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Friday Reading: Links You May Have Missed (Sept 19)

Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00

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

 

parking day atx 2012 biketexasIt's Park(ing) Day around the world! Take a look at this map to see if a parklet is happening near you.

Today also be Talk Like a Pirate Day, savvy? We be not recommendin' that ye ride yer bike with an eyepatch on, but be sure to "arrrr" at yer mateys.

 

From around Texas:

The Texas Transportation Commission voted yesterday to adopt rules for the Transportation Alternatives Program, despite hundreds of comments asking them to adjust the rules to make it easier for bike/ped projects to get on the ground. Our response coming next week: stay tuned.

Bicycling Magazine ran a nice article about Houston

 

From elsewhere:

Taking transit could be a key to losing weight

Now, that's a mobile library!

And finally, North American Bikeshare Association Launches in U.S. (Possibly to celebrate that bikeshare programs are so darned safe.)

 

Happy reading!

 

UPDATED Action Alert: Attend TTC Meeting or Contact TxDOT

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 13:29

UPDATE: The TTC's office is redirecting comments to TxDOT's standard comment form, which has a 350-character limit. That's not a lot of space to say what you have to say. Therefore, we will print and hand-deliver your emails to the meeting for you to be sure that the TTC hears from all Texans who ride bikes. Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  by 8 AM on Thursday, September 18 to ensure we get your comments in time for Thursday's meeting.

--------------

In just two days, the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) will vote on rules that allow TxDOT to move funds from bike/ped projects to general highway projects, despite receiving 544 comments from around the state asking them to keep that money where it is.

We're not letting this go without a fight. The TTC, essentially TxDOT's board of directors, will vote on these rules at their meeting on Thursday, September 18, beginning at 9 AM at 125 E 11th St in Austin (map).

If you are able to attend this meeting, please do! The meeting starts at 9AM and usually runs until 12PM. If you'd like to speak at the meeting, sign up to speak on agenda item 7a(1) or 7a(2). We've provided a sample script for emailed or in-person comments below.

 

  1. My name is ______ and I live in ______. My occupation is _______.
  2. I (or spouse/family member/etc.) ride a bike in Texas and I want TAP funds to be used solely for TAP purposes.
  3. Do not approve agenda item 7a(1) or 7a(2) at the Thursday, Sept 18 meeting. Postpone voting on these rules until they reflect the sentiment of the comments you have received. Preserve TAP money in TAP and give communities the tools they need for successful projects.
  4. (Feel free to personalize this email as you like and let the TTC know why this is important to you.)
  5. Please print this email and deliver it to my commissioners.

 

You can watch the meeting live by visiting this link and clicking on the media button next to September 18 once the meeting has started on Thursday. Thank you for participating in this process and making Texas a great place to bike and walk.

 

Friday Reading: Links You May Have Missed (Sept 12)

Friday, 12 September 2014 00:00

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

 

Zavala Parade-7227

From BikeTexas: 

Check out our September newsletter

We'll be in San Antonio for Síclovía on Sept 28

And our Annual Membership Meeting is oh-so-soon

 

From around Texas:

We're angry to have lost two more people who ride bikes in Texas this week-- John Zess of Harlingen, and Lorenzo Salas Guerra of Harris County

Dallas is working towards safer intersections where trails cross streets

Cooler weather is coming-- for most of us!

 

From elsewhere:

Women in Afghanistan are pedaling towards freedom

The FTA is accepting applications for grants to develop areas around transit

Infrastructure keeps pedestrians safer than carrying a flag to cross the street does

The idea is spreading that people who are in charge of transit systems should also be transit users

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Photo: Zavala Elementary (Austin) Reading Parade, 2012. The kids riding in the pedicabs were the top readers in their classes.

 

Good Morning, Minneapolis: NCSL Bipartisan Bike Ride 2014

ncsl bipartisan bike ride 2014 ellis robinIt all started in 2005 when Texas Senator Rodney Ellis, inspired by the success of the Sine Die Bipartisan Bike Ride, came to BikeTexas Executive Director Robin Stallings with an idea: Why not do the same kind of ride for legislators at NCSL as BikeTexas already does for Texas legislators?

BikeTexas jumped at the chance and a tradition was born. With local support from the Bicycle Alliance of Washington (now WashBike), we put on the ride for a dozen legislators and their families who were attending the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). Word spread quickly and the ride grew year by year to 2014 numbers: Over 150 legislators, their families, and their staff joined BikeTexas and BikeMN staff and volunteers on Friday, August 22, for the 10th NCSL Bipartisan Bike Ride.

Legislative hosts for the ride were:
Texas Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston)
President of the Minnesota Senate Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul)
Minnesota Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center)
Minnesota Sen. David Senjem (R-Rochester)
Texas Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (R-Irving)
Minnesota Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis)

ncsl bipartisan bike ride 2014 groupThe ride was sponsored by Walmart, BNSF Railway, General Mills, Primal Wear, People for Bikes, Quality Bicycle Products, Siemens, and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The Bipartisan Bike Ride is a great way to let lawmakers see firsthand what it’s like to ride a bike through a city, which translates to states taking greater steps forward to make their state bike friendly.

