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News / Blog Advocacy News
Advocacy News

APBP / NACTO Urban Street Design Guide Webinar Now Available Online

By Karen Dredge, APBP

Cycletrack-1391The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) and The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) provided a free webinar on the Urban Street Design Guide on November 6th. Over 1000 interested viewers registered and watched it live. APBP now has made the archival recording available to any interested viewer. Go to the APBP home page http://www.apbp.org and click into the NACTO Screen to begin viewing.

During the webinar the leading experts in street design who contributed to the guide's development addressed how this resource will change the face of our nation's streets, the ways you can use it in your community, and how specific topics and elements in the document differ from conventional practice.

The NACTO Urban Street Design Guide charts the principles and practices of the nation’s foremost engineers, planners and designers working in cities today. The Guide offers a blueprint for designing 21st-century streets, and unveils the toolbox and the tactics cities use to make streets safer, more livable, and more economically vibrant.

In this archived webinar, viewers can achieve a better understanding of how and why city streets demand a unique set of design tools specific to their distinct needs and characteristics; how to implement different "interim" design strategies, including parklets, public plazas and temporary safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians; how to utilize the guide as a tool for local and state advocacy, including basic information on NACTO's endorsement campaign for the guide.

The webinar presenters are all experts in street design and contributors to The Guide: Michael Flynn, Director of Capital Planning, NYC DOT; Michael King, Principal, Nelson\Nygaard Associates; Peter Koonce, Division Manager, Signals, Street Lighting & ITS, Portland Bureau of Transportation; David Vega-Barachowitz, Director, Designing Cities initiative, NACTO.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) represents large cities on transportation issues of local, regional and national significance. NACTO views the transportation departments of major cities as effective and necessary partners in regional and national transportation efforts, promoting their interests in federal decision-making. As a coalition of city transportation departments, NACTO is committed to raising the state of the practice for street design and transportation by building a common vision, sharing data, peer-to-peer exchange in workshops and conferences, and regular communication among member cities. For more information about the organization, visit www.nacto.org.

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) provides expertise for sustainable transportation and is the only professional membership organization for the discipline of pedestrian and bicycle transportation. APBP members are employees of all levels of government, consulting firms and non-profits who work in the engineering, planning, landscape architecture, police, safety, health and promotion fields and specialize in improving conditions for bicycling and walking. For more information about the organization, visit www.apbp.org.

 

UPDATE: San Antonio's Loop 1604

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 1.11.19 PMOn August 21, 2013, in what was the culmination of a months-long process of advocating for bicycle accommodation on Loop 1604 access roads, the Alamo RMA Board unanimously approved the construction bid for re-striping the road to accommodate a wide outside lane and include signage to alert motorists to the presence of bicyclists.

Prior to construction of the interchange at Loop 1604 and US 281, the access road had an 8' wide shoulder used by many people riding bikes for transportation and recreation. During construction, TxDOT's requirement of three travel lanes instead of two was accommodated by removing the shoulder. After local cyclists alerted BikeTexas to this issue, BikeTexas helped rally dozens of cyclists to attend Alamo RMA Board meetings in February and April 2013.

At first response, engineering staff at the RMA discussed the possibility of a bike lane and bicycle accommodation on the sidewalk where road widths did not allow for a minimum-width bike lane. However, those staff left the RMA during the transition to Bexar County providing staffing for the RMA. BikeTexas subsequently worked with staff at Bexar County, now in charge of RMA operations, to come to agreement over how to accommodate cyclists.

"I’m disappointed...but am not surprised," said Justin Moore, local cycling advocate and LCI, via email when informed of the final design presented by the RMA. Mr. Moore was the first to contact BikeTexas about this issue.

Many in San Antonio have expressed regret over recent road “improvements” that have made things more dangerous for cyclists, such as this access road losing its shoulder. The City of San Antonio and TxDOT both have policies in place that people on bikes should be accommodated in all road projects. The road was safer for people on bikes with an 8' shoulder than a 14' outside lane shared with cars.

A future project along the 1604 corridor could improve the situation. Early projections of what will be included in the build proposal of a project to widen 1604 from I-35 to Bandera Rd include multi-use paths on each side of the corridor to safely accommodate both bicycle and foot traffic.

BikeTexas is remaining vigilant to review any plans for this corridor and will alert our networks of any chance to comment.

