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News / Blog Advocacy News
Advocacy News

Throwback Thursday: Cyclists in Suits

Thursday, 29 January 2015 00:00

texas first cyclists in suits 2001 biketexasSince 2001, there's one thing legislators can count on every session: getting a visit and a bike pin on Cyclists in Suits Day.

Through the years, hundreds of Texans who ride bikes have made the trek to Austin to speak to legislators about bills that are important to have passed-- or bills that need to be voted down, like SB 238 in 2001. Our recap of the legislature that year:

Stopped Senate Bill 238, anti-bike legislation, from passing through the Texas Legislature, whereupon Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth fully acknowledged the power of the Texas bicycle lobby to the press.

"He has received more calls, letters, and emails from his constituents on SB 238 than any other bill he has introduced. The cycling lobby had done an effective job of networking."
-- Jan. 2001, San Antonio Express-News

(Senator Wentworth went on to become a friend to people who ride bikes, and introduced Senator Ellis' keynote address at TTAT 2012.)

Add your voice to the hundreds-- register for Cyclists in Suits 2015

 

Photo: Poster for the first Cyclists in Suits on April 9, 2001.

 

Register Now! Cyclists in Suits is March 30

The day we've been waiting for since 2013 is coming up fast-- Texas' Bike Lobby Day, Cyclists in Suits, will be Monday, March 30! Sign up here.

cyclists in suits 2013 biketexas

What's Cyclists in Suits about? We'll start the day talking about the bills in the lege that are important to people who ride bikes, with some coaching on how to talk to legislators and their staffs. Everybody gets bike pins and literature to hand out. Next, we'll break into teams to visit each legislative office. Everyone will have a chance to visit their own legislators and let them know that cycling issues matter in your district!

Why suits? We found out pretty early on in our work with the lege that elected officials respond better when we show up in their offices in professional attire, instead of wearing whatever their mental picture of a "cyclist" is. Wear comfortable shoes, though-- we'll be doing lots of walking through the day at the Capitol and your feet will thank you if you take good care of them!

Does a visit from a constituent matter? Yes! Check out this article about Iris Stagner's visit to the Capitol in 2009, which ultimately ended in her senator changing his stance on the Safe Passing bill. When elected officials hear from their constituents, especially an in-person visit, it makes a huge impact.

At the end of the day, we'll gather at the BikeTexas office for happy hour and to celebrate a day of great work. Still not sure? After the 2013 Cyclists in Suits, Paul Harris of Bedford said,

"You should come to Cyclists in Suits because it is a fulfilling experience to work with the legislators to improve safety in cycling and access to help provide more and better places to cycle. My wife, Lynne, and I brought our 16-year-old grandson with us for the second year. He had a real blast and is already talking about going back next time. If you have kids or grandkids who are mature enough to grasp what we are doing, you should bring them along to see the legislative process in action and help raise awareness of what we are doing with their peers."

Learn more and register to attend Cyclists in Suits 2015 here.

 

Photo: Cyclists in Suits attendees at the end of the day in 2013. What's missing from this picture? YOU!

See more photos from past Cyclists in Suits events:

2013 photos

2011 photos

2007 photos

   

BikeTexas Today: December 2014

Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00

Want the latest news in your inbox? Sign up for BikeTexas emails here.

 

biketexas tshirt llucianoTime is Running Out! Order Now to get Your BikeTexas Gift Before December 24

Order by noon on Friday, December 19

Get your t-shirts, jerseys, license plates, and more, but you'll have to hurry! Order by 12:00 PM TOMORROW, December 19, to make sure your gift arrives before December 24.

Already have your shopping done but still want to find a way to support bicycle advocacy this holiday season? Great! The second half of our gift guide is just for you: check out Amazon Smile, Goodsearch, and our special partnership with Freytag's Florist.

Thanks for making Texas a great place to bike, walk, AND have a happy holiday season!

 

 

You Did It! Bike/Ped Safety Measure Included in Cromnibus

nbs 2014 capitol biketexas

Congress passed the 2015 budget bill (Cromnibus) over the weekend, which includes a safety performance measure for bicycles and pedestrians-- a measure that people who ride bikes have been asking for during 2014. Your voice has made a difference-- thank you!

We'd like to thank Texas' Rep. Michael McCaul, who at BikeTexas' request was one of the original bill sponsors for safety performance measures. Rep. McCaul's support for government accountability for all forms of transportation sends a clear signal that he is listening to his constituents, and we're proud to have partnered with the League of American Bicyclists on this effort.

 

 

Miles and Miles of (Bike-Friendly) Texas: New Bicycle Friendly Communities Announced

NAACP 2014-2

The stars in Texas keep getting brighter for people who ride bikes: three Texas cities were added to the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly Communities list this week!Congratulations to our three new Honorable Mention cities:

El Paso

Hollywood Park

Plano

Want to see your city on the list in the next round in Spring 2015? We can help! Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to get started.

 

 

kidskup camp eagle 2014-003BikeTexas KidsKup Update for 2015

BikeTexas is sad to announce that the BikeTexas KidsKup will no longer be a feature at TMBRA events beginning in the spring of 2015.

We've enjoyed 16 years of a delightful and productive partnership between TMBRA and BikeTexas KidsKup that has produced many Texas mountain bikers. KidsKup will continue at other venues throughout the year, so stay tuned for news of when there will be a KidsKup event near you!

 

 

Save the Date!

National Bike Summit, March 10-12, 2015, Washington, D.C.

Cyclists in Suits: Texas' Bike Lobby Day, March 30, Austin 

 

 

Margaret Mayer Found Guilty of Failure to Stop and Render Aid

Chelsea Norman of Houston was killed in a hit-and-run collision last December. Last week, Margaret Mayer was found guilty of failure to stop and render aid and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. BikeHouston organized a support ride the night before the trial began. And catch the local transportation reporter's take on the outcome.