The bike ride is always held early in the morning to give participants a jump on the day and let them see the sights of the NCSL host city in the best way possible-- from the seat of a bicycle. This year’s ride was about 10 miles at an easy pace through Minneapolis landmarks including Cedar Lake Trail, Stone Arch Bridge, the University of Minnesota campus, Hiawatha Bike Trail, and Midtown Bike Center. Minneapolis PD and EMS provided police escorts and EMT backup. BikeMN, whose great work in Minnesota has played a key role in its consistently being one of the best bicycling states in the U.S., partnered with us to showcase their city and its fantastic bicycling facilities. Staff and volunteers get up around 2 AM the day of the ride to get everyone safely rolling by 6:30.

ncsl bipartisan bike ride 2014 happy riderThe best compliment the ride could possibly receive came from a participant from Arizona, who said, “I rode a bike ride for my first time this past week at NCSL and it was amazing! I was worried I could not make that long of a ride, and concerned with riding on the street. All of my concerns disappeared about 1/4 of a way into the ride. It was amazing! … Ongoing, I will definitely start riding in my own town!!”

Next year, the NCSL Bipartisan Bike Ride rolls back to its roots when the conference goes to Seattle. We can’t wait.

See more photos from the ride on the BikeTexas Flickr account.

 
 

A Great Day Out at Camp: BikeTexas KidsKup at Camp Eagle Classic

kidskup camp eagle 2014-5The drive from Austin to Rocksprings sometimes feels a little long to the staff who head out there every year for the BikeTexas KidsKup at the Camp Eagle Classic, but it's always worth it.

Camp Eagle Classic Mountain Bike Festival presented by Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Richardson Bike Mart, and Hill Country Bicycle Works attracts over 1200 people for a weekend of family fun, relaxation, and bike racing. Many families use Camp Eagle Classic weekend as a last hurrah for their summer before the daily crunch of school and fall activities pulls them too far in.

The Camp Eagle Classic crowd always enjoys the BikeTexas KidsKup. About 40 young riders brought their bikes and their parents to the start line to take part in the racing fun, and walked away with big smiles and our new KidsKup ribbons to show off that they finished the course. Check out more pictures on our Facebook page.

There are still three KidsKup events left this fall! Don't miss out-- join us at one of these events:

 

 

kidskup camp eagle 2014-1

Bicycles Outback Blowout - Registration available now!

Sept. 6, 2014

Waco, TX

 

Tyler Speedwaves - Registration opens September 8

Sept 13, 2014

Tyler, TX

 

Dave Boyd Huntsville Classic - Registration opens September 15

Oct. 11, 2014

Huntsville, TX

 
 

Friday Reading: Links You May Have Missed (Sept 5)

Friday, 05 September 2014 00:00

kidskup camp eagle 2014-3In case you missed it: Here are some links we thought were worth sharing this week. Happy reading!

 

From BikeTexas:

The first KidsKup of the fall was spectacular 

One of our staff ordered some music off Amazon earlier this week (via Amazon Smile supporting BikeTexas, of course), then tweeted about it, and the artist tweeted back. She hasn't stopped smiling since, but we're giving him a mention because not only does he like bikes, but this song is perfect for the first weekend in September.

 

From around Texas:

The Woodlands is considering a master bike & pedestrian plan 

And Amarillo Traffic Commission is discussing widening shared roads to benefit people who ride bikes 

Good news, this time from Dallas: Buffered Bike Lanes Coming to Sylvan/Tyler-Polk

 

From elsewhere:

On showing patience with new, inexperienced people on bikes

Read while Dad rides

The University of Kentucky has a free bike program for students

Trading some driving trips for walking trips is kind of tough in many parts of the country

One very sweet story about an 8-year-old triathlete who loves his brother

Add bike lanes, subtract delays

Finally, another one for the "nice to have confirmation" file: People are healthier in states where more people bike & walk to work

 

Happy reading & have a great weekend!

 
 

Try to Remember a Kind of September

tbt gayle sept 2003 biketexas

For our first-ever Throwback Thursday post, we dug through our archives to find September activities from years past at BikeTexas. (Title of the post is inspired by the song "Try to Remember" from the musical The Fantasticks.)

 

September is a great month for education! BikeTexas has attended the SRTS National Conference, trained teachers with the help of LCIs, planned massive training events, and provided training to teachers in the entire Houston ISD.

BikeTexas reflected on the success of our partner and event member Hotter'n Hell Hundred in 2005.

In 2005, BikeTexas (then the Texas Bicycle Coalition) joined forces with nonprofits across the nation to offer relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

We moved to our current location in September of 2006, and made some improvements to the building over the next couple of years.

BikeTexas' Annual Membership Meeting has historically been in August or September (The 2014 meeting is coming up quick-- register now!), which means meeting reports through the Septembers. Read about: 2008 | 2009 | 2013

In 2008, the League of American Bicyclists released their first Bicycle Friendly State ranking. Texas came in at #30 that year. (We've since been as high as #22, but in 2014 we've dropped back down to #33.)

Dallas installed bike racks on all its buses starting in September of 2008.

Our friends at REI invited us to the opening of their Round Rock store in September 2008.

Austin City Limits Music Festival attendees got a bit creative with bike parking in 2008.

San Antonio's B-cycle program won an award in 2011.

On a sad note, we lost David Boyd in September of 2008 and Iris Stagner in September of 2012. Both have memorial funds at BikeTexas.

tbt sept newsletter 1998 biketexasSeptember is also a great month for bike/ped funding! Trails funding in Texas was saved in 2012 and the TTC funded multiple projects around the state in 2013.

El Paso worked hard to get a bike share program off the ground in 2013.

And finally, the BikeTexas partnership with Brownsville is one year old.

 

Photos: Top-- Former BikeTexas director Gayle Stallings with her new bike trailer outside the previous BikeTexas office in September 2003; bottom-- the August/September 1998 edition of the BikeTexas newsletter.

 
 

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