Sat, May 2510:00am -
1902 E 6th St, Austin, TX
FrankenBike at BikeTexas
Sun, May 26
Sine Die Ride
Fri, May 3110:00am -
1902 E 6th, Austin, TX
BikeTexas Volunteer Day
Sat, Jun 1 8:00am -
Market Square Park, Houston, TX
Bayou Bike Tour
Sat, Jun 111:00am -
1900 Main St, Dallas, TX
Dallas: Ride the Link
Free training to teach the SafeCyclist Curriculum
Resources for teachers and community members
Great news! Complete Streets (HB 1102) and Safe Passing (HB 2225) have both been scheduled for a hearing in the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday, April 9. We’re thrilled that both of these bills have reached the next step toward coming to a vote. Now you can help get them out of committee and onto the House floor!
Some members of the Transportation Committee are not yet ready to vote “Yes” on these bills. If any of these Transportation Committee members are your representative, please contact them immediately to ask them to vote Yes for Complete Streets and Safe Passing:
TAKE ACTION NOW:
1. My name is _____ and I live in District _____.
2. My occupation is _____.
3. I (or my spouse/child/parent) ride a bicycle.
4. Will Rep. _____ vote Yes on Complete Streets and Safe Passing?
If these are not your representatives, please do not contact them! Elected officials respond to their own constituents. Don't worry; there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone in Texas to contact their representatives and senators soon!
Thank you for making Texas a great place to bike and walk!
Cyclists in Suits 2013 has come and gone, and the day was a great success! With 80 participants from all over the state, it was the largest Bike Lobby Day yet.
Buses started arriving early in the morning at the Capitol, and advocates spent time getting to know one another before the briefing session. BikeTexas Executive Director Robin Stallings and Legislative Director Mark Stine went over the key points of the Complete Streets and Safe Passing bills. All participants were assigned to teams and sent out to visit all 181 legislative offices. As Tom Compson of Houston said, "Our elected officials need to know that there is strong support for bicycle-friendly legislation." The reception that Cyclists in Suits participants received from the legislative offices was overall very positive!
After lunch, participants gathered in the Senate Gallery to hear a proclamation from Senator Rodney Ellis, thanking Texas cyclists for their contributions to the health and economy of the State. Participants then gathered on the Capitol steps for a group photo before heading to the BikeTexas office for happy hour to exchange stories about the day.
Even though the buses to DFW and Houston had a long way to go to get back home, participants were all still able to spend some time meeting other advocates before heading back. Some participants were able to stay longer and continue talking about making Texas a great place to walk and bike.
Veteran Cyclists in Suits participants Paul and Lynne Harris from Bedford brought their 16-year-old grandson with them for his second Cyclists in Suits. Paul said, "He had a real blast and is already talking about going back next time. If you have kids or grandkids who are mature enough to grasp what we are doing, you should bring them along to see the legislative process in action."
Did you miss out on Cyclists in Suits? We'll be doing it all again at the next legislative session in 2015. You haven't missed your chance to influence the legislature, though! Keep an eye out for Action Alerts at key moments for our bills over the next few weeks. We still have a lot of work ahead to make Complete Streets and Safe Passing a reality for Texas!
After a successful Cyclists in Suits Bike Lobby Day on Monday, March 25, BikeTexas legislative staff members look to take the next steps on the two primary bills on the BikeTexas agenda, Complete Streets (HB 1102 / SB 565) and Safe Passing (HB 2225 / SB 1515). Each bill has been referred to the appropriate committee: House Transportation Committee and the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committees. We await committee hearing dates on each bill.
The Safe Passing Bill was filed on March 8, 2013. Senator Rodney Ellis filed the Senate version of the bill. The House bill is authored by Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio); Armando Martinez (D-Weslaco); Linda Harper-Brown (R-Irving); and Jim Keffer (R-Eastland).
We last pursued a Safe Passing Bill in the 2009 session, but that bill was vetoed by the governor despite strong bipartisan support. The 2013 bill uses much of the same language as the 2009 bill and the thirteen local ordinances in cities across Texas, but we have taken measures to address the Governor’s concern about “creating a new class of road users.” BikeTexas believes changing the language from “Vulnerable Road Users” to unprotected road users (uncapitalized and without quotes) will help the Governor view the bill as an appropriate and necessary addition to the traffic safety culture in Texas.
BikeTexas staff has developed information sheets focused on the economic value and safety impact of the Complete Streets law. Staff has visited with all offices of legislative members on the transportation committees. Support is promising but not complete at this point. If your representative or senator is on the transportation committee, please be watching for an Action Alert in your inbox soon. We will need your help to get Complete Streets over this hurdle and on to the next step in the process.
