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Events Calendar

Tue, Sep 2 - Tue, Sep 30
8301 Furness Dr, Austin, TX 78753, USA
Bike to Hart Elementary (Austin)

Sat, Sep 612:00pm - 3:00pm
Cameron Park, Emmons Cliff Dr, Waco, TX, United States
BikeTexas KidsKup at Bicycles Outback Blowout (Waco)

Sat, Sep 13 8:00am - 2:00pm
1551 E Debbie Lane, Mansfield, TX, United States
Bike Out Hunger - Mansfield

Sat, Sep 1312:00pm - 3:00pm
Tyler State Park, 789 Park Road 16, Tyler, TX, United States
BikeTexas KidsKup at Tyler Speedwaves

Fri, Sep 19 - Sun, Sep 21
Prude Ranch, 209 Texas 118, Fort Davis, TX, United States
Fort Davis Cyclefest

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SRTS Event Handbook

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News / Blog Advocacy News
Advocacy News

TxDOT Proposes Banning Cyclists from Toll Roads

The May 30 Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) meeting included an agenda item regarding the possibility of banning cyclists from all TxDOT-controlled toll roads in Texas. BikeTexas heard about this agenda item at the last minute and was able to go to the meeting to testify against banning cyclists from toll roads. Watch the testimony here; click on Item 11 to skip straight to the discussion of toll roads. The BikeTexas testimony begins at 18:30 in the Item 11 video.

Cyclists and motorist share a highway in Texas.

Right now, most of the roads that would be affected by such a ban are in Central Texas. However, it would set a dangerous precedent for future TxDOT toll road expansion and give more teeth to local RMAs who might want to ban cyclists from their own toll roads if this ban were to go ahead.

The TTC suggests that banning cyclists from toll roads is for their own safety, but no studies exist to show that banning cyclists increases anyone's safety. TxDOT's own long-range plan and long-range rural plan both include cyclist accommodation, thanks to the efforts of BikeTexas and cyclists like you. This action to ban cyclists from roads without first providing alternative accommodation goes against TxDOT's own plans and policies.

We've worked hard to make sure bicycling is considered for Texas roads along with all other transportation modes. We will not let this ban go into effect without a clear plan for cyclist accommodation. After some discussion, the TTC pulled the agenda item for further study.

We will remain vigilant on this issue and keep working to make sure that cyclists across Texas will always have our rights to the public roads guaranteed by state law. However, BikeTexas can only speak on behalf of Texas cyclists with the support of the thousands of cyclists across the state who are BikeTexas members. Please add your name to this powerful bike lobby today; join BikeTexas now!

 

On the Lege: Sine Die

Participants in the Fifth BikeTexas Sine Die Bike Ride.The regular legislative session came to an end on Monday, May 27, 2013. The traditional BikeTexas Sine Die (Last Day) Bipartisan Bike Ride drew the largest legislative crowd yet: about 40 guests.

Eight legislators from across the political spectrum plus their staffs and family members joined BikeTexas staff on a four-mile loop down the Rio Grande Street cycletrack to the UT campus, back through the Capitol, and another four-mile loop to the Pfluger Bike/Ped Bridge on Lady Bird Lake before returning via Sixth Street and Congress Avenue. Joining us on this ride were Legislative Hosts Senator Rodney Ellis (District 13) and Representative Linda Harper-Brown (District 105); Senators José Rodríguez (District 29), and Larry Taylor (District 11); and Representatives Rafael Anchia (District 103), Trent Ashby (District 57), Joe Deshotel (District 22), Jodie Laubenberg (District 89), and Drew Springer (District 68).

BikeTexas will continue building relationships with legislators both on and off the bike, presenting walking and biking as mainstream activities that need specific statewide support. Additionally, BikeTexas will continue to work with local bike/ped advocates toward successes like the adoption of the Safe Passing ordinance in Houston last month.

Your support and response to contact legislators is very much appreciated and remains very important for the future. Before the next legislative session, BikeTexas staff will spend some time identifying constituent supporters in a broad range of legislative districts, as key committee positions are often held by legislative members from areas of Texas not well represented by bicycle and pedestrian advocates. You may have a cousin or a good buddy in another part of the state who could become an effective constituent for biking and walking; take them out for a bike ride next time you see them!

