Tue, Jun 25 6:00pm -
Commissioner's Court, Suite 100, Bexar County Courthouse, San Antonio
Alamo RMA Board Meeting
Thu, Jun 27 7:00pm -
Palladium IMAX, San Antonio, TX
Bicycle Dreams Benefit Movie Screening
Thu, Jul 4
11680 Rose Road, Conroe, TX
Burn Your Buns Bike Ride
Wed, Jul 10 6:00pm -
VIA Community Room, San Antonio, TX
San Antonio BMAC Bike Night
Sat, Aug 3
University Medical Center, Lubbock, TX
Cycle for Hope
Free training to teach the SafeCyclist Curriculum
Resources for teachers and community members
Dallas took another step forward in its bike plan this month by opening Centralink, a new network of sharrows in downtown that connects the Katy Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, and many neighborhoods.
On June 1, the city [debuted] a network of shared car/bike lanes downtown called the Centralink with a communal ride on the new paths called Ride-the-Link. Centralink adjoins the popular Katy Trail, a 3.5-mile concrete path along the west side of downtown, with the more recently built Santa Fe Trail, a 4.02-mile stretch through neighborhoods on Dallas' east side.
“This is the first step in the Dallas bike plan, and it’s making a big connect through the downtown area,” said Jared White, project manager with Transportation Planning and Public Works for the city.
In addition to creating a network of bike lanes, White said Centralink also connects to Oak Cliff via the viaduct at Young Street and Market Street, as well as to the Trinity Strand Trail with shared lanes through Victory Park.
BikeTexas Board Member Annie Melton attended the opening and shared the above photo, taken by Bud Melton. Pictured left to right are:
Shelly White, Executive Director, Friends of the Trinity Strand Trail;
Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs;
Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano (outgoing);
Michael Hellmann, Assistant Director, City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department;
Jared White, Manager, Transportation Planning Division, Public Works and Transportation;
Max Kalhammer, Bike Coordinator, City of Dallas, Strategic Planning Division, Department of Sustainable Development and Construction;
Adam Medrano, Dallas City Councilman-Elect; and
Lee Kleinman, Dallas City Councilman-Elect.
BikeTexas went north to Mineral Wells for a training session in the BikeTexas SafeCyclist curriculum. We were able to pull in a few students during the training so the teachers could get some hands-on practice right away.
Mother, Safe Routes to School advocate, physical therapist assistant, and BikeTexas SafeCyclist-certified Sugar Land resident Nicole Volek started "Shape Up Sugar Land" to get her community active and moving. When Bike to School Day rolled around on May 17, she was ready.
Nicole worked with local police to organize safe routes for Fort Settlement Middle School students to get to school and arranged for a police escort on May 17. The students gathered at 7:30 AM at Memorial Park in Sugar Land to ride to school together in a celebration of a healthy lifestyle and the fun of riding a bike.
Nicole says, “We are proud of the students that woke up early to participate in this event. This event reduces pollution, and promotes health and wellness to all.” Next year, Shape Up Sugar Land plans to add another school and build on the momentum from this year's event as other students see how much fun it is to ride a bike to school.
Since 1991, nearly 5000 teachers, police officers, and other professionals who work with children have been trained in the BikeTexas SafeCyclist curriculum, which they've in turn taught to their students across Texas, reaching approximately 200,000 schoolchildren per year. In addition to training teachers, BikeTexas also offers a Safe Routes to School Event Manual, so you can plan your own bike or walk to school day, or even get up a bike rodeo with the children in your neighborhood. The Event Manual offers step-by-step instructions for a fun event.
Grab your manual now and start planning for International Walk to School Day on October 9! Twenty-three schools in Texas have events scheduled already-- will yours be next? There were 120 Texas Walk to School Day schools in 2012, so we expect to see the number grow as October gets closer.
Photo credit: Randy Kozlovsky
Students left to right: Chloe Gallegos, Bailey Rivenes, Jake Parker, Vivek Sinha, Shiv Chopra, and Kelly Eng, with Sugar Land Police Officers (l to r) Anthony Clarite, Neal Kym, Adam Williams and Richard Rivera
Bikes Make Life Better: Saris Fifth-Grade Poster Contest
"Bikes Make Life Better" was the theme for the third annual Saris Cycling Group nationwide poster contest for 5th graders. Young artists competed first with their peers at their school to be the winning entry, and schools submitted their best posters to BikeTexas, the statewide coordinator for the contest, for the next round of judging: The best poster in Texas.
The 2013 Texas winner is Vijeyta from James F. Bay Elementary in Seabrook. Vijeyta is the president of the school's Student Council and a member of the Garden Club as well as the Robotics team. She loves drawing and reading. Vijeyta also loves outdoor activities, especially bike riding. For her poster, Vijeyta won a Schwinn bike, a Planet Bike bike light, and a Lazer helmet.
Vijeyta's poster went to the national level along with all the other state-level winners. BikeTexas is proud of Vijeyta for drawing such a beautiful poster and representing Texas well! Over 500 elementary schools from 27 states participated in the nationwide contest, with top honors going to Hannah Pauls from Mississippi.
"Over the past 20 years in the bike industry I have seen the bicycle positively change the lives of individuals as well as communities,” explained Saris President Chris Fortune. "In just the 3rd year [of the contest], we have already witnessed the tremendous impact this contest can have on our youth. It is one way we are able to engage kids to think about and become more aware of the bicycle and its many beneficial uses. Through this contest we hope to not only encourage fifth graders to ride their bikes more frequently, but also to form the foundation of a lifelong, healthy, active lifestyle.”
Second place in the Texas contest was Nia from Ortiz Elementary in Brownsville, and third place was Igra from Woodland Hills Elementary in Kingwood. Both of these students also received prizes for their award-winning creations.
Many thanks to the schools, teachers, and young artists who participated in the "Bikes Make Life Better" Saris poster contest! Incoming fifth graders, get ready; it will be your turn to design a poster next spring with your own new theme!
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.
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!
Make Every Month Bike Month!
The yearly celebration known as Bike Month has come to an end, but don't let that get you down.
The League of American Bicyclists first designated May as Bike Month in 1956, and we've been celebrating it as a time for all things bicycle ever since. And while it's been fun, we don't want to see all that energy disappear!
Did you try riding to work during May? Great! Keep at it-- even if only once a week or once a month, that's one day you can arrive at work with that same feeling of accomplishment, plus you'll already be alert and have those creative juices flowing from your ride.
Did you ride other places, like the supermarket, the library, or a restaurant? Fantastic! Don't stop just because May is over-- see what other neighborhood gems you can find on your bike.
Did you ride just as much as you normally do during May, bike month or no bike month? Excellent. Every month is already bike month for you!
However much you chose to ride during May, keep the celebration rolling by riding all year long. If you need some extra motivation, the National Bike Challenge (NBC) continues until September 30! Get your coworkers, your friends, your family, or anyone you can find to form a team with you and get yourselves onto the NBC leaderboards.
Image: Bike to Work Day images shared on Twitter. Clockwise from top left: Cycletrack opening in Austin (BikeTexas images); Rocket Electrics Energizer Station (photo courtesy of Rocket Electrics); Dallas Energizer Station at Akard Station (photo courtesy of BikeDFW); Zachary Ford (top, photo used with permission); Laura Underhill's bike (bottom) and Laura Underhill with her riding partners (both used with permission).
On the Lege: Sine Die
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!
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