 

 

durwood ttc biketexasTexas Transportation Commission (TTC) Meets Today

Every month, people from around Texas who ride bikes come to Austin to tell the TTC why we need TAP funds in Texas. Every month, we're there to support these speakers & let the TTC know we're not going away-- and today is no exception.

Join BikeTexas today so we can continue to fight for you.

 

 

austin city hallAustin Elects Several Bike-Friendly Members to New City Council

The campaigning is done, the votes are counted, and Austin's new 10-1 City Council is ready to take their seats in January. BikeTexas congratulates all the new council members on their successful run for office. We are very excited that many pro-bike candidates are now on the council, including those we endorsed in districts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7.

 

 

telly award trophy-001We'd Like to Thank the Academy

Well, sort of. We'd like to thank a whole bunch of people, starting with the folks at the 34th Annual Telly Awards, who gave BikeTexas and TxDOT a 2013 Bronze Telly for our Safety Bling! video. (We wanted to share this news sooner, but it turns out it takes a while for a shiny trophy to arrive!)

Safety Bling! was filmed as part of CATS in 2012 at Texas A&M campus in College Station and Pfluger Bridge in Austin.

 


2008-12-4 TAHPERD 029Throwback Thursday: Once Upon a December

Bicycle advocacy doesn't take a holiday, as proved by all the things Decembers past have brought to BikeTexas. Make sure your eggnog fits into your bicycle drink cage and roll along with us through this look back!

 

 

membership photo capitol biketexasFundraising Friday

BikeTexas takes part in Fundraising Friday, a fun way for nonprofits to raise money on Fridays-- people give to their favorite nonprofit on Friday, then talk about it on social media using the #FundraisingFriday hashtag. For the rest of 2014, we're stepping up our #FundraisingFriday game. Every Friday in December, donate or join BikeTexas at any membership level and we'll send you a free gift. We have a bin full of goodies to share, and we want it to be empty on December 31! 

 

Give Thanks: BikeTexas Staff at Thanksgiving

 

UT Austin's Adventure Activities Class Comes to BikeTexas

 

Bike Rodeos in Brownsville Create a Community

 

   

Austin Elects Several Bike-Friendly Council Members

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 16:54

austin city hall biketexasThe campaigning is done, the votes are counted, and Austin’s new 10-1 City Council is ready to take their seats in January. BikeTexas congratulates all the new council members on their successful run for office. We are very excited that many pro-bike candidates are now on the council, including those we endorsed in districts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. We are also convinced that current CM Tovo and Mayor-Elect Adler will be great for biking and walking based on their campaigns, their comments, and their histories.

It is now up to those of us in the cycling community to work constructively with and educate the new council members who have not yet indicated support for biking infrastructure. We look forward to working with all of the new city council toward a more bikeable, walkable Austin! Congratulations to Austin’s new council:

Mayor - Steve Adler
District 1 - Ora Houston
District 2 - Delia Garza
District 3 - Pio Renteria
District 4 - Greg Casar
District 5 - Ann Kitchen
District 6 - Don Zimmerman
District 7 - Leslie Pool
District 8 - Ellen Troxclair
District 9 - Kathie Tovo
District 10 - Sheri Gallo

Austin definitely saw the power of every vote in this election. Some races were very tight and only a few dozen votes separated the candidates. BikeTexas encourages all Texans to exercise their right to vote in every election. Not sure if you’re registered? Start here so you don’t miss another election. 

We’re also proud of those among our endorsements who were not elected-- Mike Martinez, DeWayne Lofton, Jimmy Flannigan, Jeb Boyt, Ed Scruggs, & Mandy Dealey-- for running good campaigns and stepping up to support Austinites who ride bikes. We wish you all the best and hope that whatever your next step is, you will all remain active leaders for a better Austin.

   

You Did It! Bike/Ped Safety Measure Included in Cromnibus

Tuesday, 16 December 2014 16:10

nbs 2014 capitol biketexasCongress passed the 2015 budget bill (Cromnibus) over the weekend, which includes a safety performance measure for bicycles and pedestrians-- a measure that people who ride bikes have been asking for during 2014. Your voice has made a difference-- thank you!

We’d like to thank Texas’ Rep. Michael McCaul, who at BikeTexas’ request was one of the original bill sponsors for safety performance measures. Rep. McCaul’s support for government accountability for all forms of transportation sends a clear signal that he is listening to his constituents, and we’re proud to have partnered with the League of American Bicyclists on this effort.

Now that this performance measure is established, it’s time to ask: TxDOT, how are you going to measure the performance of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) in reducing fatalities and injuries for people who walk and ride bikes?

Texas’ share of HSIP can be used to reduce the occurrence and severity of crashes on any road, including local roads as well as TxDOT-controlled roads. In Texas, the funds are distributed through a statewide competitive application process. TxDOT has never specifically targeted pedestrian safety or bicycle safety as programs under HSIP, although in some intersection improvements the safety of pedestrians was also incidentally improved.

TxDOT works with MPOs to help shape the projects submitted and rank projects. You can help by attending meetings of your MPO’s Policy Board and Technical Advisory Committee and asking for pedestrian and bicycle safety to be addressed using HSIP funds.

Join BikeTexas today to make sure we can continue to fight for measures like this one at the local, state, and federal levels.

 

Photo: BikeTexas Executive Director Robin Stallings heads to the Capitol as part of the National Bike Summit (NBS) in March. The Texas delegation visited every Texas member of Congress to ask for a bicycle and pedestrian safety performance measure.

   

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