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Don't Miss These Upcoming Austin Events!

Send Austin to the National Bike Summit!
Invite Your Friends!
Federal funding played a significant role in getting Austin bike projects on the ground, including the Southern Walnut Creek Trail, the Pfluger bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Lady Bird Lake, and other key parts of Austin's bike network.

Help send two advocates from Austin to the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC, March 10-12 to join with people from around Texas who ride bikes: Come to CYCLEAST (map) Friday, Feb 20, 5-9 PM to share your message for change, hear exciting news about what's happening in Austin and Texas bicycling, get a sneak preview of the summit, enter the silent auction, and find out how you can take action.

 
$5-$10 donation requested, plus 10% of all Cycleast sales during the event go towards sending advocates to D. C.! Thanks to Cycleast, Live Oak, Counter Culture, Counter Cafe, and Mr. Natural for sponsoring!
 
Learn more and RSVP here. Can't make it on Friday? Want to get a head start on sending advocates to speak up for bikes? Donate here.
Spinlister Listing Party & Happy Hour!

 
Join BikeTexas and Spinlister for a listing party on Wednesday, Feb 18, from 5-7 PM at theBikeTexas office (map).
 
Have a spare bike you want to rent out? Bring it along and get it listed on Spinlister! Earn some cash with your bike while you're not riding it. (Learn more about Spinlister here.) With SXSW coming up fast, now's a great chance to find out more about renting out your bike-- come by on Wednesday to get your questions answered!
 
 
Beverages and snacks provided. See you there!
Capital Metro Cycling Community Workshop

 
BikeTexas sponsor and local transportation provider Capital Metro wants to hear from people who ride bikes! Head to the GearTalk Cycling Community workshop on March 3, 5:30-8 PM, atCycleast Bike Shop (map).
 
ICYMI: Austin's Complete Streets Policy Among the Nation's Best

 
The City of Austin was recently honored by the National Complete Streets Coalition for passing one of 2014's best Complete Streets policies! Austin is #3 on the list, tied with two other cities. Great work, Austin!
 
 

Austin recognized as national leader in creating streets that work for everyone

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 13:50

           bike austin logo   BikeTexas-Primary-Sqaure

The City of Austin is working to make streets safer for all road users—and our work has been recognized by the National Complete Streets Coalition as among the nation’s best.

Austin’s Complete Streets policy, adopted in June 2014, is #3 in The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, released February 10. The policy directs transportation planners and engineers to design and build streets that provide safe, convenient travel for road users of all ages and abilities—pedestrians, transit users, people on bikes, and drivers—which leads to less congestion and a healthier Austin. Bike Austin and BikeTexas are proud to be among the many community groups that supported this policy.

The National Complete Streets Coalition reviewed every policy passed in the United States in 2014 and scored each according to the 10 elements of an ideal Complete Streets policy. The eleven jurisdictions with the highest-scoring policies adopted in the last year are:

1. Ogdensburg, NY

2. Troy, NY

3. Lakemoor, IL (tie)

3. Dawson County, MT (tie)

3. Austin, TX (tie)

 

6. Acton, MA (tie)

6. Middleton, MA (tie)

6. Reading, MA (tie)

6. Salem, MA (tie)

10. Los Angeles County Metropolitan
      Transportation Authority, CA (tie)

10. Stoughton, MA (tie) 

 “Austin’s stellar Complete Streets policy will allow more travel options for more people, which leads to improved health for Austinites, enhanced quality of life in our community, and attracts the best employers and workers to Austin,” says Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas.

Interim Bike Austin Executive Director Carol Reifsnyder says, “Austin’s Complete Streets policy is a key step towards Austin’s goal of an all-ages protected bicycle network. This policy makes sure that all road users are considered for every street project and increases safety for people who ride bikes.”

Nationwide, a total of 712 jurisdictions in 48 states have Complete Streets policies in place.

See more information about the winning policies and evaluation criteria at http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets-2014-analysis.  

 

News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Jan 30)

Friday, 30 January 2015 00:00

Looking for some weekend reading? Look no further than these links we thought were worth sharing this week: 

 

From BikeTexas: 

Register now for Cyclists in Suits on March 30! Visit your legislators' offices, meet people who ride bikes from across the state, and make a difference for all Texans!

 

velo paso ride for reading biketexas

From around Texas:

Folks in El Paso delivered books by bike to Douglass Elementary School with the Ride for Reading program.

Brownsville has installed its first bike repair station on the Belden Trail.

Corpus Christi has decided it's time to update its bike/ped plan, ten years after it was first written.

Get your BMX bike ready: Frisco is building a pump track.

San Antonio police are offering a reward in a hit-and-run death of a man on a bike.

In happier news in San Antonio, check out this review of the Mission Reach trail.

One more from San Antonio for good measure: VIA has debuted new bike lids at stations.

Amarillo is considering hike-and-bike trail improvements.

Denton is taking on pedestrian safety.

Dallas has approved people-counters for its trail system.

The Houston Chronicle takes on the problem of METRO's bus stops.

And while we're in Houston, check out this PBS NewsHour segment about their Bicycle Master Plan.

