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News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Dec 18)

Viernes 18 de Diciembre de 2015 00:00

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


gift guide santa and elf teaser biketexasFrom BikeTexas:

Forgot to order from our gift guide? The post office deadline for regular shipping is upon us, but give us a call or Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spambots. Es necesario activar Javascript para visualizarla and we can adjust the shipping prices for pre-Christmas delivery. No rush? No worries-- we'll still send your order even if it won't arrive before December 25.

It's #FundraisingFriday-- donate or join today and we'll send you a bonus free gift!

Our communications/office manager is slightly obsessed with tying bicycles and musicals together as often as possible.


From around Texas:

CycloBia Brownsville is tonight-- don't miss out!

Work is still progressing, albeit with delays, on a rail-trail in Tyler.


From elsewhere:

A look at the science behind traffic engineering--and how that science points to roads built for people.

US DOT & Vulcan announced a reward for the Smart City Challenge winner. Our office nerds were a bit too excited about this news for a few minutes.

Is better data one of the keys to safer streets?

Check out this cool wayfinding project in the "other" Arlington.

Found a brilliant way to share safety messages, Iowa DOT has.

Check out this fun and crafty idea for old bike tires! (Maybe a winter break project for your kids?)

“'Until the idea of a cyclist as the sports person or as a poor man is removed from the equation, very few authorities are going to support cycle-oriented development,' Palmer says."


This is your last brand-new weekend reading of 2015--look for a roundup of our favorite stories of the year next Thursday (since we'll be doing something else on Friday). Happy holidays, and as always, have a great weekend!


News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Dec 11)

Viernes 11 de Diciembre de 2015 13:37

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


brownsville city council bicycle friendly proclamation biketexas advocacyFrom BikeTexas:

Congratulations to the two Texas businesses who joined The League's Bicycle Friendly Business list this week!

Even more congratulations to this happy fifth grader who drew his way to a new bicycle!

Don't forget-- donate to BikeTexas or join/renew your membership on Fridays, and you get a free gift. That's our way of saying thanks for #FundraisingFriday with us.

Did your U.S. Rep vote yes on the FAST Act? A quick email to say thanks also reminds our elected officials that people who ride bikes are paying attention to what they're up to.


From around Texas:

Austin's transportation reporter dismantles the argument that people who ride bikes don't pay for roads.

The trails connecting Fort Worth to Dallas are getting closer to reality...

And in the meantime, here's a look at how far Fort Worth has come and where it still needs to go for bike friendliness.

Houston's BikeFest has been postponed again due to rain

Brownsville officially received its Bicycle Friendly Community designation from Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists this week (photo).

BikeHouston is hiring.


From elsewhere:

Just in case anyone forgot, walkable neighborhoods = healthier people.

...however, it looks like there's not enough housing in walkable neighborhoods for everyone.

Baby Boomers are retiring (or not) and hopping back on their bikes.

This post is all about convincing reluctant politicians about what we already know-- bikes are the solution to a lot of problems.


Have a great weekend!


#LongForTheRide: Texas' Bike-Winning Fifth Grader

texas poster winner bike saris racks biketexas bicycle education 2015Many congratulations to Uzziel Rangel of Bonner Elementary in Tyler, the statewide winner of the Saris 2015 Fifth Grade National Poster Contest.

Uzziel and his father put his new bicycle together this week. George Brigman, Uzziel's teacher, says, "Uzziel Rangel is so excited about winning in the Saris Bike Poster contest. He was talking about how he would protect it – try to keep from getting any scratches and keep it beside his bed. Uzziel tries his best all the time and has great manners."

According to Mr. Brigman, all of his students enjoy Saris' annual contest: "Bonner does have great artists who try their best. This is a contest that all the fifth graders look forward too."

Thank you to all the teachers in Texas who submitted posters to the Saris 2015 Fifth Grade National Poster Contest! See all the Texas posters here, and check back soon to hear more about the second and third place winners!

Thank you Saris Parking, maker of bicycle parking systems and racks for hosting the contest for the fifth year. In their words, "Our #longfortheride campaign blossomed from our own admiration and commitment to cycling in the United States. Riding a bike is not only good for the soul, it benefits the health, wellness, safety and vitality of a community. What better way to display the bicycle’s importance than by asking kids to show us what they love about the bicycle. There’s just something inexplicable that happens each time you reach for the handlebars. And as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words."

Photos: Uzziel and his new bike; Uzziel with his brothers and sisters 

texas poster winner family biketexas bicycle education 2015


Takin' Care of Business: Two More Texas Businesses Join the Bike-Friendly List

Viernes 11 de Diciembre de 2015 11:49

3 place bike rack capital metro austin bikefestGetting to work and back is never better than when you work for one of the 28 bicycle friendly businesses in Texas! With this week's announcement of new bicycle-friendly businesses from the League of American Bicyclists, even more Texas businesses are taking the pledge to make life a bit easier for those who commute by bike. Congratulations to the newest Texas businesses on the list:


Entering the list at GOLD: longtime BikeTexas partner and good friends, Capital Metro. In addition to being the first transit system in Texas to welcome bikes aboard, they're our hometown transportation authority. 

