Premiere Business Members & Sponsors
Wed, Mar 12 - Sat, Mar 22
E Elizabeth & 11th, Brownsville, TX
Lions Club Celebration Bike Ride (Brownsville)
Sat, Mar 1512:00pm -
Pace Bend Park, Spicewood, TX, United States
BikeTexas KidsKup at Pace Bend Race Festival
Sun, Mar 16
Brownsville, TX, United States
Mon, Mar 17 6:00pm -
5200 S Flores St, San Antonio, TX, United States
Public Community Meeting: S Flores Road Diet (San Antonio)
Fri, Mar 28
Northway Christian Church, West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX, United States
Last month, The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) added a last-minute item to their May meeting agenda to propose banning cyclists from all TxDOT-controlled toll roads. Fortunately, we heard about the agenda item in time to attend the meeting and testify against such a ban. The TTC pulled the item from the agenda for more study. (Read more about the May TTC meeting and our response here.)
TxDOT has alerted us that the proposed ban is back on the agenda for the June 27 meeting. We feel that the TTC has not studied this issue enough to have the item back on the agenda so quickly and are disappointed that the TTC is choosing to ignore the rights of cyclists in this way.
Some of our concerns about a comprehensive bicycle ban from toll roads are:
Take Action Now:
Together, we can fight this ban, which is an assault on the rights of Texas road users.
Dallas took another step forward in its bike plan this month by opening Centralink, a new network of sharrows in downtown that connects the Katy Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, and many neighborhoods.
On June 1, the city [debuted] a network of shared car/bike lanes downtown called the Centralink with a communal ride on the new paths called Ride-the-Link. Centralink adjoins the popular Katy Trail, a 3.5-mile concrete path along the west side of downtown, with the more recently built Santa Fe Trail, a 4.02-mile stretch through neighborhoods on Dallas' east side.
“This is the first step in the Dallas bike plan, and it’s making a big connect through the downtown area,” said Jared White, project manager with Transportation Planning and Public Works for the city.
In addition to creating a network of bike lanes, White said Centralink also connects to Oak Cliff via the viaduct at Young Street and Market Street, as well as to the Trinity Strand Trail with shared lanes through Victory Park.
BikeTexas Board Member Annie Melton attended the opening and shared the above photo, taken by Bud Melton. Pictured left to right are:
Shelly White, Executive Director, Friends of the Trinity Strand Trail;
Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs;
Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano (outgoing);
Michael Hellmann, Assistant Director, City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department;
Jared White, Manager, Transportation Planning Division, Public Works and Transportation;
Max Kalhammer, Bike Coordinator, City of Dallas, Strategic Planning Division, Department of Sustainable Development and Construction;
Adam Medrano, Dallas City Councilman-Elect; and
Lee Kleinman, Dallas City Councilman-Elect.
BikeTexas went north to Mineral Wells for a training session in the BikeTexas SafeCyclist curriculum. We were able to pull in a few students during the training so the teachers could get some hands-on practice right away.
Mother, Safe Routes to School advocate, physical therapist assistant, and BikeTexas SafeCyclist-certified Sugar Land resident Nicole Volek started "Shape Up Sugar Land" to get her community active and moving. When Bike to School Day rolled around on May 17, she was ready.
Nicole worked with local police to organize safe routes for Fort Settlement Middle School students to get to school and arranged for a police escort on May 17. The students gathered at 7:30 AM at Memorial Park in Sugar Land to ride to school together in a celebration of a healthy lifestyle and the fun of riding a bike.
Nicole says, “We are proud of the students that woke up early to participate in this event. This event reduces pollution, and promotes health and wellness to all.” Next year, Shape Up Sugar Land plans to add another school and build on the momentum from this year's event as other students see how much fun it is to ride a bike to school.
Since 1991, nearly 8000 teachers, police officers, and other professionals who work with children have been trained in the BikeTexas SafeCyclist curriculum, which they've in turn taught to their students across Texas, reaching approximately 200,000 schoolchildren per year. In addition to training teachers, BikeTexas also offers a Safe Routes to School Event Manual, so you can plan your own bike or walk to school day, or even get up a bike rodeo with the children in your neighborhood. The Event Manual offers step-by-step instructions for a fun event.
