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Events Calendar

Tue, Sep 2 - Tue, Sep 30
8301 Furness Dr, Austin, TX 78753, USA
Bike to Hart Elementary (Austin)

Fri, Sep 19 - Sun, Sep 21
Prude Ranch, 209 Texas 118, Fort Davis, TX, United States
Fort Davis Cyclefest

Sun, Sep 21 4:15pm - 5:30pm
1902 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
BikeTexas Annual Membership Meeting

Sun, Sep 21 5:30pm - 7:00pm
1902 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
Annual Membership Meeting Happy Hour

Sat, Sep 27

National Public Lands Day

Safety & Education

SafeCyclist Training

Get certified to teach the SafeCyclist Curriculum 

Educational Resources

 Resources for teachers and community members

SRTS Event Handbook

BikeTexasJersey-2012-Front

News / Blog Front Page News

BikeNews Front Page

BOUNCE Participants Learn from SafeCyclist

By Dr. Joel Bloom

BOUNCE classDr. Joel Bloom, BikeTexas SafeCyclist Field Instructor, presented the SafeCyclist curriculum as a keynote workshop during the BOUNCE Summer Wellness Program at the University of Houston College of Education. BOUNCE is designed to teach girls about nutrition, exercise, and other crucial components of a healthy lifestyle. The SafeCyclist classroom experience introduced these 30 novice cyclists to the importance of bike checks, tire pressure, hand signals, and especially wearing a helmet (using the helmet/egg demo).

The questions covered were dynamic and the girls had some fantastic anecdotal reflections about their first bikes and early adventures riding them. One of the girls brought up a concern about trains crossing her route to school and how she wished there were a crossover. Another interesting set of questions came about shifting gears and why we do it. Several of the girls talked about their bikes being too "short" for their legs, so the group learned about raising the saddle and also about what we do to fit a frame and rider.

After the two-week program was completed, the girl who scored the most participation points won a bike donated by West End Cycles. The whole experience had them buzzing about riding and how cycling could become part of their new focus on a fitness/wellness lifestyle.

 

Action Alert: Save Theo and Malone Bike Lanes (San Antonio)

MaloneAve-BikeLane-TheoThe City of San Antonio is spending $14 million to improve Theo and Malone between S. Flores and Nogalitos-- a bond package that promised to improve bike lanes. However, the City's Capital Improvements Management Services department held a public meeting in April 2013 and recommended that the bike lanes be removed. 

 

Sign and share this petition to show your support for IMPROVING bike lanes, not REMOVING them.

 

At the public meeting, the citizens present asked for on-street parking and reduced truck traffic. No one presented to the community any of the positive benefits of improving the roads for all users, so attendees at the meeting did not get a complete picture of what bicycle accommodations can do for their street and their community.

 

One of CIMS' options included on-street parking, and a wide cycle track to replace the bike lane, which would help buffer residents from loud truck traffic. This is the option that should be built with our tax dollars. You can download CIMS' public presentation here and see the minutes from the meeting here.

 

Workshop Moves Seguin Ahead with Central Trail and Bike/Ped Network

Tuesday, 03 December 2013 13:20

Mayor and Mrs. Keil with BikeTexas' Mark StineThe City of Seguin hosted the Walnut Springs Trail Blazing Workshop November 22-23 at the Teatro De Artes De Juan Seguin Cultural Center near the Walnut Creek Trail and Greenbelt trailhead. The city is ready to move ahead with plans for Phase II of the trail after landing a Transportation Enhancement Grant for $1.8 million from TxDOT. The total trail will start from the northwest corner of town on SH 78, pass along Texas Lutheran University and an under-development and yet-to-be-named flagship park on 48 acres just acquired by the City. 

BikeTexas staff was invited to present and participate on the resource team to support the workshop. Along with issues of making biking and walking mainstream daily activities in Seguin, participant brainstorming heavily explored public participation in art and civic activities along the trail.

