Archive for the ‘DFW Cycling’ Category
Now that spring is upon us, bicycling and cycling related activities are starting to ramp up. This weekend was no exception.
Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference
For me, it started on Friday, when I attended the last day of the Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference in Fort Worth.
Hosted by BikeTexas and the Texas Trails Network, the conference was held for anyone involved in the planning, construction, funding, economics, operation, management, promotion and use of bicycle, pedestrian, and other transportation modes. According to their site: The TTAT Conference brought together those involved with bicycle, pedestrian, and other active transportation and recreation modes from around Texas and the world with the goals of sharing current information and examples, and sparking inspiration to continue striving to make things better in each of our communities. The conference focused on issues of economic development, health, safety, and many other topics relevant to advancing active transportation and trails.
My local advocacy group, BikeDFW, had a table at the conference, which allowed me to attend the last day. While there, I got to sit in on a few seminars that were quite impressive and much more informative than I had expected. I also got to meet other advocates and professionals who are passionate about making Texas better for bicyclists and pedestrians – not only on our growing trail network, but also on our streets and in our neighborhoods.
The TTAT conference seemed small, but it grows larger each time – with this year being the biggest one yet. They are held every other year, so the next one will be held in 2016 – in Houston. If I can get free, I plan on attending that full event. If you are a bike or active transportation advocate, you should see about attending as well.
Here are a few pics from the event. Click here to see my full set.
ALSO THIS LAST WEEKED:
Friends of the Katy Trail – Membership and Safety Day
The weekend didn’t stop with the TTAT Confernce. With BikeDFW, I also got to help out at the Friends of the Katy Trail – Membership and Safety Day in Dallas. At the event, BikeDFW joined with Bicycles Plus and helped promote trail etiquette and safety. While there, we installed or gave away almost a hundred free bicycle bells, donated by Bicycles Plus.
Overall, it was a great day and a great event. We got to meet lots of folks and hopefully helped make the trail a bit safer for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Here are a few pics from the event. Click here to see my full set.
Ok. I actually did get to ride this weekend. I got to give the BikeDFW trailer hauler a test spin with some volunteer passengers. We didn’t bring our helmets, so I couldn’t get it going very fast (we were even passed by a few joggers, haha) – but, it was a blast to ride and a great little supply hauler.
City of Plano‘s Trail System Planner, Renee Burke Jordan, invited local citizens and bicycle advocates to meet Steve Clark, a Bicycle Friendly Community Specialist from The League of American Bicyclists.
Steve was in town to experience first-hand the bicycle infrastructure in Plano. The meeting brought together citizens and public agency staff to discuss issues and strategies for improvements, provide an assessment of current conditions and begin to collaborate on short, medium and long-term solutions.
A group of about 20+ people, including members of City of Plano staff, BikeDFW, PBA, Bike Friendly Plano, Bike Friendly Richardson and BikeTexas, were in attendance to listen to Steve’s presentation and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of cycling in Plano. From building a stronger bike culture to rethinking how facilities are utilized, the group explored ways to make the city strategically better for cycling and increase ridership.
Overall, the meeting was very productive – considering how short it was. More importantly, events like this are great for starting and continuing the conversation about becoming a better bike friendly community – something north Texas really needs.
I am sorry for the delay on posting this recap and pics of the All Out Trinity event from a few weekends ago, but it’s been really busy.
On March 1, the City of Dallas shut down one direction of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge – one of Dallas’ newest icons – for the All Out Trinity event. Throughout the day, there were lots of activities that included a running event, yoga and a bike rodeo for kids – right on the bridge. Meanwhile, below the bridge there was an artisan market with food trucks and even more activities.
My group, BikeDFW, was part of the event, which we shared with our friends from BikeTexas, Richardson Bike Mart , Mercy Street Community Bike Shop and many others. Throughout the day, thousands of participants came out to experience and enjoy the bridge from outside of their cars. Add that to some perfect weather, and you get a fantastic event to end a long and cold winter – even for north Texas.
