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You Did It! Legislative Successes in April
House Transportation Committee
On Thursday, April 16, three bike-related bills got a hearing in the House Transportation Committee: HB 471, which would require a rear safety light for bikes at night (the current law allows for a light or reflector); HB 383, which is a version of a safe passing bill; and HB 2459, the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act. All bills were left pending in committee, which we expected. You can find the meeting video in the archives here (4/16/15, Transportation Committee, 8 AM) and see the bike bills starting at 39:40.
Representative Ruth Jones McClendon removed the mirror requirement from HB 383 on April 13 at the request of many people who ride bikes. While this bill has safe passing language, BikeTexas is actively supporting HB 2459, which is the bipartisan Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act, led by Rep. Mando Martinez, and has a better chance of passing the legislature.
Thanks to your calls and emails, and amendment that would have prevented any state or federal funds from being used to reduce excess motor vehicle lanes for use as bicycle lanes or bus lanes was withdrawn very early in the morning on April 1.
On Monday, attendees from all over Texas walked the halls, passed out bicycle pins, and visited every office to explain the several bills positive to cycling working their way through right now. This helped multiply the impact of the calls and emails regarding the Hughes amendment.
Senator Rodney Ellis, who offered a resolution recognizing BikeTexas during Cyclists in Suits, was pleased with the turnout. “From the Senate Floor, we were very impressed by the large turnout of cyclists,” he said. “You all filled a big section of the gallery.”
The League of American Bicyclists is in town next week to talk about Austin’s Bicycle Friendly Community status, and we think that’s a great reason to party! Join us TONIGHT, Thursday, April 23, from 5-7 PM at Zilker Brewing Company, 1701 E 6th St (map) for Happy Hour.
Members of BikeTexas, Bike Austin, or the League get their first drink free! (Check in with a staffer to get your drink token.)
Earth Day Texas is coming to Fair Park April 24-26, and BikeTexas is coming, too! Bring the kids out on Saturday & Sunday to try out the BikeTexas KidsKup Adventure Zone, featuring Strider Bikes and a fun course for your kids to develop their skills.
We need your help! BikeTexas needs volunteers to help us run the Adventure Zone smoothly and keep kids rolling all day long. Sign up here to volunteer for one (or more!) three hour shift on Saturday or Sunday, between 10 AM and 8 PM. Note: this is an outdoor event. Come prepared! At the end of your shift, you’ll get a free “I Bike TX” t-shirt.
BikeTexas is delighted to announce that we and other groups around Texas will be hosting Elly Blue and Joe Biel on their Dinner+Bikes tour in May!
Elly Blue is the author of Everyday Bicycling and Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy, both excellent resources and fun reads. She’s also written for many blogs and magazines, and is very engaging and open on social media. We’ve heard from her at the National Bike Summit and are looking forward to meeting her in person!
Tickets to Dinner+Bikes events will be on sale soon. In the meantime, save the date for when Elly, Joshua, and Joe will be near you:
Amarillo – Wednesday, May 6
Lubbock – Thursday, May 7
Dallas – Friday, May 8
Denton – Saturday, May 9
Austin – Sunday, May 10
San Antonio – Monday, May 11
Brownsville – Tuesday, May 12
Corpus Christi – Thursday, May 14
Houston – Friday, May 15
EarthShare of Texas is the April beneficiary of the H-E-B tear pad campaign. As an EarthShare partner, BikeTexas will benefit from this promotion as well! Whenever you shop at H-E-B in April, grab one of the tear-off coupons at the register to add $1, $3, or $5 to your total bill. You can join in at any H-E-B or Central Market in Texas. Support bicycle advocacy while you pick up your lettuce!
If you go into your local H-E-B and don’t see the tear pads at the register, please email us with the H-E-B location so we can make sure they get stocked up!
Check out our Bike Month preview & resources page here. See the BikeTexas Events Calendar for more BikeTexas Member Events and free community events around the state.
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