The wide concrete trail runs past a number of historic structures and sites with public use potential to Walnut Springs Park in downtown Seguin. This park was originally designed in the 1930’s by Robert Hugman, who later developed the San Antonio River Walk. Elements of the CCC stonework have been restored and incorporated into a Phase I renovation of the park completed with local funds in 2011.

The City is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on an ecosystem restoration project along the creek. The City will also build a library overlooking the downtown section as voters approved a bond measure this past November 5.

Once funding is secured, a future project will extend the trail along the creek corridor to the existing flagship Max Starke Park on the south side of town along the Guadalupe River. Neighborhoods of all economic and ethnic backgrounds lie along the trail.

The City is also conceptualizing and drafting a citywide, on-street bike/pedestrian network to complement the trail and connect with neighborhoods, schools, retail shops and stores, employment centers and other destinations.

The workshop was sponsored by a partnership of the City of Seguin and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) after the City was one of four chosen by CIRD from 30 nation-wide applications for the workshop. CIRD is a National Institute for the Arts initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Project for Public Places, the Orton Family Foundation, and the CommunityMatters partnership.

Seguin, founded in 1838 and named for Texas Hero Juan Seguin, is one of those best-kept secret small Texas towns with great assets. This entire trail effort shows that many diverse elements can be brought together to develop a functional and desirable walking and biking environment for residents and visitors. BikeTexas will continue to provide support to the City of Seguin and citizens as they move from vision to reality for bikeable/walkable destinations in their town.

Photo: Sara Askey. Seguin Mayor Don and Marty Keil try out bikes from the BikeTexas fleet with BikeTexas staff member Mark Stine at the Walnut Springs Trail Blazing Workshop on November 23. The Mayor and Mrs. Keil both cycle in and around Seguin.

 

Action Alert: Give TxDOT Feedback on FM 2493 (Tyler)

FM-2493-TylerTxDOT and Tyler MPO are making plans for FM 2493 south of Tyler, and they need your input.

 

The planned construction includes widening the road and adding sidewalks, but does not include any provision for bicycles.

 

Spread the word - share the following petition link by email and social media: 

biketexas.org/advocacy/petitions/1578-petition-fm-2492-tyler

 

Please attend the public meeting on Tuesday, December 10, to let TxDOT and your MPO know that you want bicycle infrastructure when the road is reconstructed.

 

Please remind TxDOT:

 

  • You are a cyclist and you want safe roads in your area
  • TxDOT's own policies call for all road users to be considered in road designs
  • Planning for bicycles and pedestrians from the beginning of a project saves money and resources over trying to retrofit the road later to accommodate all users
  • Including provisions for all users can save the community the tragedy a non-motorist death due to a badly planned road

The meeting is on Tuesday, December 10 from 5-7 PM at Southside Baptist Church (map). You can also submit comments through TxDOT's email system, but be aware that you can only use 250 characters in their comment box.

 
 

Action Alert: Attend TxDOT's Online Meeting

Monday, 02 December 2013 13:39

Houston trails

Many of you attempted to participate in TxDOT's online public open house a few weeks ago about the 2040 Long-Range Plan updates and were unable to log on. Because of the technical difficulties and high level of interest in the updates, TxDOT has agreed to host another online meeting so people who ride bikes in Texas have a chance to share their concerns.

What: Online Public Open House

When: 6 PM, Thursday December 5

Where: Click this link to access the meeting. If requested, enter your name and email address. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: 12345. Click "Join". 

Who: You!


We spoke to TxDOT about the technical problems and they were surprised to hear that we had managed to let so many people know about the meetings so quickly. In fact, when we got the word out, TxDOT had an old link published on their site that was only corrected after we had already let you know the meetings were coming-- but unfortunately, neither TxDOT nor we realized that the bad link had gone out across the state.

Thank you for being committed to making Texas a great place to ride a bike! 


When you submit feedback to TxDOT, please keep the following in mind:

  • Ask that TxDOT adopt an agency-wide, district-wide, and area-wide Complete Streets policy with guidance, procedures, and review included.
  • Remind TxDOT that a Complete Streets policy is in accordance with their first priority: safety for all road users.
  • Point out that the review process for Complete Streets is more economical in the long run, saving TxDOT the time and other resources required to add bicycle or pedestrian accommodations later in the project.
  • Express your support for trails projects in your community: The current federal transportation bill allows TxDOT to move trails money away to non-bike/ped uses much more easily than before, and we want them to keep trails funding for trail building.