Here are a few pics from the event. You can find the rest here.
We’re having a true winter storm coming through my town of Richardson, Texas. It’s a big one too, stretching pretty far south while also effecting several states to the north and east of us. Since we don’t have them very often, Texans are usually not prepared and the whole area shuts down. This storm was a bit worse, since we skipped the snow and went straight to ice. The roads are a covered in it and too treacherous for many cars. Most folks just stay home.
Since the roads were mostly empty, I thought I would try my luck getting around on my bike. I didn’t get far, but I was able to survey the storm damage in my neighborhood. It became pretty apparent that nature took a big hit from this storm as well. Since our warm temperatures were lingering through the fall, the leaves on the trees seemed to be taking a bit longer to drop. We also have a lot of like oaks in my neighborhood which drop their leaves in the spring. The ice just accumulated on these leaves and brought many of the branches down, breaking a few right off of their trunks. Unfortunately, with our temperatures staying below freezing for the next few days, thing are going to get worse.
Fortunately for us, we still have power – and heat. There are a lot of homes in the area without and I hope those folks are able to stay warm and safe until it gets fixed.
Stay warm and be careful out there.
Here is a short video of me riding through my neighborhood:
Cycling is on the rise in north Texas and more people are captivated by active transportation. Dallas, Fort Worth and the surrounding areas are becoming transformed by cyclists wanting to ride more.
As a leaders, educators and advocates, local bike organization, BikeDFW, strives to keep up with the momentum and remain a valuable partner to all local bicycle advocacy groups. Because of this, we have decided to update our look.
Being a board member of BikeDFW, and a graphic designer, I was given the challenge of redesigning our logo. My goal was to update the look and create a mark that could appeal to a broad audience of local cyclists.
There were several design options explored, and this solution was voted as the final selection. The idea behind this mark was to graphically articulate ‘bike’ while assertively communicating ‘DFW’. I added a single star to the ‘D’ as a nod to the Lone Star State – making the mark a simple, yet powerful symbol for cycling in the north Texas area. To add another layer, I added a sprocket ring to encompass the mark which transformed it into our new identity.
We will use this logo for collateral, marketing materials and swag.
Recently, BikeDFW launched this new logo. Our only hope is that it gets well recognized and becomes the new symbol of bicycle advocacy and education in the DFW area.
It’s that time of year again. It’s the time to AVOID all the big crowds at the shopping mall, work off that Thanksgiving dinner and have a fun ride around town.
You are invited to attend Bike Friendly Richardson‘s FIFTH (that’s right, 5th) annual Black Friday Ride. Started five years ago as the inaugural ride that launched Bike Friendly Richardson, the Black Friday Ride gives folks an alternative way to kick off the holiday season. This is a casual paced ride that will explore many of the different route options available to Richardson cyclists. We will ride on back-roads, side-streets, multi-purpose trails and available bike lanes.
Come on out to the Richardson Heights Shopping Center, enjoy a tasty lunch at Haystack Burgers, or one of the many fine restaurants in the area. We’ll meet in front of the Alamo Drafthouse around 1:00 pm.
More details to come.
I’m a strong believer that if you build a good network of bike parking, more people will ride their bikes. Better destinations that accommodate cyclists and provide safe places to secure their bikes is a win for any community. What I often wonder is, what impression are people getting when they see empty racks? Do they think that the racks are a waste of money and use up ‘precious’ sidewalk and parking lot space?
Are they really working to get more cyclists out?
In contrast – at locations where there aren’t bike racks – I wonder what people think when they see bikes locked to things like fences, benches, street signs, gas meters or shopping cart returns? I find it quite frustrating to see this unbalance of empty bike racks in some areas, where in others, you see bikes locked to random things. The problem is, where do you put bike parking racks so that they actually get used?
My solution is, everywhere.
It was quite a while ago, when I first heard about bike sharing. My first thought was, that’ll never come to north Texas – it just doesn’t make sense with our suburban sprawl. Well, Fort Worth proved me wrong.