Grab your manual now and start planning for International Walk to School Day on October 9! Twenty-three schools in Texas have events scheduled already-- will yours be next? There were 120 Texas Walk to School Day schools in 2012, so we expect to see the number grow as October gets closer.
Photo credit: Randy Kozlovsky
Students left to right: Chloe Gallegos, Bailey Rivenes, Jake Parker, Vivek Sinha, Shiv Chopra, and Kelly Eng, with Sugar Land Police Officers (l to r) Anthony Clarite, Neal Kym, Adam Williams and Richard Rivera
Editor's note: This article was updated on June 20th to change the number of teachers trained from 5000 to 8000. We apologize for the error.
"Bikes Make Life Better" was the theme for the third annual Saris Cycling Group nationwide poster contest for 5th graders. Young artists competed first with their peers at their school to be the winning entry, and schools submitted their best posters to BikeTexas, the statewide coordinator for the contest, for the next round of judging: The best poster in Texas.
The 2013 Texas winner is Vijeyta from James F. Bay Elementary in Seabrook. Vijeyta is the president of the school's Student Council and a member of the Garden Club as well as the Robotics team. She loves drawing and reading. Vijeyta also loves outdoor activities, especially bike riding. For her poster, Vijeyta won a Schwinn bike, a Planet Bike bike light, and a Lazer helmet.
Vijeyta's poster went to the national level along with all the other state-level winners. BikeTexas is proud of Vijeyta for drawing such a beautiful poster and representing Texas well! Over 500 elementary schools from 27 states participated in the nationwide contest, with top honors going to Hannah Pauls from Mississippi.
"Over the past 20 years in the bike industry I have seen the bicycle positively change the lives of individuals as well as communities,” explained Saris President Chris Fortune. "In just the 3rd year [of the contest], we have already witnessed the tremendous impact this contest can have on our youth. It is one way we are able to engage kids to think about and become more aware of the bicycle and its many beneficial uses. Through this contest we hope to not only encourage fifth graders to ride their bikes more frequently, but also to form the foundation of a lifelong, healthy, active lifestyle.”
Second place in the Texas contest was Nia from Ortiz Elementary in Brownsville, and third place was Igra from Woodland Hills Elementary in Kingwood. Both of these students also received prizes for their award-winning creations.
Many thanks to the schools, teachers, and young artists who participated in the "Bikes Make Life Better" Saris poster contest! Incoming fifth graders, get ready; it will be your turn to design a poster next spring with your own new theme!
The May 30 Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) meeting included an agenda item regarding the possibility of banning cyclists from all TxDOT-controlled toll roads in Texas. BikeTexas heard about this agenda item at the last minute and was able to go to the meeting to testify against banning cyclists from toll roads. Watch the testimony here; click on Item 11 to skip straight to the discussion of toll roads. The BikeTexas testimony begins at 18:30 in the Item 11 video.
Right now, most of the roads that would be affected by such a ban are in Central Texas. However, it would set a dangerous precedent for future TxDOT toll road expansion and give more teeth to local RMAs who might want to ban cyclists from their own toll roads if this ban were to go ahead.
The TTC suggests that banning cyclists from toll roads is for their own safety, but no studies exist to show that banning cyclists increases anyone's safety. TxDOT's own long-range plan and long-range rural plan both include cyclist accommodation, thanks to the efforts of BikeTexas and cyclists like you. This action to ban cyclists from roads without first providing alternative accommodation goes against TxDOT's own plans and policies.
We've worked hard to make sure bicycling is considered for Texas roads along with all other transportation modes. We will not let this ban go into effect without a clear plan for cyclist accommodation. After some discussion, the TTC pulled the agenda item for further study.
We will remain vigilant on this issue and keep working to make sure that cyclists across Texas will always have our rights to the public roads guaranteed by state law. However, BikeTexas can only speak on behalf of Texas cyclists with the support of the thousands of cyclists across the state who are BikeTexas members. Please add your name to this powerful bike lobby today; join BikeTexas now!
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