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Nominate a Local Leader for a Trails of Texas Award

dr rose gowen ttat 2104 award winner brownsville texasHas someone in your community gone above and beyond to support, plan, implement, or promote local trails? Is there a trails hero you know who is going unsung? Now's the time to start singing! Nominate your local trails leader for a Trails of Texas Award, presented by the Texas Trails Network and awarded at the Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference. Hurry-- nomination deadline is February 15.

Please note: while we'd love nothing more than for you to be present when we surprise your nominee, your attendance at TTAT 2016 is not required for you to nominate someone--so get creative and think of who you could recognize!

Find the Trails of Texas Awards nomination form and more details here.

 

Photo: 2014 Texas Trails Award Winner Dr. Rose Gowen and other Brownsville delegates

 

Be a Texas Delegate at the National Bike Summit in March

texas delegation with texas senator john cornyn national bike summit 2015Join the Texas Delegation at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., March 7-9! Hear from inspiring speakers and see what's happening for bikes around the country. On Lobby Day, visit the office of every Texas member of Congress and tell them how important bicycles and active transportation are to you. Let us know you're going so we can connect you with the Texas coordinator. Don't miss out!

Learn more and register for the National Bike Summit.

   

Ask An Attendee: Why Register for TTAT?

Wednesday, January 13 2016 10:12

scott white velo paso texas trails active transportation conference ttat 2014 biketexas

February 2018 edit: Enjoy this look at TTAT past from our archives, then register for TTAT 2018, coming to Austin May 2-4. Questions? Call us at 512-476-7433.

 

Velo Paso's Scott White is working hard to make El Paso a great place to ride a bike. As one-half of the Velo Paso contingent at Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference 2014 (along with fellow advocate Victor Cordero), Scott saw enough value in TTAT that he's returning in 2016, this time as a speaker.

A couple years ago my friends and I were making waves after having successfully fought to save the funding for our local bike share program. So we though we knew a thing or two about being active transportation advocates. Boy were we in for a surprise!

What we learned at the Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference just blew our minds, so many new ideas, approaches, resources, and of course 'bike minded' friends. It was a real eye opener, and what we learned in just a couple of days would take far too long to explain. So why not come see for yourself?

I'll be there again (I'm even co-leading a session this time), and hope to see you there too.

   

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:

To say THANK YOU:

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 senate.gov.

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 house.gov.

   

FAST Act is Now Law

Monday, December 07 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.

   

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