Working on legislation is always an uphill battle and 2013 is no different. BikeTexas staff faces real challenges, some familiar and some new. In spite of this, there are a number of possible avenues to success. Here are some of the things in favor of bicyclists and pedestrians in the legislature:
However, the challenges are not small:
The bill authors have requested committee hearings on Complete Streets and Safe Passing. BikeTexas is optimistic about the prospects these bills. Thank you for supporting BikeTexas as we strive to make Texas a great place to walk and bike.
Fifth Grade National Poster Contest 2013
The annual Fifth Grade National Poster Contest is underway! BikeTexas encourages you and your schools to get your fifth graders' creativity flowing by making a poster about this year's theme, "Bikes Make Life Better." Each school may submit one winning poster to the Texas contest.
Texans at 2013 National Bike Summit
Eighteen Texans, including four BikeTexas staff, were in Washington, D.C. this week for the National Bike Summit. Texas sends a strong delegation every year, and 2013 was no exception! This year's theme was "Bicycling Means Business," and many speakers addressed the ways in which cycling benefits businesses and local economies across the nation.
In addition to our delegates being in D.C., Texas bike leaders also spoke at the conference: Jason Roberts of Dallas-based Team Better Block and the City of Austin's Director of Public Works Howard Lazarus both addressed the national audience during breakout sessions at the conference on Tuesday. Mr. Lazarus’ talk about how separated bike lanes are attracting new businesses was particularly rousing for those in attendance.
Wednesday was the official Bike Lobby Day at the nation’s capitol. Our delegation broke into five teams to visit 35 congressional offices and talk to Texas Senators and Representatives about the importance of bicycles to the economy and health of our state.
Of course, Twitter was buzzing with coverage of the conference (and if you missed it, search hashtag #NBS13 to read all the tweets), and our delegates chipped in to share all the summit news. BikeTexas collected all the tweets written for or about Texans during the conference: you can read and check the photos. Monday's tweets are here, Tuesday's are here, and Wednesday's are here.
Does this sound like something you'd love to be a part of? Start planning now to be in the Texas Delegation in 2014!
You can experience the Texas version of this event in Austin on March 25. We’re expecting over 70 people from around the state to converge on the state capitol for Cyclists in Suits – Texas’ Bike Lobby Day. Register now at BikeTexas.org/suits.
Complete Streets is Filed in the Legislature!
The 2013 Complete Streets bill has been filed in the legislature! The bill has a bipartisan range of authors in each chamber. After the bill ran out of time in 2011, it was decided to use the language for the bills that was negotiated in committee in 2011 to accelerate the bills' progress through the legislature.
Click on the bill numbers below for more details:
SB 565, authored by Senators Ellis and Deuell, and coauthored by Senators Davis, Lucio, Rodríguez, and Watson.
HB 1102, authored by Representatives Harper-Brown, Morrison, Mando Martinez, Lucio III, and Keffer.
Many thanks to the bill authors for their support! Stay tuned for Action Alerts, to be sent out when a phone call or email from you can help push this bill through the legislature. Learn more about Complete Streets here.
Progress on Houston's Bayou Trails Network
By Charley Olena
Houston is about to be a nation-wide leader in off-street, safe, shared-use paths. That’s right, Houston—the town usually known for its freeways and traffic—has approved a major bond initiative aimed at completing a 100-year-old idea to unite its bayous with parks and trails.
This is the biggest parks project in the state, and one of the largest in the nation. Currently, Houston has 75 miles of trails along the major bayous throughout the city, but will expand the trails to 150 miles in the city, connecting 77 parks with linear greenways along the banks of its bayous and filling in the major gaps in the system. The project, now known as Bayou Greenways 2020, is a public/private partnership with the city and area non-profits like the Houston Parks Board. Bayou Greenways 2020 will not only vastly increase the areas available to Houstonians for recreation, but will also create an alternative for transportation by uniting many of Houston’s major employment centers for bikes and pedestrians. Indeed, nearly 60% of all Houstonians will live within 1.5 miles of one of these parks or trails. The project is expected to be completed in seven years.
This spring, Houston Parks Board is bringing together community members, students, businesses, organizations, and biking groups to get involved and speak up about what this project means to them. We’ve already organized multiple bayou bike tours, collected over 2000 petitions, and we’re just getting started. If you’re in the area and want to get involved, or would like more information about the project, check out our website for more information. We can get these trails built here in Houston, but only with your help. See you on the trails!
Page 4 of 49