Premiere Business Members & Sponsors
Wed, Mar 12 - Sat, Mar 22
E Elizabeth & 11th, Brownsville, TX
Lions Club Celebration Bike Ride (Brownsville)
Sat, Mar 1512:00pm -
Pace Bend Park, Spicewood, TX, United States
BikeTexas KidsKup at Pace Bend Race Festival
Sun, Mar 16
Brownsville, TX, United States
Mon, Mar 17 6:00pm -
5200 S Flores St, San Antonio, TX, United States
Public Community Meeting: S Flores Road Diet (San Antonio)
Fri, Mar 28
Northway Christian Church, West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX, United States
Texas is always packed full of exciting events for the whole family to enjoy getting outdoors. In the past few of months, a handful of Texas cities have worked extra-hard to make sure their residents have a chance to get outside and be active!
Brownsville's CycloBia, Lubbock's Let's Play! LBK, San Antonio's Síclovía, and Fort Worth's Open Streets have closed off city streets to traffic for a few hours so people could get out and enjoy their streets! All of these activities give city residents and visitors a chance to spend time with family and friends, be active, and enjoy the outdoors!
Bike sharing continues to expand in Texas. In addition to San Antonio B-cycle opening new stations earlier this year, Houston B-cycle celebrated a new partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield and expanded to 21 stations in the city. Houston celebrated this new launch on April 3rd, and has since reached another great milestone: 2,000,000 calories burned by Houston B-cycle users.
The newest member of the Texas Bike Share family, Fort Worth B-cycle, is also up and running. Fort Worth launched on April 22 with volunteers riding the 300 bikes to their new homes at 30 stations across Fort Worth. See photos from the launch event here.
All three of Texas' B-cycle programs are participating in the B-connected initiative from B-cycle, which allows members from any participating city to use their B-cycle membership in other participating cities. Fifteen B-cycle cities across the country have joined in, making the B-cycle membership even more valuable, especially for regular travelers.
Exciting things are happening in Texas every day to make this a great state to walk and bike! Check out the BikeTexas Events Calendar so you don't miss out on any events near you.
For the second year in a row, Texas has jumped five spots in the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly State rankings! We've moved up from #27 in 2012 to #22 in 2013.
Once again, our highest score came in the Education and Encouragement category. Thanks to programs like Safe Routes to School and the accompanying Public Information and Education program, the SafeCyclist Curriculum that trains teachers to teach bike safety in PE class, plus new programs like College Active Transportation Safety, more Texans than ever are hearing about bicycle and walking safety. This work can only be made possible by you! Support from BikeTexas members for our programs plus the hard work of cyclists across the state to spread the word about safe and fun cycling has contributed to Texas moving up in the bike-friendly ranks once again.
We still have a long way to go, but we're glad to see Texas is making progress toward being a great place to walk and bike. See Texas' full report card here.
Also in the Bicycle Friendly America program, two Texas businesses have been named as new Bicycle Friendly Businesses in the Spring 2013 Designations! Congratulations to the City of Fort Worth (Bronze) and Texas Instruments in Plano (Bronze) for your success. See the full Spring 2013 list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses here.
Biking Trails and Facilities: A Designer’s View
By Monica Simons
Monica Simons is the Online Marketing Manager at Bury+Partners, a leader in the engineering design industry. Monica loves writing about tips and advice on landscape architecture and land use planning design, and showcasing the latest completed design from Bury+Partners.
Whether it’s in the city or the great outdoors, good trails and biking facilities don’t just happen. Sustainable planning and ongoing management are major considerations, but so are trails that are fun and useful. Designers and engineers have to see a trail as something more than a path that takes you from point A to point B and make sure that they meet a number of requirements.
A fully sustainable trail system is possible in both urban and forested areas. Designers have to focus on the entire system, address the unique challenges of the area, and understand the long-term impacts that might result. Whether building a trail for a commute or as some form of recreational initiative, any developments have to be guided by a plan that will prevent erosion, use the natural contours of the land, and manage the riders that use the trail. All of these factors can be addressed by careful design without limiting any of the fun of getting out and riding.
When creating new recreational opportunities, accessibility is a big concern. Designers need to create fun areas that protect natural resources while still remaining open to all people, even if they have disabilities. This applies to walking, hiking, and biking trails, and it must be considered from the initial phases of the design.
