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
Join the Texas Delegation of cyclists at the National Bike Summit, March 4-6 in Washington D.C.
The National Bike Summit is the premiere advocacy event of the year. More than 800 advocates, government staff, and cycling enthusiasts of all types come together to tell Congress about the benefits of bicycling.
Meet with advocates, share ideas and be a part of the growing movement of cyclists in Texas.
Walkable and Livable Communities Institute Executive Director Dan Burden traveled to Austin on January 23 to address a luncheon meeting of legislators and staffs, and to give a talk to the general public in the evening.
Mr. Burden spoke about Complete Streets and how they can help a community. Specifically, Mr. Burden talked about the elderly benefitting from sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and similar treatments that make a neighborhood navigable on foot. Mr. Burden says, "If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places." Mr. Burden emphasized that Complete Streets are not an overnight fix, but an approach that will improve our cities over time so that all road users are accommodated safely and comfortably. When the legislature chooses to pass a Complete Streets law, they choose to invest in a future for all Texans to enjoy their cities of all sizes.
As Texas sees a "Silver Tsunami" coming when Baby Boomers grow older and retire, it will be more critical than ever that Texas cities are prepared to allow our senior citizens to remain in their homes and the neighborhoods where they have social ties. Most people are reluctant to give up their mobility, and as the elderly stop driving, their transportation options shift to walking, cycling, or transit. We owe it to our senior citizens and to ourselves to make our communities welcoming, walkable places. As a bonus, infrastructure that benefits senior citizens also benefits people of all ages.
The legislative luncheon was hosted by Senator Rodney Ellis, Representative Linda Harper-Brown, and Representative Geanie Morris, and was co-sponsored by AARP Texas and BikeTexas. The evening event was co-sponsored by AARP Texas, the City of Austin, the Mayor's Task Force on Aging, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
BikeTexas staff had an engaging first month of the Texas Legislature, reestablishing relationships with returning members and staff and meeting legislative newcomers. Our primary focus this month has been soliciting authors for the Safe Passing and Complete Streets bills.
BikeTexas staff started working before the session even began, with a January 6th bike ride in Austin for legislative interns. Many of the interns had just arrived in Austin to start their new legislative work, including one young woman from Zambia.
AARP and BikeTexas hosted a luncheon for legislators on January 23rd, featuring liveable communities expert Dan Burden. BikeTexas staff visited every legislative office (150 House and 31 Senate) to distribute invitations for the luncheon. A full house of legislators and legislative staff came to the luncheon to hear why Complete Streets are great for Texas.
In February, we anticipate the filing of the Safe Passing and Complete Streets bills. BikeTexas staff will then talk to transportation committee members in both the House and Senate to build support for a hearing and vote there.
By Cyclists in Suits Lobby Day on March 25, we expect to focus on educating the entire House and Senate membership about these cycling-friendly bills. Your participation on Cyclists in Suits Day will be critical to help us reach every office and ask for the votes we need!
As the session progresses, we will need your support. Even if you can't make it to Austin for Cyclists in Suits, make sure to keep an eye out for Action Alerts and updates as cycling legislation works its way through the legislative process. Additionally, you can make a donation to BikeTexas' legislative work here.
Thank you for helping to make Texas a great place to walk and bike!
By Beth Nobles, Texas Mountain Trail
Next time you head out for a long training ride or a jaunt around town, you could be logging miles and earning dollars for your favorite charity, through a new iPhone or Android app called Charity Miles.
A brainchild of a leading volunteer for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the app will track your miles using GPS and allow you to designate 10 cents per cycling mile and 25 cents per walking/running mile to your choice of charities, including:
Every Mother Counts
Habitat for Humanity
Partnership for a Healthier America
Pencils of Promise
Stand Up to Cancer
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
The Nature Conservancy
The World Food Programme
Wounded Warrior Project
Paige Phelps of the West Texas Food Bank started using the Charity Miles app recently in her walks and rides around Marfa. “Lots of apps help you track your performance, but Charity Miles is the only one that will track your values. While you’re out there already doing what you do –running, walking and biking— why not download the free app and click Feeding America? Every mile you log is money in the bank for the nation’s network of food banks.”
