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Sunday, April 30 2017 18:03
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 4. Please 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:
We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:
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!
From DFW (thanks to Richardson Bike Mart and BikeDFW) please click here.
Cyclists-in-Suits, , in Austin
We'll meet at the Capitol Auditorium (E1.004, which is across from the Capitol Grill at 9am sharp for a welcome and brief training session.check in at least 15 minutes prior. No food or drinks are allowed in the auditorium. The Capitol Grill near the auditorium has breakfast foods, and coffee at a very reasonable price. It is open early.)
After orientation, volunteers from across the state (including bus loads of individuals from bike groups in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth) will visit legislative offices to show support for our bills.
At the end of the day, we’ll meet at The Bonneville Restaurant overlooking Lady Bird Lake for a social hour and refreshments.
Sign up to participate by clicking here.
When we reach out to our friends in email blasts this spring, contact your legislators to show support for our bills. Sign up for our Enewsletter, and Action Alerts which are time sensitive during the session.
Bus Trips to Cyclists in Suits:
From DFW (thanks to Richardson Bike Mart and BikeDFW) please click here.
Summary of bills BikeTexas is supporting this session: Please note, legislative sessions are fluid and bills can change at any time. Consult this bill tracker for up-to-the-minute information.
Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act for 2017-House Bill (HB) 1236
Named for a popular bicycle safety advocate and BikeTexas board member, who died on the road in 2012.This Safe Passing Bill will establish for unprotected road users a standard safe passing distance of 3 ft. (or 6 ft. for Commercial Vehicles) that only applies when road conditions allow. It also prohibits the “right hook” (turning dangerously in front of an unprotected road user) and failing to yield when making a left turn at an intersection. Comments: No fiscal note. Twenty-five Texas cities and twenty-five other states have enacted safe passing laws. Imposes penalties for violations under this bill.
Establishment of the Vision Zero Legislative Task Force by the Legislature - House Bill (HB) 1677
This legislation would direct TxDOT to establish The Task Force on Vision Zero: Achieving Zero Traffic Crashes, Injuries and Fatalities, to report findings to the 2019 legislature, based on the Task Force review of a) current state of roadway fatalities and serious injuries and b) identification of effective measures to reduce the number of roadway fatalities to zero by no later than 2050. Comments: no fiscal note. Vision Zero is a national and international effort to reduce fatalities to zero. BikeTexas is proud to be a member of a coalition of Texas-based health concerns
supporting this bill.
Lowering the Prima Facie Speed Limit in an Urban District – House Bill (HB) 1368
This legislation would amend the Transportation Code to change the lawful speed from 30 miles an hour to 25 miles an hour in an urban district on a street other than an alley unless a special
hazard exists. Comments: no fiscal note. Uses speed reduction as a tool for reduction of fatalities and serious injuries.
Alex Brown Memorial Act – Distracted Driver - House Bill (HB) 62
This legislation relates to the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, creating a criminal offense and modifying existing criminal penalties.
BikeTexas’ mission is to advance bicycle access, safety, and education in the state of Texas, and as in any diverse group there will always be differences in opinion about the most productive ways to move forward. One of our key roles is to advocate for sufficient funding to create a stronger infrastructure for active transportation at the local, state, and national levels.
Our endorsement of incumbent Council Member Leslie Pool for District 7 in Austin has prompted considerable discussion. Many comments have been made in support of Council Member Pool’s challenger, while other comments call into question our role, motivations, and intentions as an organization supporting Texans who ride bicycles for sport, recreation, transportation, community development, and fun. We certainly welcome discussion and disagreement, but have always asked that all conversations on our page remain all-ages-friendly and refrain from personal attacks.
Council Member Pool helped bring the largest active transportation funding bond in state history to the voters and has shown an open response to her constituents’ wishes and bicycle-related concerns for many years. This is one of the reasons she earned our endorsement—she helped bring a historic opportunity for better infrastructure, including more bike lanes, throughout all of Austin. Council Member Pool’s statements regarding the Shoal Creek Bike lane have been mischaracterized; the full video makes it clear that she remains open to her constituents and stakeholders on the matter. (The shorter clip does not include her full remarks.)
Our endorsement is based on Council Member Pool’s record and openness to active transportation concerns since 1999, including her support for $120 million for the bond up for vote in November. We chose to endorse Council Member Pool for a second time due to her record. Council Member Pool is the proven candidate in this race.
Hard work, cooperation, and compromise have been necessary to make Austin a Gold Bicycle Friendly Community, and BikeTexas will continue to work with effective council members like CM Pool until Austin and every Texas city obtain Platinum BFC status and beyond.
Avast! September 19 be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so haul yer best Pirate to yer ride and impress yer mates! (We be puttin' these here fer a laugh. We be not wantin' ye to do anythin' that might land ye in traction.) Don't be forgettin' yer eyepatch for yer post-ride grog, savvy? And nae stealin', either--that be the wrong spirit fer Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Before the ride -- "Arrrr, where be we goin'? Which one o' ye is the coxswain? Does every bilge rat have flat changin' tools?"
Car back -- "There be dragons."
Car up -- "Here be dragons."
Road hazard -- "Ahoy, mates! Watch yourselves o'er this ____."
Speeding up -- "Smartly, mates! This be not the time for slackin'!"
Stopping -- "Avast! There be a stop sign!"
And if someone ignores ride etiquette -- "Release the Kraken."
After the ride -- "Pass me the grog, mates, or be keelhauled."
Photo: Arrrr, bikes!
Every September, BikeTexas members come together for the Annual Membership Meeting. We hear from board members and staff about where we are and where we'd like to be in the next year. We share successes and setbacks. And in 2016, we're celebrating 25 years of bicycle advocacy in Texas!
We invite you to join us on Sunday, September 25, from 4:30 to 7:30 PM as we celebrate the work of another year together. Register now to attend. The Annual Membership Meeting is open to the public, but you must be a BikeTexas member to vote.
If you're in the Austin area, please join us at The High Road, 700 Dawson Rd (map). The membership meeting is 4:30 to 6 PM, with reception to follow immediately afterward in the same venue, from 6 to 7:30.
If you can't make the trip to Austin that day, you're invited to join us online via Go to Meeting from home, a coffee shop, public library, or wherever you may be. Go to Meeting spaces are limited, so register soon to avoid disappointment.
The Annual Membership Meeting is also when we'll have our annual drawing for a new bike! One lucky member will roll away with a 2017 Trek 7.2 FX bike in the color and size of your choice, which you'll be able to pick up from your local Texas Trek dealer. Trek has generously donated this giveaway bike just for BikeTexas members. Not a member yet? Join here. Edit: You must join by 1 PM on September 3 to enter to win a bike.
New this year, we're having a second bike giveaway at the Membership Meeting, open to in-person attendees only. We'll be giving away one of our bike fleet: an eight-speed Tern Link D8 folding bike (pictured)! BikeTexas staff and board members and their families are not eligible to win, but everyone else who attends in person at The High Road could be the lucky winner.
Register here to attend either in person or online, and we'll see (or hear) you on September 25.
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