Thank you for participating in this process. Let's make sure TxDOT remembers people who bike and walk in their transportation planning.

 
 

El Paso Bike Share: Updates

Update November 7:

El Paso Bike Share is going forward with a smaller program from what was originally proposed. From Broken Spokes

"Leading up to the vote, Velo Paso, a local bicycle-pedestrian coalition, was disappointed in having a scaled-down program, but ultimately supported a smaller, permanent program over a pilot program with an uncertain future. Sarah Rich, Velo Paso secretary, spoke at the meeting in favor of a permanent program.

The project will be funded with $276,000 from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, $100,000 from the city, $24,000 from UTEP, and an additional $300,000 in surface transportation program funds that were made available by the MPO and FHWA."

See the rest of the Broken Spokes article here.

Update October 4:

TxDOT still says no to using CMAQ, but the MPO, TxDOT, and the FHWA are supposed to meet in Austin to discuss. 

Today, however, the El Paso City Council deleted their agenda item to defund bike share in favor of the bridge wait time project, and then moved to encourage the MPO to move ahead with the money they have access to right now. Either way, it's another vote in support of bike share. However, even with all that support the scope looks like it will shrink.

Update September 12:

The League of American Bicyclists used their contacts in Washington to get Congressman Beto O'Rourke to submit a letter in favor of bike share.

Update October 4:

The agenda for the meeting on October 4 is posted, and it includes an item from the City of El Paso asking for clarification of bike share funding, including this paragraph:

It is important that the City of El Paso gets its share of grant money to start our Bike Share. The benefits will be endless and beneficial to Texas. Governor Perry wants business in Texas, and companies will come to Texas if they see TxDOT in partnership with the citizens of El Paso. Healthy Texans make for healthy, productive employees. Thank you for your prompt response for a better Texas!

Update September 30:

TxDOT requested an agenda item for the City Council's October 1 meeting attempting to get the City to back down from supporting bike share. After much contact from VeloPaso and BikeTexas members, the City Council decided to postpone the agenda item for two weeks to grant time to study the matter.

Update September 13:

State Senator José Rodriguez showed up to the Transportation Policy Board meeting and led the way in speaking against TxDOT's agenda item to deprogram bike share. Other members of the policy board joined in, included State Reps. Naomi Gonzalez and Joe Moody. When Rep. Rodriguez suggested that the agenda item simply be removed to have the action to deprogram bike share killed quietly, Rep. Moody responded that he wanted to know where everyone stood, and called for a vote. Every single member of the 14-member board voted against the measure to deprogram bike share, except TxDOT's representative. Even Rep. Pickett, who had initially campaigned strongly against bike share, voted for continuing to pursue bike share.

TxDOT released an angry press release shortly thereafter saying that they won't release the funds. Unlike other federally funded programs where TxDOT controls the money, such as Transportation Enhancements / Transportation Alternatives, TxDOT can legally withhold CMAQ funds as long as it sees fit.

Streetsblog reports on the El Paso victory. 

Update September 11:

Streetsblog reports on El Paso Bike share again, this time wondering if TxDOT has the authority to kill the program.

Update September 9:

TxDOT formally submits an agenda item to the Transportation Policy Board to vote on deprogramming El Paso Bike Share. The board will meet on September 13. Essentially TxDOT is asking for the El Paso MPO to reverse its decision to use CMAQ funds for bike share in El Paso. TxDOT had tried to just withhold funds but now is trying to make the death of bike share official. They are also conducting a misinformation campaign about bike share, saying that it won't relieve congestion or improve air quality, saying that other bike share programs don't use public funds, and releasing other misleading documents about bike share. They are also proposing that the CMAQ funds be used to reduce bridge wait times, but its unclear whether FHWA will approve such uses of CMAQ funds.

