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TxDOT's top brass has never been on a bike ride with BikeTexas-- until now. Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis and TxDOT Legislative Liaison Jay Bond worked together to set up a bike ride between themselves, TxDOT's Executive Director Phil Wilson and BikeTexas Executive Director Robin Stallings.
Mr. Wilson is a regular cyclist, so he provided his own bike for the jaunt between the BikeTexas office and UT campus. They talked about the Recreational Trails program, Safe Routes to School, and the Transportation Alternatives funding under the new federal transportation bill. Additionally, they discussed some funding from the previous transportation bill that is still covering Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements.
The BikeTexas Annual Membership Meeting is only month away! Please RSVP here: biketexas.org/amm2012
On September 29 from 3pm to 6pm, we'll be meeting at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort following eRock the Ride. Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis will be joining the ride and speaking at the Membership Meeting.
At the meeting, BikeTexas hold the drawing for our Annual Bike Giveaway: it's a 2013 Trek Cocoa, a Dutch-style city bike. All current monthly members and anyone who joins or renews in August or September will be entered to win. If you're not yet a member, or need to renew, you can do so at BikeTexas.org/Join.
All BikeTexas members are invited to join us for the meeting! Please remember to RSVP at biketexas.org/amm2012. See you on September 29!
August 24 was a day for cycling-related grand openings in Austin.
Many commuters choose to combine cycling and MetroRail to get to work. Unfortunately, a common complaint from regular rail riders is that there are too many bikes on the trains and it's hard to get around. CapMetro's new MetroBike Shelter, which has been operational since August 6, is designed to help with that.
"As the sign behind me says, we love bicycles and cyclists," Linda Watson, CapMetro CEO, said at the grand opening. "When we've surveyed cyclists, they've consistently asked for safe, secure places to store their bikes." With the new shelter, accessible only by a key card given to paying users, cyclists will be able to lock up their bikes at the train station instead of taking them on board, thus making more room for other passengers.
BikeTexas is excited to see this development in MetroRail. When CapMetro first sought funding for passenger rail a few years ago, BikeTexas partnered with them to secure not only the funds for commuter rail, but also a place for cyclists in the new rail system. CapMetro agreed to, and has delivered, state-of-the-art accommodations for cyclists on trains, integration of train stations into the existing bicycle network, and state-of-the-art bicycle storage at train stations. BikeTexas is happy to continue to partner with CapMetro to meet the transit needs of cyclists in Austin.
Many of the MetroBike attendees had to hurry away, including BikeTexas staff, to get to the day's second grand opening: the new cycletracks on Bluebonnet Lane. The cycletracks run past Zilker Elementary School, and the school put in new crosswalks and bike racks in anticipation of more students riding to school this fall. Many members of the neighborhood, including Zilker Elementary students and parents, were in attendance for the press conference and ribbon cutting, and some parents remarked that they look forward to bringing their students to school by bike next week instead of in a car.
After the ribbon cutting, attendees hopped onto their bikes for a first ride on the new cycletrack.
Gil Peñalosa, executive director of the Canadian non‐profit 8‐80 Cities and former Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Bogotá, Colombia, will be in Texas next week! In addition to speaking in Brownsville, Mr. Peñalosa will also visit Edinburg on Wednesday, August 29.
Anyone wishing to attend Mr. Peñalosa's presentations may choose between a 3 PM meeting at Edinburg City Hall, which is free and open to the public, or a ticketed event at 5:30 PM at Edinburg Consolidated Independent School district's Administration Boardroom. Tickets to this event are $20 each and include dinner provided by Cornerstone Grill.
For more information about Mr. Peñalosa's events or to purchase tickets for the banquet, please call Ann Millard at (956) 668-6320 or Thalia Morin at (956) 322-1940.
We're gearing up for our annual bike giveaway at our membership meeting (September 29): this year it's a 2013 Trek Cocoa, a Dutch-style city bike. We've seen many happy bicycle winners over the past few years; will it be you in 2012?
Entering to win the bike couldn't be easier! Join BikeTexas or renew your membership during August or September to enter the drawing. As always, all current monthly members are automatically entered.
Gil Peñalosa, executive director of the Canadian non‐profit 8‐80 Cities and internationally renowned city advisor and active public spaces advocate, will speak to the Brownsville community August 28 and 30 as part of the Building a Vibrant Brownsville lecture series. Mr. Penalosa will share his knowledge and experience in designing parks, streets, and open spaces to foster improved health, economic development, and a greener environment.
As the former Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Bogotá, Colombia, Mr. Peñalosa successfully led the development of over 200 parks and the city’s popular ciclovías— a weekly Sunday event where streets are closed for the exclusive use of pedestrians and cyclists. The Bogotá ciclovías attract over a million users each week, and the idea has spread all over the world: parts of Europe, South America, New Zealand and North America all have had ciclovía events (including El Paso, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Austin, and Dallas).
As director of 8‐80 Cities, Mr. Peñalosa helps cities understand and design the infrastructure, open spaces, and programming needed to better integrate driving, cycling and walking for people ages 8‐80, and in a manner that fosters community interaction. “Brownsville is a city where the majority of the population is either very young or retirement age. We cannot continue building under the assumption that everybody has access to a car or is very fit and can easily move around. If we do, then we are ignoring a very large segment of our population, and they deserve better,” said Commissioner Rose Gowen, M.D.
Mr. Peñalosa, the third speaker of the Building a Vibrant Brownsville series, will give a special presentation for the Spanish‐speaking community on August 28 at the Camille Playhouse at 5:30 p.m. His keynote address (English) is scheduled for August 30 at the Science Engineering and Technology Building on the UTB and TSC campus at 7:00 p.m. Both lectures are free and open to the general public.
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