And at SILVER: San Antonio River Authority, who among many other things are also responsible for some of the parks we love visiting in San Antonio.


We couldn't be prouder of these two businesses entering the list in such stellar fashion! Althogether, the 28 Texas businesses on the list represent 10 cities and 142,759 Texas employees. Keep up the great work, Texas businesses!

Photo: A rider learns how to use the 3-place bike racks, now standard on all Capital Metro buses, at Austin BikeFest.


Check out the full list and be sure to stop by any of the Texas bicycle friendly businesses near you. Want to see your company on the bicycle friendly list? Start here.


Bicycle Sport Shop, Austin, Bicycle Industry


Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, Transportation

The Ride Of Silence, Garland, Bicycle Industry 

Traffic Engineers, Inc., Houston, Architecture/Planning/Design


717 N. Harwood, Dallas, Class A Commercial Office Building

Advanced Micro Devices, Austin, Manufacturing/Research

Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO), San Antonio, Government Agency

Bike World, San Antonio, Bicycle Industry

Blue Line Bike Lab, Houston, Bicycle Industry

Casteel & Associates, Inc., Dallas, Manufacturing/Research

City of Austin, Austin, Non-Profit/Government

El Meson Restaurant, Houston, Hospitality/Food/Retail

Federal Highway Administration, Texas Division, Austin, Non-Profit/Government

Fort Worth Bike Sharing, Fort Worth, Bicycle Industry

Pedal Power Bicycles, San Marcos, Bicycle Industry

Plano Cycling & Fitness, Inc., Plano, Hospitality/Food/Retail

San Antonio River Authority, San Antonio, Government Agency

Sugar Cycles, Inc., Missouri City, Bicycle Industry

The LIVESTRONG Foundation, Austin, Non-Profit/Government

United Services Automobile Association (USAA), San Antonio, Professional Services


Asakura Robinson Company LLC, Houston, Professional Services

Bikesport, Houston, Bicycle Industry

City of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Non-Profit/Government

HomeAway, Austin, Professional Services

Lake Flato Architects, San Antonio, Architecture/Planning/Design

San Antonio Bike Share, San Antonio, Bicycle Industry

Texas Instruments Inc., Plano, Manufacturing/Research

Wheatsville Food Co-op, Austin, Hospitality/Food/Retail


FAST Act Passed! Send Your U.S. Rep an Email

Congress passed the new federal transportation law-- Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act--last week, and the president signed it on Friday.

nbs15 texas delegation with senator cornyn biketexas

The good news? Despite many attacks on active transportation funding throughout the process, dedicated funding remains for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as education and safety goals. For the first time, states will be required to report back on the progress they're making toward reducing active transportation fatalities, and highway builders for all US DOT roads must consider all users when planning a roadway. These are tremendous steps forward for the federal bill.

There are still concerns with the FAST Act-- TxDOT will still be allowed to transfer some dedicated bike/ped money to other uses, and for the first time, large MPOs will be allowed to do the same. US DOT will write guidance for states and communities on how to best implement the new laws, and then it will be up to TxDOT and Texas MPOs to write their own policies within the new law. We'll be there every step of the way to remind them that Texans want great places to bike and walk.

Now is a great time to remind our members of Congress that people who bike are also people who vote! How did your representative vote on the FAST Act? See below for the list of who in the Texas delegation voted yes or no on this bill. If your representative voted yes, send a quick email to say thanks! If he or she voted no, it's still a good time to reach out and share your concerns. See suggested talking points below for thanks or concern. Not sure who your representatives are? Check out Who Represents Me? to find your U.S. representative, plus links to both Texas senators.

Thank you for staying in contact with your representatives during this process. You make a difference!

Photo: Texas delegation at the 2015 National Bike Summit with Senator Cornyn.


We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:


1. My name is _________ and my occupation is __________. I live and ride my bike in District ___. 

2. Thank you for voting for H.R. 22. This law allows for dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as education and safety programs that benefit people who walk and ride bikes. I appreciate that you supported this bill.

3. [Tell the representative why this is important to you-- do your kids ride? Do you rely on a bike for transportation? Do you ride for your health? Keep it to 1-2 sentences.]

4. Thank you again for supporting people who walk and ride bikes in Texas.

To share your concerns:

1. My name is _________ and my occupation is __________. I live and ride my bike in District ___. 

2. I'm sorry to hear that you did not support H.R. 22. This law allows for dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as education and safety programs that benefit people who walk and ride bikes. Since I ride a bike in your district, I would have hoped for your support.

3. [Tell the representative why this is important to you-- do your kids ride? Do you rely on a bike for transportation? Do you ride for your health? Keep it to 1-2 sentences.]

4. Thank you for your time.


How did the Texas Delegation vote?