Cyclist Brenda Taylor Coleman of Yoakum says the app is “simple to use and a super easy way to support your favorite charity. I worked for Habitat for Humanity for 15 years so I am a huge fan! If I meet my goal this year of 6,000 miles that would be $600 dollars - you can buy some sticks and bricks with that!”
Participation is free. Users are required to post their miles through Facebook and Twitter to encourage others to take part. Three of Charity Miles' founders (Gene Gurkoff, David Nottoli and Joe Marinucci) are self-funding the first $1 million and are soliciting corporate sponsors to continue the project. For more information, visit the Charity Miles website or their Facebook page.
BikeTexas may not be on the list of charities to choose from for this app, but we're all about doing good in the world. Put your smartphone and your cycling time to good use for one of the great charities on the list. Maybe someday BikeTexas will be on an app like this, too!
Imagine living in a community where all students walk to school. Students meet at hub points around the school and walk as a group. There’s no pick-up and drop-off congestion in school zones because no cars are allowed in.
When BikeTexas Board Member Francesca Funk lived in Japan for many years, this is exactly what her community was like. After seeing the happy children, parents, and teachers who all think of walking to school as a normal part of life, she was motivated to improve the walking and biking journey—and get rid of congestion around schools—for students in Irving, Texas.
Fortunately, every member of the Irving Bike Lane Task Force wants to make the school journey safer and better. The Irving Bike Lane Task Force was formed in 2009 as a joint citizen and city initiative to make Irving bicycle friendly. The goal of the Task Force is to make the bicycle "automatically integrated into the complete picture of transportation in Irving, as primary as the automobile."
The Task Force is made up of dedicated citizens, city staff, and Irving police, who work cooperatively to make bicycle transportation as normal as car transportation in Irving. Using the five Es of a bicycle friendly community as guideposts, the Task Force works especially diligently to connect the dots between Education, Enforcement, and Encouragement. The underlying intention of this approach is to prepare the community so that when the Engineering features like bike lanes and cycle tracks are implemented, everyone on the roads will be prepared to use them correctly and safely.
Irving Police School Resource Officer (and Task Force member) Sgt. Kevin Denney took the lead in reaching out to Irving ISD. Sandi Cravens, Irving ISD PE Coordinator, immediately took action to organize a SafeCyclist Certification training for all of Irving’s elementary and middle school Physical Education teachers. On January 14, 80 teachers gathered at the Police and Fire Academy in Irving—40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon. Nationally known cycling educator Regina Garcia joined BikeTexas staff to train Irving’s teachers to teach school children how to safely walk and bike.
Several Irving ISD schools have enthusiastically volunteered to pilot this program, so now Sandi, Kevin, and Francesca will join with Irving’s Traffic department to adapt the implementation practices Francesca experienced when her child walked to school in Japan.
BikeTexas has seen the SafeCyclist curriculum lead to a love of active transportation in Texas children that remains with them as they become Texas adults. This investment in Irving’s schoolchildren will pay off in safer streets and happier school trips for all. For more photos from this event, see our Facebook page.
Many university students have called BikeTexas home for a semester or two, and this spring is no exception. BikeTexas is happy to welcome two interns to our midst this semester: Steffi Scholer and Max Williamson.
Steffi Scholer is a senior at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She is a mechanic at Bicycle Sport Shop on Parmer and has been involved in the cycling communities in Austin, Georgetown, and her home city of Dallas for the past few years. Steffi says, "I am extremely excited to be interning at BikeTexas this semester and I look forward to learning from the staff of BikeTexas and also from the great cycling community of Austin, TX and beyond."
Max Williamson comes to us from the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute, where his research focused on sustainable transportation. His Master of Urban and Regional Planning thesis examined bike share systems across the United States. He was awarded a Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship through the US-Department of Transportation for his innovative research, and worked on transportation projects in India and Western Australia as an assistant researcher at Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute in Fremantle, Western Australia. Max is no stranger to bicycle advocacy, having previously worked as the database administrator and policy advisor for the New Orleans group, Bike Easy. Max says, "I'm happy to be at BikeTexas focusing on the new and existing transportation challenges associated with the rapid urbanization of Texas."
Page 3 of 16