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From DFW (thanks to Richardson Bike Mart and BikeDFW) please click here.
Cyclists-in-Suits, , in Austin
We'll meet at the Capitol Auditorium (E1.004, which is across from the Capitol Grill at 9am sharp for a welcome and brief training session.check in at least 15 minutes prior. No food or drinks are allowed in the auditorium. The Capitol Grill near the auditorium has breakfast foods, and coffee at a very reasonable price. It is open early.)
After orientation, volunteers from across the state (including bus loads of individuals from bike groups in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth) will visit legislative offices to show support for our bills.
At the end of the day, we’ll meet at The Bonneville Restaurant overlooking Lady Bird Lake for a social hour and refreshments.
Sign up to participate by clicking here.
When we reach out to our friends in email blasts this spring, contact your legislators to show support for our bills. Sign up for our Enewsletter, and Action Alerts which are time sensitive during the session.
Bus Trips to Cyclists in Suits:
From DFW (thanks to Richardson Bike Mart and BikeDFW) please click here.
Summary of bills BikeTexas is supporting this session: Please note, legislative sessions are fluid and bills can change at any time. Consult this bill tracker for up-to-the-minute information.
Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act for 2017-House Bill (HB) 1236
Named for a popular bicycle safety advocate and BikeTexas board member, who died on the road in 2012.This Safe Passing Bill will establish for unprotected road users a standard safe passing distance of 3 ft. (or 6 ft. for Commercial Vehicles) that only applies when road conditions allow. It also prohibits the “right hook” (turning dangerously in front of an unprotected road user) and failing to yield when making a left turn at an intersection. Comments: No fiscal note. Twenty-five Texas cities and twenty-five other states have enacted safe passing laws. Imposes penalties for violations under this bill.
Establishment of the Vision Zero Legislative Task Force by the Legislature - House Bill (HB) 1677
This legislation would direct TxDOT to establish The Task Force on Vision Zero: Achieving Zero Traffic Crashes, Injuries and Fatalities, to report findings to the 2019 legislature, based on the Task Force review of a) current state of roadway fatalities and serious injuries and b) identification of effective measures to reduce the number of roadway fatalities to zero by no later than 2050. Comments: no fiscal note. Vision Zero is a national and international effort to reduce fatalities to zero. BikeTexas is proud to be a member of a coalition of Texas-based health concerns
supporting this bill.
Lowering the Prima Facie Speed Limit in an Urban District – House Bill (HB) 1368
This legislation would amend the Transportation Code to change the lawful speed from 30 miles an hour to 25 miles an hour in an urban district on a street other than an alley unless a special
hazard exists. Comments: no fiscal note. Uses speed reduction as a tool for reduction of fatalities and serious injuries.
Alex Brown Memorial Act – Distracted Driver - House Bill (HB) 62
This legislation relates to the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, creating a criminal offense and modifying existing criminal penalties.
BikeTexas’ mission is to advance bicycle access, safety, and education in the state of Texas, and as in any diverse group there will always be differences in opinion about the most productive ways to move forward. One of our key roles is to advocate for sufficient funding to create a stronger infrastructure for active transportation at the local, state, and national levels.
Our endorsement of incumbent Council Member Leslie Pool for District 7 in Austin has prompted considerable discussion. Many comments have been made in support of Council Member Pool’s challenger, while other comments call into question our role, motivations, and intentions as an organization supporting Texans who ride bicycles for sport, recreation, transportation, community development, and fun. We certainly welcome discussion and disagreement, but have always asked that all conversations on our page remain all-ages-friendly and refrain from personal attacks.
Council Member Pool helped bring the largest active transportation funding bond in state history to the voters and has shown an open response to her constituents’ wishes and bicycle-related concerns for many years. This is one of the reasons she earned our endorsement—she helped bring a historic opportunity for better infrastructure, including more bike lanes, throughout all of Austin. Council Member Pool’s statements regarding the Shoal Creek Bike lane have been mischaracterized; the full video makes it clear that she remains open to her constituents and stakeholders on the matter. (The shorter clip does not include her full remarks.)
Our endorsement is based on Council Member Pool’s record and openness to active transportation concerns since 1999, including her support for $120 million for the bond up for vote in November. We chose to endorse Council Member Pool for a second time due to her record. Council Member Pool is the proven candidate in this race.