Senate: John Cornyn Yes; Ted Cruz No

See the full list of yea and nay votes on

House (in district order):

District 1, Louie Gohmert: No

District 2, Ted Poe: Yes

District 3, Sam Johnson: Did not vote

District 4, John Ratcliffe: No

District 5, Jeb Hensarling: No

District 6, Joe Barton: Yes

District 7, John Culberson: No

District 8, Kevin Brady: Yes

District 9, Al Green: Yes

District 10, Michael McCaul: Yes

District 11, Michael Conaway: Yes

District 12, Kay Granger: Yes

District 13, Mac Thornberry: Yes

District 14, Randy Weber: No

District 15, Rubén Hinojosa: Yes

District 16, Beto O'Rourke: Yes

District 17, Bill Flores: No

District 18, Sheila Jackson Lee: Yes

District 19, Randy Neugebauer: No

District 20, Joaquin Castro: Yes

District 21, Lamar Smith: No

District 22, Pete Olson: Yes

District 23, Will Hurd: Yes

District 24, Kenny Marchant: No

District 25, Roger Williams: Did not vote

District 26, Michael Burgess: No

District 27, Blake Farenthold: Yes

District 28, Henry Cuellar: Did not vote

District 29, Gene Green: Yes

District 30, Eddie Johnson: Yes

District 31, John Carter: Yes

District 32, Pete Sessions: Yes

District 33, Marc Veasey: Yes

District 34, Filemoon Vela: Yes

District 35, Lloyd Doggett: Yes

District 36, Brian Babin: Yes

See the full list of yea and nay votes on


FAST Act is Now Law

Lunes 07 de Diciembre de 2015 14:26

After many delays, short-term extensions, and plenty of disagreement, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was passed by Congress and signed by the president last week. The FAST Act is the first long-term transportation bill passed in a decade.

lege intern ride biketexas

What's the news for people who walk or ride bikes? From our friends at the League of American Bicyclists:

Transportation Alternatives Program

This program is the most prominent funding source for biking and walking infrastructure projects. The FAST bill makes some policy changes:

The Good:

Nonprofit organizations are now eligible to apply for funds. This makes it easier for nonprofits to do safety and education for Safe Routes to School programs. It also means that nonprofits who run bike share programs can apply directly.
Funding increases from $820 million to $835 million in 2016 and 2017 and to $850 million in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
The program maintains its competitive nature.

The Bad:

Metropolitan areas that get their own funding can use half of it for roads and bridges. However, that funding would still have to go through a competitive process.

Change in Name

The funding program is no longer a stand-alone program. It is no longer the Transportation Alternatives program; it is now a set-aside in the larger Surface Transportation Block Grant Program. We’ll have to find a better way to reference it.

New Bicycle and Pedestrian education program

The FAST Act creates a priority safety fund to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. The program will focus on:

education of law enforcement;
education of motorists, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians; and
implementation of enforcement campaigns.
Only states in which 15% or more of overall fatalities are bicyclists or pedestrians will receive funds. Last year Congress passed a directive to require states and metropolitan areas to set goals for reducing bicyclist and pedestrian crashes and fatalities. This new program will help states fund that work.

Complete Streets

The FAST Act directs the US DOT to encourage states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations to set design standards to accommodate all road users. It also requires the US DOT to produce a report on implementation and best practices in two years.

Design Guidelines

The bill also broadens the guidelines state can use when designing roads, and gives local jurisdictions the right to choose different guides from the state in certain circumstances. This allows local governments, who often want to be more progressive, the opportunity to do so.

Many thanks to the League and others who were on the scene in D.C. to put the pressure on Congress to include active transportation in this bill and to send out alerts when it looked like things might be going badly. And a special thanks to YOU for responding quickly to our Action Alerts and contacting your representatives. You made a difference on this bill!

We'll continue to monitor what comes next once the money for bike/ped projects opens up. We've spent the last couple of years asking TxDOT to make better choices for TAP funding instead of transferring funds away from active transportation uses, and we'll continue to be there to encourage them to follow through on education, accommodation, and design to make Texas a great place to ride a bike.


News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Dec 4)

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


ut adventure class bike rideFrom BikeTexas:

Donate today, get a free gift. It's #FundraisingFriday!

Don't forget to check out the BikeTexas Holiday Gift Guide when shopping for all your bicycle-loving family and friends (or for yourself!).


From around Texas:

A call for more bicycle infrastructure in San Antonio.

'Tis the season for bicycle surveys; this one is about bikeshare for Brownsville.

And another one about The Woodlands' new bike plan.

BikeHouston is asking folks to attend the Roseland Area Design Information Meeting on Monday.


From elsewhere:

The new federal transportation bill is released & expected to pass. See the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's anaylsis here. 

An excellent takedown of a Pittsburgh bus driver's pedestrian-blaming rant.

Minneapolis' efforts at getting kids to walk or bike to school.


Have a great weekend!

Photo: Our yearly visit and bike ride with UT Austin's Adventure Activities class.


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