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Throwback Thursday: Bike Racks on Buses

austin capital metro first bike rack biketexasA rack on the front of a bus carrying a bike or three is now a common sight around Texas, but it hasn't always been that way.

In the early '90s, Austin's Capital Metro began looking into adding bike racks to buses at the urging of BikeTexas and others in the local bicycling community. It didn't take long for Capital Metro to see the wisdom in giving people that extra option for a last mile connection, and the first bike rack to grace the front of a Texas bus arrived. 

One by one, other cities took note. BikeTexas often worked directly with transit agencies and stakeholders to get bike racks added to bus fleets across Texas. Result: the majority of buses in the state can accommodate bicycles. Some systems have taken the next step-- San Antonio's Primo service and El Paso's new Brio buses carry bikes inside instead of out front. All the commuter train systems in Texas take bikes inside, too.

Houston Chronicle new bike racks april 21 2007

Combining a bicycle and transit trip in Texas couldn't be easier. Feeling uneasy about trying transit for the first time? Not to worry-- we've put together a handy rider's guide just for you. 

Photos, top to bottom:

Celebrating the first bike rack on a bus in Texas;

Houston Chronicle article from 2007, when bike racks were installed on Houston buses;

John-Michael Cortez of Austin's Capital Metro showing a new user how to use the three-place bike rack at Austin BikeFest.

3 place bike rack capital metro austin bikefest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Dero Dream Bike Room Contest: BikeTexas and Green Building Alliance are Both Winners

dero dream room outdoor bike racks biketexasRemember that time BikeTexas won a contest for a new dream bike room, thanks to you? Today, we have an update:

 

Dero is proud to support the dream bike rooms of two nonprofits: BikeTexas opts for an outdoor “bike room” for events around the State of Texas, while Green Building Alliance will renovate its indoor bike room at its Pittsburgh office.

Minneapolis, MN – Dero is proud to support the dream bike rooms of two nonprofits: BikeTexas opts for an outdoor “bike room” for events around the State of Texas, while Green Building Alliance (GBA) will create its indoor bike room at its Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office.

Earlier this year, BikeTexas and GBA entered the Dero Dream Bike Room Pinterest contest to win $7,500 in Dero products, plus $1,000 to decorate the winner’s dream bike room. In May 2014, BikeTexas was declared the winner via public online voting. While working on layouts and logistics, Dero and BikeTexas realized that an indoor bike room would not meet this bicycle advocacy organization’s needs. BikeTexas envisioned an outdoor “bike room” that would support its many events. Dero generously donated Dero Event Racks to BikeTexas, which will accommodate temporary bike parking for 400 bicycles.

“This will bring BikeTexas’ event bike parking capacity to 500, helping to welcome the hundreds of people on bikes who attend Texas festivals, like our inaugural Austin BikeFest this October 25,” said Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas. “We’re so glad Dero was able to work with us to create our vision of a dream bike room to serve numerous communities around the state.”

As the runner-up to the Dero Dream Bike Room contest, Dero gave Green Building Alliance the opportunity to receive the original prize. Dero is happy to announce that GBA accepted and both will work together to design GBA’s dream bike room at its office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Last month, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Green Building Alliance with a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Business award.

The timing works perfectly with GBA’s plan to expand its office later this year. We strive to continue to become even more bike-friendly and winning the Dero Dream Bike Room contest moves us in that direction,” declared Mike Schiller, CEO of Green Building Alliance.  “Furthermore, GBA hopes to inspire similar commitments to bike-friendliness from our neighbors in the building and across the greater Pittsburgh region,” says Schiller.

Read official Dero Dream Bike Room contest rules at www.dero.com/dreambikeroom

 

Election 2014: Important Dates to Remember

Last Updated on Monday, 03 November 2014 13:51

cyclists in suits 2013 Edit (Nov 3): Election Day is TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 4. Polls in Texas are open 7 AM - 7 PM. Find out what you need to know about your polling place, voter ID, and other questions at votetexas.gov. Make sure you vote-- Texas needs YOUR voice!

If you are already in line when the polls close at 7 PM, do not leave. By law, you WILL be allowed to vote as long as you are in line before the polls close.

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We’ve already seen plenty of action ahead of November’s general election, and the races are sure to get more heated the closer we get to Election Day on November 4. We urge you to be sure you are registered to vote and then cast your ballot for candidates who will support active transportation in your community. Many mayors and city council members, many state legislators, the governor, a U.S. Senate seat, and all U.S. Representative seats are on the ballot this year, along with many local bond initiatives. Stand up and be counted!

  • Monday, October 6: Last Day to Register to Vote
  • Monday, October 20: First Day of Early Voting
  • Friday, October 24: Last Day to Apply for a Ballot By Mail (application must be received by your county clerk on this date)
  • Friday, October 31: Last Day of Early Voting
  • Tuesday, November 4: Election Day. Polls open 7 AM to 7 PM in Texas.

See all these dates, find your polling place, and check out other election information on the Texas Secretary of State’s VoteTexas.gov page here

BikeTexas’ bylaws prohibit us from endorsing specific candidates, but m Many local bicycle advocacy organizations across the state have published or will publish their endorsements in local races. Check with your local advocacy group.

Elections in non-presidential election years (often called midterm elections) have a historically lower turnout than presidential election years. In the last two midterm elections, Texas had among the lowest turnouts in the nation: in 2010, 32.1% of eligible voters cast a ballot, a slight increase from 2006’s 30.9%. (See these numbers and more at the United States Election Project.)

Texas should not be silent: This Election Day, be sure you vote!

Edited October 17, 2014: At the September 2014 Board of Directors meeting, the bylaws were amended to allow BikeTexas to publish endorsements in specific races.

