Following Garland's one and only "official" Bike Route
|The neighborhood bike route where it intersects with Kingsley Road|
As we were studying maps we came across this unadvertised route and found that it runs through the city of Garland. There was no information on the City of Garland's website, so we decided to explore it for ourselves. What we found was a route that was best suited for faster paced group rides than it would be for a mom pulling her kid behind her on a bicycle trailer. Although there were some low traffic areas that wound through neighborhoods and underdeveloped parts of the city, there were also some areas where cars were going in excess of 40 miles an hour. We would like to point out some interesting things that we saw that day and would also like recommend some improvements to make this route more commuter friendly.
Here's a map of the route we covered that day.
Some recommendations we would make right off hand to make the bike route more bike friendly:
- "Share the Road" signs to complement the existing bike route markers.
- More traffic enforcement along the bike route for the protection of cyclists.
- Bicycle lanes along Glenbrook, Kingsley and First Street where they meet the bike route.
- Increased promotion of bicycle route to Garland residents. Community awareness of it's existence.
Our journey first started on Duck Creek Greenbelt park on the southeast corner of Garland. We took the trail to First street and then followed the Bike Route signs through some neighborhoods until we reached Kingsley. We rode for less than a quarter mile on Kingsley alongside some fast paced traffic then veered back into the neighborhoods following the bike route. We continued on the route until reaching Glenbrook Road. Glenbrook road then proceeded to take us all the way into downtown Garland. Here's a few more pictures of downtown Garland along with some observations we made.
|There seems to be too much emphasis on trying to park so many cars in such a small space.|
|Vetoni's Italian Restaurant|
|The old diner sign for Main Street Cafe.|
|Fountains line the downtown plaza and theater.|
|An empty plaza that could be used as a community social center. Where are all the musicians and chess players?|
|An art mural on State Street|
We continued on Glenbrook Road, passing Buckingham Road and eventually reaching Apollo. On the way back we stopped at a classic car show in a parking lot of a small Mexican restaurant. This would be something I would normally pass up if I were driving my car. But since I was on my bike, I took the time to check out this small gathering of classic car aficionados. It's just a small example of happenings within the community that many disregard due to being socially disconnected by their vehicles.
Just like a small community that is proud of their history and shares their love of classic cars, so can Garland become a community that comes together over cycling by giving it social importance. Garland has a rich history and a lively culture that would express itself if given the chance. In order for a community to come together it has to first become visible to one another. Cycling removes that social bubble and forces us to interact with one another face to face. As we continue to cover the subject of Garland's bike friendless, we will also strive to reveal things about Garland many may not even know. We want to stay as informative as possible on all existing and future developments for bicycles in this city, as well as to help to define and promote it's cultural and social identity. Stay tuned for more related bicycle documentaries about Garland as we find new routes to explore.