One of the new additions to the Streetsblog family-- Streetsblog Texas-- is up and running!

 

From elsewhere:

Fort Collins, CO, has added bike racks to their ambulances, because "On average, two to four bikes are transported in ambulances every day." While this is a nice move, that statement had us wondering what's going on in Fort Collins. Fortunately, clarification is available-- most of those bikes being moved aren't from injured cyclists.

Our friends at Bicycle Indiana are working on a Safe Passing Law in the Indiana General Assembly.

New bikeshare innovations are focusing on equity

London is planning the world's longest cycletrack. They've also come round to the idea of bicycles as mass transit. Bicycle trip to Britain, anyone? 

Oklahoma City decided against a bizarre ordinance that would have required people on bikes to stay three feet from cars.

Janet Lafleur has a bright idea-- Bike to Shop Day. See her and many others at the National Bike Summit, March 10-12.

 

Have a great weekend!

Photo: Collage of photos from the El Paso Ride for Reading event. Photos courtesy of Victor Cordero.

 
 

Throwback Thursday: Cyclists in Suits

Thursday, 29 January 2015 00:00

texas first cyclists in suits 2001 biketexasSince 2001, there's one thing legislators can count on every session: getting a visit and a bike pin on Cyclists in Suits Day.

Through the years, hundreds of Texans who ride bikes have made the trek to Austin to speak to legislators about bills that are important to have passed-- or bills that need to be voted down, like SB 238 in 2001. Our recap of the legislature that year:

Stopped Senate Bill 238, anti-bike legislation, from passing through the Texas Legislature, whereupon Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth fully acknowledged the power of the Texas bicycle lobby to the press.

"He has received more calls, letters, and emails from his constituents on SB 238 than any other bill he has introduced. The cycling lobby had done an effective job of networking."
-- Jan. 2001, San Antonio Express-News

(Senator Wentworth went on to become a friend to people who ride bikes, and introduced Senator Ellis' keynote address at TTAT 2012.)

Add your voice to the hundreds-- register for Cyclists in Suits 2015

 

Photo: Poster for the first Cyclists in Suits on April 9, 2001.

 
 

Brownsville By Bike – New Repair Stations & Bike Racks

brownsville repair station collage biketexasIt's getting easier all the time to roll around Brownsville--the city is installing bike repair stations, bike corrals, and new bike racks.

At the last CycloBia Brownsville in December, over 400 people stopped by BikeTexas tent to learn how to use the new bike racks and repair stations. BikeTexas has worked closely with Brownsville city staff to get these new facilities on the ground.

The first Saris repair station has been installed on the Belden Trail in the downtown area just off Palm Blvd. The second repair station will be installed on the Historic Battlefield Hike and Bike Trail / Linear Park area in downtown by the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts.

The first on-street bike corral in the Rio Grande Valley will be installed soon in downtown Brownsville, half a block from City Hall in front of the downtown HEB.

Bike racks will follow, with installation in different key locations around the city.

 
 

Bikes + Literacy-- A Match Made in El Paso

By Victor Cordero, Velo Paso

velo paso ride for reading biketexasFriday morning, January 16, 32° F (FREEZING!), 5:30 AM wakeup call, up and at ‘em!

Warmth & excitement flowed through my veins as we prepared for El Paso’s 2nd Ride for Reading event, in which almost 30 riders participated. Most of the riders were local, plus we had some spectacular out of town guests, including action sports writer and photographer Devon Balet from Montrose, Colorado, and professional mountain bike racers Katie Holden from Seattle, WA, and Dejay Birtch of Tucson, AZ.

Ride for Reading provides a way for donated books to be delivered to low-income elementary schools BY BICYCLE--promoting a healthy, safe, vibrant activity as well as literacy. Local cyclists are recruited for the deliveries and books are donated locally and by Better World Books through the Ride for Reading program. According to the Handbook of Early Literacy Research, the ratio of books per child in low-income neighborhoods is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Ride for Reading is working to change that.

The weather was a beautiful 50° and sunny by the time we arrived at Douglas elementary at 9 am. “This year we delivered 1400 books by bike to Douglass Elementary School in south El Paso,” Don Baumgardt, our local Ride for Reading organizer, member of Borderland Mountain Bike Association and founder of www.GeoBetty.com stated.

Half the books were donated by Better World Books, a national non-profit that regularly supplies books to Ride for Reading events. The other half of the books came from the El Paso-based non-profit Books are Gems, whose mission is to get free books in the hands of the children of El Paso. In addition to the books, each student received a certificate for one new and five used books from Books are Gems.

Each child receiving a book promised to pay attention in class, listen to their teachers, and to be respectful! All students pledged: “I promise to read my book twice. I will never ever throw my book away. I will pass it on to a friend, family member, neighbor, classmate or someone else I know. And I promise to be the best student for the rest of the year.”

The Borderland Mountain Bike Association organized the ride to kick off the weekend festivities for the Puzzler Mountain bike race that was held on January 18. Over 225 riders participated in the race with a 15-mile route, a 35-mile loop and a grueling 50-mile course with over 6,000 feet of vertical climb on some of the toughest single track in the state.

 

Photos courtesy of Victor Cordero.

 
 

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