes in its bike master plan but no funding beyond what will be done this year.
Mayor-elect Betsy Price, an avid cyclist, applauds the creation of new lanes but said the city should move slowly in expanding the program because of costs and public acceptance.
"It is a fine balancing act, but vibrant, strong cities have to offer many types of transportation," Price said.
The city has a goal to triple the number of commuters, but Price said more shower facilities are needed in downtown buildings to make that happen.
"Many businesses still don't have shower facilities, and that's critical in the Texas heat," Price said.
Dykes is one of the lucky ones. His employer, the engineering firm Teague, Nall and Perkins, has showers, and the offices sit a block off the new lanes.
Yet Dykes has mixed feeling about the lanes because they sometimes divert riders closer to the curb, where the doors of parked cars are often a hazard.
"In some cases it may help; in some case it may be a detriment," Dykes said. "Overall, I would certainly say it's a plus for encouraging rider to get out on the road."
It's a similar situation for Dan Berndt, who works in the Federal Building and can see the lanes from his office window. On most days, Berndt, 53, commutes 13 miles one way on his electric-powered bike from his far north Fort Worth home.
Last year, he put 2,200 miles on his bike and now uses the new bike lanes to go to lunch along the West Seventh corridor.
"I wouldn't be doing that if those bike lanes weren't there," Berndt said.
"Most cars give you room, but when you come to an intersection, a lot of cars tend to crowd the curb.
"Before they put those bike lanes in there you couldn't get through there very well, but now you pass these big old lines of cars -- but it's still a little risky out there. You still [have] cars that will pull out of those shopping centers without looking for bikes."
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698