 
 

Friday Reading: Links You May Have Missed (Oct 17)

Friday, 17 October 2014 00:00

In case you missed it: Here are some links we thought were worth sharing this week. Happy reading! 

 

From BikeTexas:

austin atx bikefest 8 days to go biketexasAustin BikeFest presented by Capital Metro is eight days away! Read all about it and register here.

Learn more about our presenting sponsor, Capital Metro, here.

Lea información en español sobre Austin Bikefest presentado por Capital Metro aquí

One of our staff hosted a Twitter chat and fun ensued

 

From around Texas: 

A bicycle museum in Houston is getting closer to reality

Bike The Woodlands ia working hard for their bike plan  

Velo Paso's equity director, Melissa Lugo, is featured in a League of American Bicyclists publication 

Great news for people who ride bikes in North Texas 

It just got easier to fix your bike on Texas Tech campus

A bicycle rack photo scavenger hunt is underway in Richardson 

Cyclesomatic 2014 continues in Oak Cliff

 

From elsewhere:

Thinking about a cargo bike? Here's a review of one. Not sure if you're thinking about a cargo bike? See if this helps you decide.

One terrible app to allow people to use their phones while driving

A very visual demonstration of what causes traffic jams

Checking out a new city? Leave the car, take the bicycle.

Build a biking city for those who don't yet bike

 

Have a great weekend!

 
 

What Does That Mean? Dictionary Day for Bike Advocates

bike corral biketexasOctober 16, Noah Webster's birthday, is World Dictionary Day. What better time to kick back and take a look at some of the words that are bandied about by bicycle advocates and people who ride bikes?

 

Bike Corral: a set of bike racks protected by curbs or other barricades. Frequently installed over one on-street car parking spot.

 

Cycletrack: also known as a protected bike lane or a separated bike lane. A bicycle-only lane that has some separation from traffic beyond just a stripe of paint (e.g., bollards, planters, parked cars, a curb, etc.). Can be one-way or two-way.

 

Modal split: also called mode share, mode split, or modal share. The percentage of travelers using a particular mode of transportation. For example, in the 2010 American Community Survey that we used for the BikeTexas 2012 Benchmark Study, Denton had the highest bicycling modal split in Texas at 1.5%. San Angelo had the highest walking modal split: 6.9%.

 

cycletrack biketexasPracticable: Texas state law requires that people on bikes ride as far to the right as "practicable," and also lists exceptions. The dictionary definition is "able to be done or put into practice successfully." Therefore, to allow for road conditions, we recommend allowing about a three-foot cushion between your tires and the edge of the road as the most practicable place to be, so that you can dodge debris, potholes, or other adverse road conditions that may arise.

 

sharrow city workers

Road diet: Changing the lane configuration on a street to allow for bicycle and pedestrian facilities to be installed. A road diet may shrink the size of the lanes, say from 12 feet wide to 10 feet wide, or it may require removing a travel or parking lane. (Travel lanes removed in a road diet are often replaced by a center turn lane to allow traffic to continue to flow.)

 

SAG: Generally considered to mean "support and gear," but there is some disagreement as to the origin of the term. Whatever it means, it's the support vehicle you'll see on a bike ride that may have supplies, carry your gear, help you out if you have a flat, or carry you home if it's just not your day.

 

Sharrows: A combination of "shared lane" and "arrow." Usually represented by a bicycle icon with arrows above it. The sharrow's position in the lane usually indicates where the bicycle should be-- roll right over the top of it.

 

See more definitions at bicycling.com.

 

Photos, top to bottom: A new bike corral installed over one on-street parking space; a one-way cycletrack; city workers installing a sharrow.

See more cycletrack examples at biketexas.org/cycletracks

 
 

Member Spotlight: Lorn MacDougal

lorn macdougal with bike“When I walk, I miss the feeling of the wheels moving me through space.”

Lorn MacDougal—dancer/Pilates instructor, electric bike owner, Austin resident, and BikeTexas member—says she started riding a bike when she was a kid and never stopped. “I hope that parents will instill the skill and bravery in children to ride together as families so children grow up on their bikes.”

Lorn switched to an electric bike about three years ago to make it easier to get to all her teaching jobs. She and her husband share one car so they can save money for more fun things, like vacations. She’s ridden a bike in plenty of cities, including New York, London, and Amsterdam. “Fifty percent of our going to Amsterdam was so we could ride a bike for transportation,” she says.

Lorn supports BikeTexas because “we need all of the help we can get to get the message out to people that it is possible to bike in our car-centric country,” she says. “And BikeTexas working with TxDOT is an important function. We need TxDOT to see transportation as more than highways. If we can get more people on bikes it will make a dent in our traffic, at the same time as making two-wheeled transportation safer in numbers.”

In the ‘80s, Lorn and her husband Alain Le Razer were among the first artists to put film and dance together for the stage, touring internationally. Lorn and Alain continue to produce dance theater and films for Austin audiences.

“You don’t see many old ladies on bikes,” she says—Lorn is 65—“but the electric bike can help older people. It’s wonderful to see an older body that hasn’t exercised much really make progress. Even with an electric bike, you still get a cardio workout because you have to pedal. It’s a delicous way to move!”

Lorn likes the progress that has been made in Austin during her six years here to give people who walk or ride bikes dedicated space in our road network. But she also says there’s more work to do to make everyone be truly safe while riding, both elderly and young alike. “I’d love to see more schools benefit from buffered bike lanes like the ones on Bluebonnet Lane near Zilker Elementary,” she says. “Moms get stuck in cars all day when they could be taking their kids to school, lessons, and activites on bikes.”

 
 

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