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News By Bike: August 11

Happy Friday! Here's what we've been reading this week:

 

NewByBikeFrom BikeTexas: 

Rather a lot of reading, in fact, because August 9 was National Booklovers' Day and we happen to have a few favorite bike books to share. It's best if you just head straight for the library right now.

Sneak peek for #NewsByBike readers: our annual bike giveaway starts Monday! Be on the lookout for giveaway entry instructions first thing Monday morning.

Hotter'n Hell Hundred is just two weeks away, if you can believe that, and we'll be headed up to Wichita Falls for a fun weekend at the expo. Stop by the BikeTexas booth and say hello! We'll have our jerseys, t-shirts, and bike lights available for purchase.

Back to School is coming, and our BikePedEd materials are perfect for your budding active transportation enthusiast, her teacher, and her whole school. Find out more and ask your child's school to check out our safe biking & walking materials.

Our weekly Trails of Texas series continues this week with the San Antonio Mission Trail. Follow us on Facebook to see a different trail every Friday.

 

From around Texas:

Great news, Aggies: Texas A&M has installed bike desks in the libraries.

You might need some tissues for this one. Kids with special needs learned to ride a bike for the first time at Bike Camp in San Antonio last week.

The City of Lubbock celebrated new bike lanes on Broadway yesterday.

 

From elsewhere:

The best Complete Streets policies of 2016 have been announced--alas, none of them are in Texas. Next year?

Maybe bike advocates should try this: "Reporters would submit a few facts about local traffic accidents to Detroit, and the auto industry's safety committee would send back a full report on the situation in their city."

London is gathering data on the best places to put new bikeways, but some are saying it's time for less talk and more action.

In the ongoing battle against bike theft, Portland is fighting back.

Also in Portland, a bike share program for riders with disabilites has just launched--the first program of its kind.

Interesting research from the UK about the health benefits of different commuting modes.  

Dockless bike share has launched in Manchester, England, but so far it's had mixed results around the world.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

#BookLoversDay: 10+ Bicycle Reads

booklovers dayAugust 9 is Book Lovers' Day! For your reading enjoyment, we’ve put together a handful of some bicycle-related books for you to kick back with after you’ve finished your ride. Books are listed in alphabetical order by title.

All links (except where noted) are to the books' pages on Amazon. If you decide to purchase through Amazon, please log into smile.amazon.com and choose BikeTexas (Texas Bicycle Coalition) as your beneficiary. Get a good book and support bicycle advocacy!

 

Because I Could Not Stop My Bike and Other Poems, by Karen Jo Shapiro & Matt Faulkner

The title poem is the only one that's bike related, but as a parody on Emily Dickinson's slightly more famous work, it's top-notch. If you'd like to introduce your kids to some classic poetry without them knowing it, or need some new bedtime reading material, or just enjoy poetry yourself, it's a winner.

 

The Bikeable Church, by Sean Benesh

Wish your place of worship were more bike-friendly? Get some great ideas here. Also by Sean Benesh: The Bohemian Guide to Urban Cyclingwhich is a fun look at city riding. 

 

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save The Economy (link is to the publisher, Microcosm Publishing)

A real look at our transportation costs and how bikes can help create healthier humans, boost local economies, and foster a sense of community. Also by Elly Blue: Everyday Bicycling (link is to Microcosm Publishing), a short and very sweet how-to guide for beginning riders.

Ms. Blue has come through Texas a few times in recent years with the Dinner and Bikes tour, including a fun-filled 2015 stop at the BikeTexas headquarters in Austin.

 

City Cycling, by John Pucher & Ralph Buehler

This is an academic research book, so it does not read like a novel. However, it is a gem that is chock-full of key information to take to your city officials, and as such is a must-have reference for advocates.

Dr. Pucher was the speaker at our Shifting Gears Lecture Series during the 2013 legislative session.

 

 Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet, by Mia Burk

Ride along with Portland’s former bicycle coordinator as she recounts the journey to make Portland one of the best bicycling cities in the U.S. You'll recognize many of the roadblocks and frustrations that Ms. Burk faced along the way as the same ones that continue to plague advocates across the U.S., and also be inspired at how those roadblocks were turned into mere speed bumps.