In the meantime, if you are unhappy with the reduction in safety of bicycling along the access road of 1604 between 281 and Blanco, BikeTexas encourages you to contact TxDOT and file a complaint or email the Alamo RMA at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

   

El Paso Bike Share Forges On

Thursday, 19 September 2013 12:50

El Paso MPO MeetingEl Paso cyclists have passed through yet another hurdle standing between them and a bike share program in the city: At the September 13 El Paso MPO meeting, a request from TxDOT to deprogram the bike share was on the agenda.

Velo Paso swung into action, alerting local cyclists and BikeTexas to this new threat. We were happy to join with Velo Paso to get the word out and rally local cyclist to contact the local Transportation Policy Board and attend the meeting to show support for bike share in El Paso. The transportation blog Streetsblog also weighed in, wondering if TxDOT has the authority to stop the bike share project.

In a packed house for the meeting, the El Paso MPO voted to say no to TxDOT's request. Scott White with Velo Paso wrote, "You did it, El Paso! TxDOT still refuses to release the federal funds, and we will continue to work on that, but for now, know that your support made today’s victory possible." 

Keep an eye on Velo Paso for more updates about bike share in El Paso.

Photo credit: Kristofer Johnson

   

TTC Funds Transportation Enhancements Projects

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 12:21

A Transportation Enhancement project in HoustonIn July, the Texas Transportation Commission announced 81 projects around Texas that will receive funding from the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program. These projects were selected from the nominations received after a TxDOT call in September 2012.

BikeTexas is especially pleased about this round of projects because we fought to save this funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects in Texas. In 2007, TxDOT attempted to meet the federal government's rescission requirements by taking all the money from Transportation Enhancement projects instead of making smaller cuts across all funding categories. BikeTexas fought back and our members spoke up in protest against these focused funding cuts. TxDOT finally agreed to save some of the Transportation Enhancement funding, and many of these newly-funded projects might not have been if the rescissions had been allowed to go ahead as TxDOT planned.

Cities and Organizations that will be overseeing bike projects funded by this round of TE funding are:

Abilene
Aransas County
Austin
Belton
Brownsville
Burleson
Cedar Hill
Clear Lake Shores
Colleyville
Corpus Christi
Dallas
Denton County Transit Authority
Edinburg
Ferris
Fort Worth
Fort Worth Transit Authority
Friendswood
Frisco
Houston
Hutto
Irving
Keller
Killeen
Little Elm
McAllen
McKinney
New Braunfels
North Central Texas Council of Governments
Old Katy Bikeway
Paris
Pharr
San Angelo
San Antonio
San Marcos
Stephenville
Taylor
Waco
Webster

See the list to find out more about the project in your area! 

   

NCSL 2013: Rolling Through Atlanta

Monday, 16 September 2013 11:35

BikeTexas' Allene Mayfield adjusts a helmet for a ride participantBikeTexas traveled to Atlanta for the 9th Annual National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Bipartisan Bike Ride. This bike ride began in 2005 when Texas Senator Rodney Ellis suggested a bike ride for the NCSL annual meeting. It has grown every year since; this year's ride brought out 80 legislators from around the country, 65 legislative staff and family members, and Casey Cagle, the Lt. Governor of Georgia.

BikeTexas has been part of the NCSL rides since the beginning, and we always join with local advocates to be sure the ride goes smoothly. Georgia Bikes! provided the local expertise and an amazing slate of volunteers to make sure the morning went well for our legislative guests. Sponsors BNSF Railway, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Primal, and People for Bikes made the bike ride feasible, both by getting us there and by providing goodies for the ride (we went through 5 ½ gallons of coffee, provided by Texas Coffee Traders of Austin, before we took off!).

Since many Texas legislators make the trip to NCSL every year, this ride gives BikeTexas the opportunity to speak to our lawmakers outside the Capitol, plus it's an opportunity to show them what it's like to be out on a bike, instead of just telling them. Not only do we reach our own legislators this way, but we can also get to know legislators from other states and give them the same benefits of experiencing a city on a bicycle, extending our work and influence potentially nationwide.

Many thanks to the ride participants who got up early to roll with us, the volunteers who got up even earlier to make the day great, and the staff at Centennial Olympic Park who were gracious hosts as we used their space to stage the ride.

   

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