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Advocacy News

On the Lege: Safety Light at Night, HB 471

Bicycling-at-Night

The Safety Light at Night bill requires a rear red light during nighttime hours, either on the bike or on the bicyclist, that is visible from 500 feet away. The current law requires a front white light and a rear red light or rear reflector. Because basic bike lights have become more inexpensive over recent years, and are often distributed through give-away programs, we do not feel that this law will place an undue burden on any person who rides a bike.

Lights at night greatly increase visibility of people who ride bikes. A BikeTexas review of 317 Texas DPS bicyclist fatality records for the period 2002-08 revealed that approximately 52% of bicycle fatalities occurred in low-light or dark conditions.

As with the Safe Passing bill, BikeTexas sees great value in the educational opportunities afforded by this bill. We will continue to work with legislators and public safety departments across Texas to make sure they understand the needs of people who ride bikes in Texas.

See HB 471 on the Texas Legislature website.

 

On the Lege: Victory! For Now...

legislative update biketexas

Thank you!! Amendment 421 on HB 1

Tabled at 3:23AM, April 1

BikeTexas supporter Justin McMurtry stayed up all night to bring us this report:

"At 3:20am, the House at last takes up consideration of Rep. Hughes's amendment to prohibit state funds from being spent to convert any existing general-use traffic lane into a bike, bus, or other special-purpose lane.

Hughes offers to modify his amendment to make it 'less objectionable', but before he can explain, another member [Rep. Eddie Rodriguez] raises a point of order against it—presumably based on the House rule that disallows budgetary acts that would change existing general law.

At 3:23am, the point of order and the amendment are both temporarily withdrawn."

Your calls and emails showed that Texans overwhelmingly support giving our transportation professionals all the tools they need to provide safe roads for people on bikes. THANK YOU!

The amendment could still come back into play later in the session. As always, BikeTexas will remain vigilant at the Capitol and keep you up to date on issues affecting people who ride bikes in Texas. 

Cyclists in Suits Impressed Your Legislators

cyclists in suits 2015 fun pic for web biketexas

Cyclists in Suits, our state bicycle day at the Capitol, took place this past Monday, and it couldn't have come at a better time. On Monday, attendees from all over Texas walked the halls, passed out bicycle pins, and visited every office to explain the several bills positive to cycling working their way through right now. This helped multiply the impact of the calls and emails regarding the Hughes amendment. 

Senator Rodney Ellis, who offered a resolution recognizing BikeTexas during Cyclists in Suits, was pleased with the turnout. "From the Senate Floor, we were very impressed by the large turnout of cyclists," he said, "You all filled a big section of the gallery." See the video of Senator Ellis reading the resolution here, beginning at 24:05.

"Texas cyclists appreciate the leadership of Senator Ellis on bicycling issues," said BikeTexas Executive Director Robin Stallings. "We are grateful for the resolution offered on the Senate floor."

You can see the Cyclists in Suits agenda for more info. 

   

Get Involved! National Bike Summit Lobby Day

texans at nbs15 for web biketexasLast year at the National Bike Summit, advocates in D.C. and around the country visited, tweeted, emailed, and otherwise contacted their members of Congress about setting performance measures for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. One year later, and those performance measures are a reality. That's the difference that lobbying makes.

Today, we can make a difference again! Bike Summit attendees are on the Hill today making personal visits, but don't let that stop you from reaching out from home. Advocates are asking three things from their members of Congress today:

1. Will you support continued funding for bicycling and walking as part of a multi-modal transportation program?  (House and Senate)

2. Will you co-sponsor the Vision Zero Act? (HR 1274) (House)

3. Will you co-sponsor the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act (TAPIA)? (Senate)

Read more about these asks here.

Please reach out to your members of Congress today, via social media or email, to ask for their support for these measures for alternative transportation. Write your own message or use the League of American Bicyclists' action center. Your voice matters!

   

Throwback Thursday: Innovation Award

biketexas staff innovation advocacy award nbs12In honor of the National Bike Summit this week, we'll do a very short throwback to 2012, when BikeTexas won the Innovation Award from the Alliance for Biking and Walking during "the Oscars of bicycle advocacy" at the summit.

The Innovation Award was in recognition of BikeTexas' VIP bike rides for elected officials and policymakers using our bike fleet. Thanks to these rides at the local, state, and even national levels, more cities and states have leaders who have seen firsthand the joys and challenges of riding a bike. We get elected officials, staffers, and other decision-makers on bikes as often as we can!

   

Submit Comments Now for 183 North Project

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 10:03

ct rma trail at 183 austin biketexasNumbers Matter: Please attend the 183 North Mobility Project Open House and show your support for a shared-use path.

Tonight, March 10, the 183 North Mobility Project is holding an open house to update the public on the plans for the segment of 183 between MoPac and SH 45N.

$5 million for bicycle and pedestrian accommodations is included in this project.

Now is a critical time for people who ride bikes in Austin to speak up and ask for a shared-use path along the entire corridor. With funding already dedicated to this project, the next step is for us to ensure that our voices are heard and submit comments asking for a shared-use path.

Please attend the open house tonight at Westwood High School Cafeteria (map) from 5-8 PM, or submit comments online here. Your voice matters! Thank you for making Austin a great place to ride a bike.

 

   

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