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Wednesday, November 05 2014 15:02
The voting is done and the results are in, and it’s a new day in Texas.
We’re headed into the 2015 legislative session with many unknowns. There will be new faces in both chambers come January, and many of those new legislators will need to be educated about people who walk and ride bikes. We’re unsure where the new Governor and Lt. Governor stand on the issues that are important to Texans who use active transportation.
One thing we are sure about: BikeTexas will be fighting for you at the legislature every day of the 2015 session to be sure that people who walk and ride bikes in Texas are well-represented. We are ready to take down any anti-bike bills that may come up, and we’re already working with our allies to prepare positive legislation that further protects our rights to Texas roads. Want to join the fight? Click here.
For some races, it’s not yet time to close the books on the 2014 election. If you have a runoff election in your area, we encourage you to go vote! Double-check your voter registration here so you’re ready to head to the polls again in a few weeks.
BikeTexas is proud to introduce our fall intern, Raheleh "Haley" Kordrostami.
Haley is an accounting student at Austin Community College and started interning with us in September. In the short time she's been with us, Haley has proven to be an invaluable asset, working hard at everything we've asked her to do, from hauling bikes to data entry. Haley also proved her uber-volunteer status at the Austin BikeFest, when she and her husband Payam worked hard alongside BikeTexas staff from start to finish to make it a great day.
"I'm learning all about bicycles and bike advocacy," Haley says. "It's been good for me to start riding a bike again, because I had a bike when I was 9 or 10 but haven't ridden my own bike in a while. I really enjoy it."
Sadly, Haley is only with us until the end of December, and she's hoping to find an internship a bit closer to her major for the spring. We've been delighted to have her in the office this fall and wish her well as she goes on-- but until then, we'll make sure that she has lots of chances to explore Austin by bike.
The big day has come and gone, and we couldn't be happier with the success of the inaugural Austin BikeFest presented by Capital Metro.
Many, many thanks to those who came out to enjoy a great day of bicycles, music, food, beer, and fun! Maybe you rode on the newly-opened Southern Walnut Creek Trail, were inspired by the fashion show on bicycles, watched some bike games, or heard from your city council candidate-- or a little bit of everything! We hope you also had a chance to check out all the great sponsors and exhibitors at the park.
Couldn't make it to BikeFest? Check out the Storify to see a bit of what you missed.
We especially want to thank our fabulous volunteers who went above and beyond to make sure the day was spectacular!
We're already making plans for a bigger and better event in 2015! If you haven't already, be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter so that you always get the latest news. Not a social media fan? You can also sign up for our emails so you don't miss a thing.
Check out this video from our executive director Robin Stallings and make plans to join us at Govalle Park for Austin BikeFest 2015!
Are you a Texas State Employee? Do you want to do great things for bicycle advocacy and education? You can support BikeTexas through your workplace charitable giving campaign!
Our State Employee Charitable Campaign number is 035558-- be sure to choose this number when you fill out your Charitable Giving form. If you prefer, you can also support BikeTexas indirectly by giving to EarthShare (035500). Thanks for making Texas a great place to ride a bike!
Friday, October 31 2014 00:00
In case you missed it: Some links we thought were worth sharing this week. Happy reading!
Haven't voted yet in Austin? Check out our local endorsements here.
The Inaugural Austin BikeFest presented by Capital Metro was a smashing success! Many thanks to sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, and attendees for making it a great day. Missed it? Check out the Storify to see what happened.
Need a last-minute costume? See our ideas here. Most of these are from the amazing Anna Kong, who coordinated our costume contest at Austin BikeFest.
Remember when no transit systems in Texas had bicycle accommodations? We're happy that those days are now a memory.
And finally, our Executive Director Robin Stallings was in the Houston Chronicle earlier this week asking the Texas Transportation Commission for answers about bike/ped funding. (Alas, this story is paywalled, so you have to be a Chronicle subscriber to read the whole thing.)
From around Texas:
VOTE NOW! Today, October 31, is the last day of early voting in Texas. The general election is Tuesday, November 4. Texas needs your voice! Find out everything you need to know at votetexas.gov.
You may have seen this report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. Not to worry: bike advocates across the nation swung into action, and after responses from Streetsblog, the League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, another one from the League, and People for Bikes, it's safe to say the report has been pretty well smacked down.
Photo: Costumes at a Tour de Fat bicycle parade
Have a great weekend!
A rack on the front of a bus carrying a bike or three is now a common sight around Texas, but it hasn't always been that way.
In the early '90s, Austin's Capital Metro began looking into adding bike racks to buses at the urging of BikeTexas and others in the local bicycling community. It didn't take long for Capital Metro to see the wisdom in giving people that extra option for a last mile connection, and the first bike rack to grace the front of a Texas bus arrived.
One by one, other cities took note. BikeTexas often worked directly with transit agencies and stakeholders to get bike racks added to bus fleets across Texas. Result: the majority of buses in the state can accommodate bicycles. Some systems have taken the next step-- San Antonio's Primo service and El Paso's new Brio buses carry bikes inside instead of out front. All the commuter train systems in Texas take bikes inside, too.
Combining a bicycle and transit trip in Texas couldn't be easier. Feeling uneasy about trying transit for the first time? Not to worry-- we've put together a handy rider's guide just for you.
Photos, top to bottom:
Celebrating the first bike rack on a bus in Texas;
Houston Chronicle article from 2007, when bike racks were installed on Houston buses;
John-Michael Cortez of Austin's Capital Metro showing a new user how to use the three-place bike rack at Austin BikeFest.
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