 

Roads Were Not Built for Cars, by Carlton Reid

A great look at the history of who exactly pushed for modern-day roads to be built. (Non-)Spoiler alert: it was people who ride bikes! The interactive version is especially great for enjoying all the included photos and tons of historical tidbits that Mr. Reid includes in the book.

 

Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban RevolutionJanette Sadik-Khan

Former NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan came to work with a mission: Make NYC safer for pedestrians and people who ride bikes. The book chronicles successes, failures, and above all, Ms. Sadik-Khan's determination to transform her city.

Ms. Sadik-Khan stopped in Austin as part of her book tour in 2015.

 

The Urban Cycling Survival Guide, by Yvonne Bambrick

Our own Robin Stallings provided the cover quote for this excellent book that covers all the basics. Not sure how to get started rolling along on two wheels? Ms. Bambrick has boiled it all down for you right here.

 

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom, by Sue Macy 

A short, easy read about the role the bicycle played in the women’s suffrage movement. This book is especially great to read at this time of year--August 18 marks the 97th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. 

This is a kid-friendly and kid-oriented book, so don't waste any time getting to your local library. No kids? Not to worry--it's a great one for adults, too.

 

Still not enough to fill your shelf? Check out these recommendations from a recent #bikeschool Twitter chat. And chime in on Facebook or Twitter to tell us your favorite bike book that we haven't read yet!

 

News by Bike: August 4

Viernes 04 de Agosto de 2017 00:00

Well, it took a bit longer than anticipated to dust this thing off, but News By Bike is BACK! Here's what we're reading this week:

 

NewByBike

From BikeTexas:

Things are still tense at the lege, and we're keeping a close eye on a piece of legislation that could undermine local texting while driving bans around the state. Sign up for our Action Alerts to be sure you don't miss out when it's time to call the Capitol. 

Our annual trip to Hotter'N Hell Hundred, bike giveaway, and membership meeting are all coming up in the next few weeks! Stay tuned to learn more. 

Back to School is coming, and our BikePedEd materials are perfect for your budding active transportation enthusiast, her teacher, and her whole school. Find out more and ask your child's school to check out our safe biking & walking materials.

Our weekly Trails of Texas series continues this week with the Houston Bayou Greenways. Follow us on Facebook to see a different trail every Friday.

 

From around Texas:

A driver ran a red light and hit a woman on a bike in College Station. The rider is recovering.

Amarillo is working toward being a great place to walk and ride a bike.

Meanwhile, Fort Worth is doing great and keeps getting better for bikes.

Our friends at The Rivard Report took some of our e-bikes for a spin

Houston Police are constantly working to improve bike safety, but not always ticketing drivers who endanger people on bikes.

Austin is installing new bicycle signals around town.

San Antonio B-Cycle, the first bikeshare system in Texas, made this list of great things to do on a date night in SATX.

Austin's Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is open for public comment. Check it out and respond by August 31.

 

From elsewhere:

More New Yorkers than ever are taking to two wheels, thanks to lots of infrastructure and encouragement. (The bikelash is worse than ever, too. Don't let the haters get you down, NYC!)

Ottawa just found out how much money they can save on their road construction by building some bike lanes.

Open Streets events have spread around the world, including all over Texas, but Bogotá remains king.

In Vadodara, India, Nikita Lalwani has discovered how easy it is to get around on two wheels-- and she's spreading the word.

 

Do you have a story we need to read? Email Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spambots. Es necesario activar Javascript para visualizarla  and maybe you'll be in next week's News By Bike.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Action Alert: HB 117 Needs Your Support

Action Alert Header

HB 171 by Rep. Goldman will override all local mobile device ordinances and replace them with a new, weaker version. The sole purpose of this bill is to water down local decisions regarding mobile device use. Please vote NO on HB 171.

We urge you to contact your Texas Representative and tell them that you want to support HB 117 by Rep. Uresti instead. Please vote YES on 117.

HB 117 expands and strengthens our new statewide mobile device bill (HB 62). This bill is in danger of languishing in the House Transportation Committee and dying before the end of the Special Session. 

