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News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Apr 8)

Friday, April 08 2016 16:32

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

 

NewByBikeFrom BikeTexas:

Could the Northeast Texas Trail become a linear state park?

Survey time! Take the follow-up survey from TTAT 2016. Help us get ready for 2018!

Support BikeTexas while you pick up your lettuce with HEB and Earthshare of Texas.

 

From around Texas:

The number of active transportation fatalities this week in Texas is appalling. Our thoughts are with the families of Jacob Waganer (Fort Worth), Wilma Montgomery (Houston), and Mailani Godin (San Antonio). We also send best wishes for a continued recovery to Elizabeth English (Austin).

CityLab Latino takes a look at the good things happening in Brownsville. (Article is in Spanish.)

From our friends at Velo Paso: Funding for new bicycle infrastructure is in jeopardy because projects that were intended to be ready to go by now aren't. In the meantime, there's a community meeting scheduled for Monday regarding bike lanes on Resler.

Corpus Christi continues to develop its new bike plan.

Waco's Safe Passing Ordinance passed its first reading at the City Council.

Austin wants you to take the mobility survey.

Comments on the Houston Bike Plan are due Monday.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Northeast Texas Trail Explores Linear State Park Option

Northeast Texas Trails Coalition and Texans for State Parks, two hardworking organizations who seek more trails for Texas, met late last month to discuss a possible 130-mile-long linear state park for Northeast Texas.

 

nett mapNortheast Texas Trail: A Diamond in the Rough

Northeast Texas Trails Coalition (NETT) brings together the seven organizations that between them hold the stewardship of the 130-mile Northeast Texas Trail that runs through seven Texas cities. The trail stretches from Farmersville through Paris and Clarksville and ends in New Boston. Long-range plans call for DFW's Trinity Trail Network to one day connect to NETT at Farmersville. People who ride bikes from all around the DFW area support the NETT.

Although the rail lines disappeared from the corridor 20 years ago, trail improvements have been slow. The longest existing portion of the trail is a nine-mile trek from Paris to Blossom and Reno. Current portions of the trail are funded by Recreational Trails funds, Transportation Alternatives Program grants, and donations of material, equipment, and labor from cities, counties, and folks in the area who are committed to their trail. NETT estimates about $33 million is needed to complete the full 130-mile trail.

On January 30, NETT members voted to explore making the trail into a linear state park, similar to the Lake Mineral Wells Trailway west of Fort Worth and the Caprock Canyon Trailway near Quitaque in West Texas.

 

Getting Together with Texans for State Parks

Texans for State Parks (TSP) is the umbrella organization for the numerous "Friends" groups that serve many of the state parks in Texas. Friends of state parks perform a range of duties at their own adopted parks, such as staffing visitor centers, conducting tours and education sessions, assisting visitors, and maintaining equipment and facilities, as well as building and maintaining bridges, signage, and other trail features in the parks. TSP also works closely with state and local officials on behalf of the parks system.

BikeTexas staffer Mark Stine holds membership in both NETT and TSP and worked with the leadership of both to arrange for NETT representatives to attend TSP's annual meeting, March 25-26. NETT President Earl Erickson and Chaparral Rails-to-Trails, Inc. Treasurer Bub Mudie presented information about the NETT and were able to visit with TSP and Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) members at the annual meeting, forming strong new partnerships to further this vision of NETT one day being a state park.

 

nett bridgeBirth of a State Park

The process for a property to become a state park is a long one. NETT has two big advantages. First, the land for the right-of-way has already been acquired and is in the possession of the seven organizations that make up the NETT coalition. Second, the communities along the length of the trail have thrown tremendous support behind its completion. City and county officials in the region mirror this support.

Sometimes state parks come into being in segments, and this may ultimately be the case for the NETT. Check out this article from TPWD's Rob McCorkle about how a state park is born: "Birth of a Park: First You Acquire Some Iconic Texas Land. Then What?"

Many people are already hiking and biking on the NETT, even the unimproved sections. Read these articles from TWPD and TxDOT for an on-the-ground view of the trail:

"Lone Star Walkabout:  A hiker sets off to be the first one to walk the 130-mile Northeast Texas Trail"

"Northeast Explorer: Hike and bike a new rail trail from the Blackland Prairie to the Piney Woods"

 

Going Forward with TPWD

Next steps? A feasibility study is typically the first step toward a new state park. Meanwhile, NETT President Earl Erickson has invited Brent Leisure, TPWD's Director of Texas State Parks, to join him for a bike ride on the existing NETT trail segments.

 

Photos: Northeast Texas Trail Map; Northeast Texas Trail bridge near Roxton, Texas. Photos courtesy of the Northeast Texas Trail Coalition.

   

News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Apr 1)

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

 

NewsByBike

From BikeTexas:

Check out some of the news coverage from the Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference.

And speaking of TTAT, pics are here! Look back at Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Did you see our day on the Nonprofit Baton? Check out the @npbaton Instagram feed and scroll back a couple days to find all our posts from Wednesday, March 30.

 

From around Texas:

Houston! Weigh in now on the Houston Bike Plan.

Austin! Take the Mobility Survey and attend a public hearing on the future of transportation in Austin.

El Paso! Go see Velo Paso and El Paso Bike Month at the Artist and Farmers Market tomorrow, April 2, for a bicycle safety class and mechanics workshop. (Also, lots of great stuff is happening in El Paso in the next few weeks. Check out our event calendar!)

Looking for some theatre this weekend in Austin? Check out the closing weekend of 4000 Miles. 

 

Have a great weekend!

   

In the News: #TTAT2016

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.

 

The Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference created quite a buzz in Houston! Check out some of the media coverage here:

 

ttat 2016 biketexas houston mayor turner

"Turner Gets Bike Crowd Moving, On Its Feet," Houston Chronicle

"Cycling Advocates Say Confidence Is The Key To Getting More Houstonians On Bikes," Houston Public Media

"Cycling Advocates Say Electric Bikes Could Change The Way People Get Around Houston," Houston Public Media

"The Houston Electric Bike Expo: Transportation, Media, and Fun!," Electric Bike Report

 

And specific to the Electric Bike Expo:

 

"Event Showcases Electric Bikes to Relieve Houston Traffic," Houston Chronicle

"Electric Bike Expo Rides Through Houston All Weekend," CW

"Scenes from the Houston Electric Bike Expo," Electric Bike Expo

 

What a great week it was. Have you written a follow-up article or blog post about #TTAT2016? We'd love to share it! Email the link to Su at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Photo: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks at TTAT 2016.

   

News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Mar 25)

Friday, March 25 2016 09:55

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

 

NewByBikeFrom BikeTexas:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !

 

From around Texas:

Hey, San Antonio! Take this survey

Learn more about the Houston Bike Plan.

Another look at Houston's bus network overhaul

 

From elsewhere:

Pedestrian deaths keep going up in the U.S.

... perhaps because of all the distracted driving.

A retired fire chief calls for smaller trucks that fit smaller streets.

In Columbus, OH, providing transit is cheaper than providing parking garages.

Transit tech is coming to whatever city wins the Smart City challenge.

Big surprise: People who ride bikes tend to enjoy their commute.

Check out these interactive drive-time maps (for when you have to leave the bike behind).

 

Have a great weekend!

   

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