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Amarillo Mayor Debra McCartt invited the community to join her for the second “Move with the Mayor” event. The Labor Day walk started at the Medical Center Park between the Don Harrington Discovery Center and the Amarillo Botanical Gardens. Approximately 40 participants gathered for the two-mile walk around the lake. Joyce Cunningham and Fernando Martinez, Texas Bicycle Coalition Local Outreach Coordinators (LOC’s) in Amarillo, attended the event as a way to connect with the community.
Discussion of community issues and concerns was encouraged by Mayor McCartt after the walk. Topping the list of concerns were the recent arrival of New Orleans refugees and the expected arrival of more. Providing medical assistance, education, housing and jobs for those who decide to stay in Amarillo was of utmost concern during the 45-minute question/answer session.
Questions arose about the local mass transit system, and concern was voiced over sidewalk and bike lane availability for children going to and from schools. The Mayor responded positively to citizens’ concerns and took the opportunity to announce the Bike Texas Safe Routes to School program. The conclusion of the question/answer session with the mayor allowed LOC’s to provide participants and those wanting to learn more with details about the Bike Texas Safe Routes to School Program. LOC’s were called upon to explain their role in the Amarillo area while offering support and advice in identifying available resources to help solve school traffic problems. They also encouraged participation in the Bike Texas Safe Routes to School Program at all levels.
The Mayor also announced a “Move with the Mayor” bicycle event to be held upon completion of Phase I of the Hike and Bike Plan which includes painting bike lanes and establishing the proper bike lane signage. The event will be used as an opportunity to address location and proper use of the lanes by both motorists and bicyclists while stressing the importance of bicycle safety.
“Move with the Mayor” events are designed to invite and encourage people of all ages to be more active in their community and to exercise. The event also highlights the availability of established and planned facilities open to the community.
This was the second “Move with the Mayor” event. The first event, held August 13, 2005 at Thompson Park, was a success, proving Amarillo to be a friendly, pro-active community.