Hard work, cooperation, and compromise have been necessary to make Austin a Gold Bicycle Friendly Community, and BikeTexas will continue to work with effective council members like CM Pool until Austin and every Texas city obtain Platinum BFC status and beyond.
Avast! September 19 be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so haul yer best Pirate to yer ride and impress yer mates! (We be puttin' these here fer a laugh. We be not wantin' ye to do anythin' that might land ye in traction.) Don't be forgettin' yer eyepatch for yer post-ride grog, savvy? And nae stealin', either--that be the wrong spirit fer Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Before the ride -- "Arrrr, where be we goin'? Which one o' ye is the coxswain? Does every bilge rat have flat changin' tools?"
Car back -- "There be dragons."
Car up -- "Here be dragons."
Road hazard -- "Ahoy, mates! Watch yourselves o'er this ____."
Speeding up -- "Smartly, mates! This be not the time for slackin'!"
Stopping -- "Avast! There be a stop sign!"
And if someone ignores ride etiquette -- "Release the Kraken."
After the ride -- "Pass me the grog, mates, or be keelhauled."
Photo: Arrrr, bikes!
Every September, BikeTexas members come together for the Annual Membership Meeting. We hear from board members and staff about where we are and where we'd like to be in the next year. We share successes and setbacks. And in 2016, we're celebrating 25 years of bicycle advocacy in Texas!
We invite you to join us on Sunday, September 25, from 4:30 to 7:30 PM as we celebrate the work of another year together. Register now to attend. The Annual Membership Meeting is open to the public, but you must be a BikeTexas member to vote.
If you're in the Austin area, please join us at The High Road, 700 Dawson Rd (map). The membership meeting is 4:30 to 6 PM, with reception to follow immediately afterward in the same venue, from 6 to 7:30.
If you can't make the trip to Austin that day, you're invited to join us online via Go to Meeting from home, a coffee shop, public library, or wherever you may be. Go to Meeting spaces are limited, so register soon to avoid disappointment.
The Annual Membership Meeting is also when we'll have our annual drawing for a new bike! One lucky member will roll away with a 2017 Trek 7.2 FX bike in the color and size of your choice, which you'll be able to pick up from your local Texas Trek dealer. Trek has generously donated this giveaway bike just for BikeTexas members. Not a member yet? Join here. Edit: You must join by 1 PM on September 3 to enter to win a bike.
New this year, we're having a second bike giveaway at the Membership Meeting, open to in-person attendees only. We'll be giving away one of our bike fleet: an eight-speed Tern Link D8 folding bike (pictured)! BikeTexas staff and board members and their families are not eligible to win, but everyone else who attends in person at The High Road could be the lucky winner.
Register here to attend either in person or online, and we'll see (or hear) you on September 25.
Teachers, students, and parents are already in the swing of a new school year. How's it going so far? Is your bicycle rolling with you to class?
Biking or walking to school gives your child (or you!) tremendous health and mental benefits. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the US, and regular physical activity can help protect your child: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day for children and adolescents.
In addition to getting kids active, studies have shown a link between children being active on their way to school and their ability to concentrate once they arrive. Doss Elementary School in Austin has noticed this firsthand: after just a few months of the school's bike program, teacher Amanda Swann said, "children who walk/ride to school are much better prepared to sit and learn and have gotten those ‘wiggles’ out on that trip to school instead of during school."
So, time to get everybody ready to roll!
2. Make sure everyone in your family has a properly fitted helmet. (PDF download)
Want to plan a Bike/Walk to School Day for your school or community?
Biking/Walking not a feasible option for your family?
Never fear: You are not forgotten! StreetsBlog LA shared excellent advice from Jim Shanman, the executive director of Walk n Rollers: "Instead of driving all the way to school, try parking 5 blocks away and walking the rest. Spending an extra 10 minutes with your kids and avoiding the drop off crush is an excellent – and rewarding – way to start your day." Read more of Jim's suggestions here.
You might also consider joining-- or starting-- a walking school bus or a bike train in your neighborhood. Parents take turns being the leaders, reducing each person's overall time commitment-- a valuable commodity for busy parents. Learn more: info about walking school buses here and info about bike trains here.
Above all, have a great school year, and happy riding!
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