They say that there are no shades of accessibility. The facilities are either accessible to all people, or they are not. Why does this matter? Census numbers indicate that 1 in 5 Americans is considered disabled—is significantly limited in one or more life activities. More than that, though, by the year 2030 there will be more than 110 million people above the age of 55, suggesting that there will be more people with impairments to their activity level.
Ideally, biking and hiking trails, and all the related facilities, should be based on the principles of universal design, making them accessible to as many people as possible.
What Requires Consideration
There are a lot of factors that must be considered when designers begin work on new trails or upgrading old paths. These trails could impact vegetation, soil compaction, erosion, water quality, and wildlife, just to name a few. The plan for a new trail has to address all these issues in very specific way.
The first, and best, way to protect the environment from erosion is to design trails that actually provide the experience bikers are looking for. This will automatically minimize the desire to go off trail where the most damage to soil and vegetation can take place. This is also why an active maintenance program is important, because if large rocks and fallen trees are disrupting the trail, bikers and hikers tend to find their own.
We have to locate the trails as far from rare plants and animals as possible, and especially habitats that are important for things like mating or birthing (although this may be a seasonal thing, so it may just be a matter of restricting access during those times). The location of the trail should also, if possible, be on dry, cohesive soils because they compact much better and are more resistant to erosion by displacement, wind, and water.
Building the Best Trails
Erosion and other environmental degradation can be avoided with careful planning, and the resulting trails can still provide all the fun and usefulness we expect. Concerns over the amount of use are certainly valid, but research suggests that the trail design and management are much larger factors in the overall results. By keeping sustainability and accessibility in mind, these trails can provide decades of use with minimal environmental impact.
One BikeTexas KidsKup Race Left This Spring
The spring KidsKup races are winding down, but there is still one more on the calendar before we pack everything away for the summer! Join us on May 18 in Warda for the final spring KidsKup!
So far in 2013, 183 young Texas racers have come to a KidsKup race to have fun, get some exercise, hone their riding skills, and make new friends! Don't miss out-- make plans to join us at the next race!
The Fall 2013 races will kick off on September 1 in Rocksprings. See the full list of fall races here.
Shifting Gears 2013 a Great Success
John Pucher wowed audiences in three Texas cities during the Shifting Gears Lecture Series, sponsored by BikeTexas, Partnership for Healthy Texas, Campaign for Healthy Kids, and AARP. Dr. Pucher is an engaging speaker with a vast knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing our transportation system, and his talks were well received in Irving, Austin, and Houston.
Dr. Pucher discussed the economic and public health benefits of active transportation, and why it benefits cities and states to plan for all road users. For example, Dr. Pucher said, for $30 million in transportation expenditures, a city can get:
You can see all of the slides from Dr. Pucher's presentations here. Many local businesses and organizations joined in to sponsor the presentation in their respective cities. See the full list of sponsors for Irving, Austin, and Houston.
Shifting Gears will be back for the next legislative session in 2015! But you don't have to wait that long to hear from more great speakers about the benefits of biking and walking. Register now to attend the Texas Trails and Active Transportation (TTAT) Conference March 26-28, 2014, in Fort Worth. The conference is a great place to discuss ideas, successes, and challenges from across Texas. Register now for early bird pricing!
Have a session idea for TTAT? Propose a session here.
SafeCyclist Teacher Survey 2013
Each year BikeTexas surveys teachers and community leaders around the state who have been certified with the SafeCyclists Curriculum to teach bicycle skills and safety to 4th and 5th graders.
If you've ever been to one of our SafeCyclists (formerly SuperCyclist) Certification Trainings, please take 5 minutes to fill out this quick 3 question survey. Click here to take the survey now!
Responses help us to gauge the progress of this program in our partnership with Texas Department of Transportation and will help to secure future funding for teaching bicycle skills and safety across Texas.
As a bonus thank you for your priceless work to encourage healthy, active children, we will send you a bike light set. Each light set comes with one red and one white LED blinky light. Each light easily attaches in seconds and without tools to clothing, backpacks or bicycles. These lights are highly visible from over 500 feet away. Each set comes attached to a zero-waste card with valuable safety information for cyclists and pedestrians. Keep it to refresh your memory or pass it on!
If you have questions about the survey, please contact:
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