I wanted to send a note of thanks to BikeTexas, and all its members and supporters, for giving me the honor of hosting last month's Shifting Gears Luncheon and Urban Bike Ride, filling in for my colleagues Senators Ellis and Wentworth.
I continue to be impressed by the work BikeTexas is doing in advocacy around our State, and this luncheon was no exception. It was wonderful to see the large number of people who came from all over Texas to hear and learn from the experiences of former Bogotá, Columbia Mayor Enrique Peñalosa. And of course, no BikeTexas gathering would be complete without an Urban Bike Ride!
If you were not able to make it to the Shifting Gears event, I would encourage you to read more about Mayor Peñalosa and the incredible changes he made to his city. In just a few years, Bogotá was transformed from a gridlocked, difficult to navigate city with poor quality of life to a city with improved public spaces, safely walkable and bikeable streets, and a renewed community spirit.
Mayor Peñalosa's story is energizing because it reminds us that great changes can happen when we combine good leadership with community involvement. I'm hopeful that we can continue to bring many and varied voices to the table as we plan for Texas' transportation future, so that we can ensure safe roads and pleasant public spaces for all users.
On that note, I am also very proud to tell you that I have signed onto Senate Bill 488, the new and improved Safe Passing Bill authored by Senators Ellis and Carona. I'm looking forward to working with my Senate colleagues to pass this very important piece of legislation this session.
Thanks again to the members and sponsors of BikeTexas for all that you have done for cyclists in Texas; and here's to an even more successful 2009!