The City of Amarillo is working with Texas Bicycle Coalition to develop a flyer on the proper use of the recent addition of bike lanes in southwest Amarillo. City Traffic Engineers have striped lanes, installed signs and put down emblems to identify these new lanes. Community bicyclists and motorists are asking the City for guidelines on the proper use of bike lanes.
Only six types of signs telling motorists and bicyclists which lanes are for driving, bike riding and car parking have been installed to date. A flyer distributed in the December water bill is expected to contain bike lane rules to help the education process. The City of Amarillo, the Texas Bicycle Coalition and the Amarillo Independent School District are involved in a public education campaign expected to include a pamphlet (to be ready next spring) that can be distributed at bicycle shops, gyms and other areas easily accessible to the public.
On October 31, the Amarillo Globe-News published an article by Joe Chapman about the bike lane education program in Amarillo. Please visit BikeTexas in the News to view the article.
Texas Bicycle Coalition recently conducted a survey at Puckett Elementary School in southwest Amarillo. With the approval of Jeanine Powell, principal at Puckett, and the cooperation of Steve Carpenter, PE teacher at Puckett and two volunteers, Julie Rose and Steve Hayward, students were counted to determine how they arrived at school. During PE class for the 4th and 5th graders, a hand count was taken by Fernando Martinez and Joyce Cunningham, Local Outreach Coordinators for Texas Bicycle Coalition. Students were categorized by how many walked; rode their bike; rode in a car, van or bus; or arrived by some other means of transportation. An environmental survey was also part of the statistics gathered to determine relevant outside factors. These statistics will be use as a baseline to evaluate the progress of the program.
Martinez and Cunningham are also working with Paulette Baumgardner, instructional Technology Coordinator for Region 16 Education Service Center (ESC), on development of the BikeTexas Safe Routes to School Program to incorporate 34 schools in the Texas Panhandle via video conference with Interactive Television (ITV). Baumgardner says, “One of my roles here at the ESC is to assist those schools with using their ITV equipment. I wanted to explore the possibility of presenting this training to schools through the videoconference system.” The Safe Routes to School Program is designed to educate students and families about traffic safety, increase pedestrian and bicycle use and awareness. The goal is to get the people back on their bikes safely.