Here's what you can do to support more stringent rules for cell phone use while driving: 

 
 
We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:
  • My name is _____ and my occupation is _____. I live in District ____. I support Representative Uresti's House Bill 117. Please vote YES on Uresti's HB 117, and NO on Goldman's HB 171.

Relevant facts related to this legislation include:

  1. Use of a mobile device while driving is widely recognized to be a dangerous behavior.
  2. Distracted drivers are highly dangerous to bicyclists and pedestrians.
  3. Local mobile device use ordinances are frequently stricter than state law. If local voters have chosen to more strictly regulate themselves, then their decisions should be honored.
  4. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration urges local citizens to advocate for local laws with regards to distracted driving. Rep. Goldman's HB 171 seeks to take away that local control.
 
Thank you for speaking up for safe driving practices in Texas! One more way to help--please share this with any bike, pedestrian, or traffic safety groups you may be part of, plus all of your friends that want safer roads in our cities. 
 
Action Alert Header

You are receiving this email because you are a constituent of a Texas Representative on the Texas House Transportation Committee. 

HB 171 by Rep. Goldman will override all local mobile device ordinances and replace them with a new, weaker version. The sole purpose of this bill is to water down local decisions regarding mobile device use. Please vote NO on HB 171.

We urge you to contact your Texas Representative and tell them that you want to support HB 117 by Rep. Uresti instead. Please vote YES on 117.

HB 117 expands and strengthens our new statewide mobile device bill (HB 62). This bill is in danger of languishing in the House Transportation Committee and dying before the end of the Special Session. 

Here's what you can do to support more stringent rules for cell phone use while driving: 

 
 
We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:
  • My name is _____ and my occupation is _____. I live in District ____. I support Representative Uresti's House Bill 117. Please vote YES on Uresti's HB 117, and NO on Goldman's HB 171.

Relevant facts related to this legislation include:

  1. Use of a mobile device while driving is widely recognized to be a dangerous behavior.
  2. Distracted drivers are highly dangerous to bicyclists and pedestrians.
  3. Local mobile device use ordinances are frequently stricter than state law. If local voters have chosen to more strictly regulate themselves, then their decisions should be honored.
  4. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration urges local citizens to advocate for local laws with regards to distracted driving. Rep. Goldman's HB 171 seeks to take away that local control.
 
Thank you for speaking up for safe driving practices in Texas! One more way to help--please share this with any bike, pedestrian, or traffic safety groups you may be part of, plus all of your friends that want safer roads in our cities. 
 
 

On the Lege: 85th Regular Session Recap

85th lege collageBikeTexas had several priority bills during the 85th Texas Legislature. The good news is that HB 62, No Texting While Driving, finally passed after many years of work and was signed into law by the governor. Under this law, drivers may not read, write, send texts, or communicate via other electronic messages while the vehicle is moving. Stricter ordinances at the local level are still law. The Special Legislative Session may pass a bill to void local hands-free ordinances.

Unfortunately, the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act (HB 1236 by Rep. Mando Martinez/SB 1274 by Sen Jose Rodriguez), Vision Zero (HB 1677 by Rep. Celia Israel/SB 1245 by Sen. Jose Rodriguez), and Safe Neighborhood Streets (HB 1368 by Rep. Celia Israel/SB 1244 by Sen. Jose Rodriguez), did not fare well. We were given reasons that some very conservative legislators didn't like the bills because of "nanny state," "too many laws," or "should be a local ordinance only."

Generally these bills are unlikely to be won by compelling arguments that address the legislators' concerns. The bicycling movement will need to show a lot of "boots on the ground" in every legislative district that has a legislator whose votes we need (hint: all of them).

Many thanks to the over 80 folks who traveled to Austin for the Bike Lobby Day, Cyclists in Suits, on March 27. We visited every legislative office to let them know that people who ride bikes have high expectations of our legislators to hear our concerns and take those concerns seriously.

We're keeping an eye on bills that come up during the Special Session and fighting every day to make Texas a great place to walk and bike.