Response from Representative Joe Pickett on August 26:

Thank you for taking the time to let me know of your support for the Bike Share Program. Unfortunately, at this point in time, and given all factors of the Transportation System and its needs here in El Paso, there are more prudent uses suited to reducing congestion. Perhaps this will be a practical solution in the future, but, given all factors fair consideration, it is not a practical solution at this time. Any funding already associated to this project will stay here in El Paso, we do not lose it. But again, there are higher priority projects to meet the region's transportation needs.
Joe C. Pickett

Update August 16:

El Paso Bike Share makes it to Streetsblog.

Update August 15:

The Velo Paso Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition attended the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority's (CRRMA) monthly meeting to support the city-wide Bike Share program after BikeTexas and the League of American Bicyclists sent out an urgent action alert. The CRRMA announced that TxDOT would not fund the bike share program with money from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding that the bike share program fully qualifies for under requirements stipulated by the Federal Highway Administration. When asked why, it was reported that TxDOT did not believe this was an appropriate use for these funds.

Robin Stallings, Executive Director of Bike Texas, disagrees. "San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth have all proven that bike share can be successful in Texas at reducing air pollution, improving traffic congestion, contributing to healthier populations, boosting local economies, and attracting tourism. Many different organizations in El Paso have come together and agreed that moving forward with bike share is the best use of CMAQ funds. BikeTexas hopes that TxDOT follows through with serving the needs of the community in this way."

Without the $1.6 million from TxDOT, funding plummets to just $400,000. All interested stakeholders plan on moving forward with the Bike Share project. The CRRMA also revealed that Fort Bliss, the Army's second largest military installation, has expressed interest in joining the Bike Share program.

"We applaud the efforts of the CRRMA and the El Paso MPO for forging unique partnerships with the city, UTEP [University of Texas at El Paso] and Fort Bliss," said Bennett Foster, board member of Velo Paso. "They brokered a dream deal that could unite the city and fundamentally change how we think about transportation."

 

 
 

Action Alert: Contact Congress Now About Cycling Deaths

Iris Ghost BikeIn recent weeks, people who ride bikes across Texas have been shocked and saddened by the loss of even more of our own to collisions. 2013 has been a terrible year for bicyclist deaths in Texas. 

 

We want a better future, and we know you want that, too. BikeTexas is proud to join with our colleagues at the League of American Bicyclists to ask Congress to act. We want to make sure that every life of every road user matters and is counted.

 

Please contact U.S. Congress, including your representative and senators, to ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 3494 / S. 1708, which requires the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and state DOTs to account for and reduce bicyclist and pedestrian deaths. 

 

Last year, Congress mandated the US DOT to set performance goals, including safety goals. We believe that those goals should include a plan to make biking safer. However, the US DOT has refused to set a safety goal for non-motorized transportation. 

 

These bills give US DOT the flexibility to determine the best method to meet these safety measures, and call on our leaders to reduce the number of people who are killed or injured while biking and walking on our streets every year.     

We've found this format to work well with elected officials. Please adjust as needed for your House member and Senators:

    1. My name is ________ and I live in [your District or city].
    2. I (and/or family member) ride a bicycle and walk in [District]. The current rate of cyclist and pedestrian deaths on our Texas roads is unacceptable.
    3. HR 3494 (or S 1708 for Senators), the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act, states clearly that the lives of all roadway users are important, and creates accountability toward ending needless deaths.
    4. Will the [Congressman/Congresswoman/Senator] cosponsor HR 3494 / S 1708?

 

BikeTexas wants to give a special thanks to Representative Michael McCaul of Texas for taking leadership on this bill and being an original cosponsor. Please ask your representative to join Rep. McCaul in sponsoring this bill. If you live in TX-10, please call or email to thank Representative McCaul for his support. 

 

It's time for our transportation officials to stop ignoring pedestrian and bicycle deaths and start working to prevent them. Please contact Congress today and ask your representative and our senators to cosponsor HR 3494 and S 1708.

 

Thank you for making Texas a great place to bike and walk!

 
 

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