Many communities have bond elections this fall and next spring. Bond elections provide an opportunity to inform your local officials of the needs of your community. Several communities have already included bicycle and pedestrian projects in the bond packages…Is your community building new bike facilities? Make your voice heard on November 8 and in the planning process for spring bond elections.
Trails and facilities can increase bicycle use and safety, improve community health and decrease traffic congestion and pollution. The number one reason provided to the question “why don’t you bicycle more often” is the perceived lack of safe places to ride. Off-street bicycle/pedestrian facilities often serve as the gateway to increased bicycle use, and that benefits all cyclists.
These are examples of propositions that will be on the ballot in November:
- In San Marcos, Proposition 6 would provide $1,185,000 for constructing and improving pedestrian and bicycle ways and facilities.
- In Rockwall, Proposition 4 would provide $5.6 million for new trails and parks.
- In Hurst, Proposition 6 would fund construction of a pedestrian bridge.
- In Wylie, Proposition 2 would provide $500,000 for sidewalk improvements, and proposition 4 would fund construction of trails in city parks.
- In Travis County, the Park Bonds Proposition would fund improvements to park lands, including mountain bike trails.
Many other cities and counties throughout Texas will hold bond elections in the spring. Those communities are likely already planning which projects will receive funding from a bond election. Texas Bicycle Coalition encourages cyclists to contact their local city or county government to find out if a bond election committee is in the planning stages. Such committees typically hold public hearings or open meetings, at which you can let community leaders know that you support funding for bicycle projects.
Texas Bicycle Coalition and Austin Cycling Association joined forces in October to speak at a public hearing on a bond package that will be presented to Austin voters in May 2006. Both organizations testified in support of earmarking 15 percent of the transportation portion of the bond package for bicycle and pedestrian projects. This could double the $12 million already recommended to the bond committee by City of Austin staff members for such projects.
Please contact our Austin office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-476-RIDE (7433) if you would like assistance from Texas Bicycle Coalition in advocating for bicycle and pedestrian funding in your community’s bond election planning process.