See more pictures from the Sine Die ride here.

   

On the Lege: HB 200 Signed Into Law

A Centerpoint Energy power corridor ripe for trails near Memorial Park in Houston.Building recreational trails along Harris County electrical power line easements became easier on May 16 as Governor Perry signed into law HB 200 by Representative Jim Murphy (R-Houston). The bill, applying only to Harris County, better clarifies liabilities for utility companies so that they are more comfortable permitting trails in their easements. This bill will provide connectivity between the north-south utility corridors and the predominantly east-west bayou trail system, creating a more comprehensive grid of trails in Harris County.

Rep. Murphy had plenty of bipartisan company on the bill with fellow authors Reps. Senfronia Thompson, Wayne Smith, Garnet Coleman and Sarah Davis and co-authors Reps. Alma Allen, Carol Alvarado, Dwayne Bohac, Bill Callegari, John Davis, Gary Elkins, Jessica Farrar, Allen Fletcher, Patricia Harless, Dan Huberty, Eddie Lucio III, Boris Miles, Mary Ann Perez, Ron Reynolds, Debbie Riddle, Hubert Vo, Armando Walle, and Gene Wu. Is your representative on this list? Take a moment to send a thank-you email!

Other legislators expressed interest in the bill and future sessions will probably see measures introduced to expand to other parts of the state. A companion bill, Senate Bill 633 by Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), was filed but not needed because of the momentum of HB 200 through the legislative process. HB 200 passed 144-0 in the House and 31-0 in the Senate.

   

On the Lege: Update, May 13

Texas Capitol at NightThe Safe Passing bill, HB 2225, failed to make it to the House floor before the midnight deadline on Thursday, May 9, for introducing bills originating in the House.

There was hope that Safe Passing would be heard on the floor when HB 2225 was voted out of Calendars committee on May 7, but the agenda was so backed up going into Thursday morning that lawmakers were still finishing up the Tuesday list. In each session, many bills are left behind at this deadline, and this session is no exception; we were certainly not the only ones disappointed on Friday morning. Complete Streets, HB 1102, was never voted out of the Transportation Committee and so it is also eliminated from consideration.

The Senate version of both bills, SB 1515 (Safe Passing) and SB 565 (Complete Streets), never had a hearing in the Transportation Committee, and are likewise now eliminated from proceeding. 

While chances are very low, BikeTexas staff will look for opportunities for Safe Passing to become an amendment on another bill. BikeTexas will continue to work at the Capitol for HB 63, Ban on Texting While Driving. Many thanks to all of you who answered the BikeTexas Action Alerts and contacted your representatives. Your efforts have gone a long way toward reminding your elected officials that their constituents care about Texas being a great state to bike and walk. Thank you for your support! Keep an eye out for any more updates in these last couple of weeks of the session.

   

On the Lege: Electric Bike Day

Electric Bike Day at the CapitolApril 30th saw an electrifying event at the Capitol. Outside the south steps under our blue and yellow tents, BikeTexas staff and Central Texas electric bike vendors set up over a dozen different models for legislators and staff to take out for a spin around the historic building. After being fitted for helmets and oriented to the bikes, nearly fifty legislators and staff took the opportunity to get away from their desks and meetings to get a nice breeze on their face.

Electric bikes offer the user a combination of ease and pedaling opportunity for getting around town. BikeTexas has an electric model used by staff to get to the Capitol two miles away and uphill on warm days – all while wearing a suit!

Electric cyclists also drive the need for more bike lanes, more cycle tracks, and more sharing the road with motor vehicles. These bikes have a governor to limit speeds to 20 mph – this keeps them in the same legal category as bicycles per licensing requirements, with access to bike lanes and bikeways.

BikeTexas gratefully acknowledges our partners Partnership for a Healthy Texas and Campaign for Healthy Kids for their generous sponsorship of the event.

BikeTexas also offers a big thanks to Jeremy Leffingwell of Fallbrook Technologies, John Dawson of Rocket Electrics, Scott Morgan of Alien Scooters, and Steve Pierce of Bicycle Sport Shop for bringing their newest models to the event. Check them out along with other electric bike dealers in your neck of the woods. Even if an electric bike is not for you, it may be perfect for someone you know.

   

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