 
 

Cyclists in Suits 2017

cyclists in suits 17 biketexas bicycle advocacy texas

We want to extend our thanks to the more than 80 citizen advocates who signed up for Cyclists in Suits on March 27. BikeTexas members and friends from across the state visited every legislative office to advocate for safe bicycling and walking. Volunteers provided information about Vision Zero (House Bill 1677/Senate Bill 1245), the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act (House Bill 1236/Senate Bill 1274), and the Safe Neighborhood Streets Bill (House Bill 1368/Senate Bill 1244) to every legislative office.

We also extend our thanks to Richardson Bike Mart and Bike DFW, YMCA, H-E-B, Bike Houston, Bike Austin, The Bonneville, and members and friends for their financial support of Cyclists in Suits.

Special thanks to YMCA staff members and Senator Jose Rodriguez, who provided information, encouragement and training for our volunteers.

 
 

Save State Parks Funding for Texas: Contact the TX Lege Now

Domingo 30 de Abril de 2017 18:03

Action Alert Header
HB 78 Goes Before the House Appropriation Committee on May 4
HB 78 Makes State Parks Funding Permanent

The Texas Sporting Goods Sales Tax was created to fund Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD)– not to be used for other purposes at the whim of the legislature. But both House and Senate appropriations committees are poised to carve out $92 million from the sporting good sales tax to do just that.

This can be fixed now! The Budget Conference Committee can correct this error before the budget is ultimately finalized. If your Senator or Rep is on the Conference Committee, ask him or her to fully fund state parks.

Additionally, House Bill 78 by Representative Ryan Gullien has been filed to fix this glitch so that the $92 million can be recovered and bring TWPD funding up to its full level. HB 78 will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, May 4Please contact your reps immediately and tell them you support Texas State Parks.

In addition to developing and maintaining our priceless State Parks, TPWD provides Recreational Trails funding for trails all over the state, including rail-to-trail corridors such as Caprock Canyons, Mineral Wells, and the proposed 130-mile long Northeast Texas Trail from near McKinney though Paris to near Texarkana. This valuable work should be supported by our legislature, not curtailed through choking off funding.

Here's what you can do to support Texas State Parks: 

  • Find your Texas Representative and Senator and head to their respective contact pages. Not sure what to do? See the illustrations below. (Please look up your own representatives; don't just call the folks listed here--they might not represent you!)
  • Is your Rep or Senator on the Budget Conference Committee? Ask him or her to fully fund state parks.
  • Call or email your Rep and Senator and urge both to support HB 78 to bring TPWD up to its full funding level with YOUR Texas Sporting Goods Sales Tax.
  • Keep in mind you'll most likely speak to a legislative staffer, not the Rep or Senator. 
We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:
  • My name is _____ and my occupation is _____. I live in District ____. I support Texas State Parks.
  • (If applicable) Please correct the $92 million shortfall in the TPWD budget by appropriating the 94% of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax that was intended for parks into the TPWD budget.
  • Please support HB 78 by Rep. Ryan Guillen, scheduled for a hearing on May 4 in House Appropriations Committee.
  • (Use any/all of the suggested talking points below as they relate to you. Help your elected officials understand why this is an important issue for you.)
  1. State and local parks are vital to our state’s economy and to preserving our Texas heritage, culture, and way of life. 
  2. This bill would amend the Parks and Wildlife Code and permanently require that 94% of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax be appropriated for the state and local parks, as it was intended.
  3. I am proud to join a diverse range of voters in supporting our parks. From hunting and fishing groups, to environmentalists and conservation organizations, we stand together in support of proper funding for our parks.
  4. The Comptroller’s revenue estimate for the 2018-2019 biennium budget shows the Sporting Goods Sales Tax will bring in an estimated $333.5 million. Under the tax code, 94% of that should be appropriated for state and local parks, which would amount to $313.5 million. However, there is currently a $92.5 million shortfall in the budget.
  5. As a proud Texan and friend of the parks, I am calling on you to fully fund the parks so that the department will have consistency in its budget and be able to properly maintain and operate our state parks for all Texans to enjoy.
  • Thank you for your time and consideration.  
Thank you for speaking up for state parks funding in Texas! One more way to help--please share this with any bike, trail, or park groups you may be part of, plus all of your friends who love Texas State Parks. Let's let the lege know Texans want great parks!
 
 

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