Partnered with a company called B-Cycle, Fort Worth Bike Sharing is a nonprofit organization in charge of operations for the city’s bike share system. The concept began in the planning department at the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, which received a grant from the Federal Transit Administration to help cover the costs. On this past Earth Day, April 22,2013, they launched the first bike sharing program in north Texas.
All together, they have 300 bikes available at 27 check-out stations set up around town – with plans to add more stations.
I didn’t get a chance to ride one of the bikes while I was out there, but I hope to get a another opportunity in the near future. Hopefully, the stations will be a great success and more of them will pop up – even in Dallas.
The cycle track over the Jefferson Boulevard bridge is older news to the locals in Dallas, but I wasn’t able to try it out until last weekend. This cycle track is the result of the new city streetcar project which necessitated the, neighboring, Houston Street Viaduct bridge to be closed down. The, once, one-way Jefferson Boulevard bridge was now re-striped to accommodate two-way traffic as well as bike lanes.
Although this is a temporary solution, some hope that it serves as a way to show how this could work well in future planning.
Having it built on the far left lane, I was curious as to how safe it was – especially running cycle traffic right up against fast, oncoming automobile traffic. Even though it is only protected by paint and plastic posts, I felt pretty comfortable – even as cars whizzed by. There were several other cyclist using it as well, who seemed to feel the same way.
The cycle track lane is nice, but it isn’t perfect – especially getting on and off. Because of all the bypassed traffic and special detours, cyclists have to cross a maze of redirects to get you onto the cycle track. Once in downtown Dallas, cyclist are forced onto, and then off of the sidewalk to get back into the traffic lane.
Again, this is just a temporary solution. Once it’s properly designed from end to end, I can see myself and many other cyclists using it to cross the Trinity from Oak Cliff into downtown Dallas.
From the BikeDFW blog:
Every two years in Texas, we get a unique opportunity to talk about cycling with people who can make a difference.
Save the date, take the day off and take a road trip with a bunch of friends to Austin to participate in your democracy. You’ll meet the people that represent you and, most importantly, let them know that you think more effort to accommodate bicycling is important for the future of your community and your state.
It cannot be stressed enough that numbers matter; we need representation from every congressional district in North Texas.
Don’t worry about jumping off the bus and not knowing what to do. Bike Texas will provide a thorough briefing on hot topics as well as tips and techniques for meeting and communicating with your legislators. They will also organize groups according to their legislative districts. It’s also OK if you just want to be a smiling face with a bicycling pin! Your interest and presence speaks volumes to your representatives.
BikeDFW has made arrangements for one-day, round-trip chartered bus trips from both Dallas and Fort Worth to Austin to participate in Cyclists in Suits for the very reasonable cost of $30 per person. The buses are luxury coaches and we will serve breakfast and coffee on board.
Dress: The name says it all, formal office attire makes the best impression and helps to break down the lycra stereotype, allowing for more effective communication. You can wear more casual clothes on the bus and change upon arrival, that is up to you.
Dallas area departure location: Richardson Bike Mart (SE corner, Coit and Campbell, Richardson)
Fort Worth area departure location: Trinity Bicycles (343 Throckmorton, Fort Worth)
Departure Time from both locations: 5:00am
Estimated return to both locations: 9:00pm
Purchase your ticket for Fort Worth or Dallas departure at the bottom of this page.
Schedule in Austin:
The agenda per Bike Texas is as follows (more details on the Bike Texas site:https://www.biketexas.org/news/biketexasevents):
8:30am – Beginning Brief (Capitol Extension, Room E1.004)
Get briefed on the important issues and learn best practices for meeting with legislators.
9:30am – Meet your Legislators (through mid-afternoon)
Visit legislative offices and meet with legislators and their staff about the Complete Streets Bill and other bills of concern to Texas cyclists. In the course of the day, we will see the House or the Senate in session. We’ll take a group photo with the capitol as our backdrop.
Lunch – Capital Grill (expect about $10 per person)
4:00 pm — Happy Hour (Bike Texas HQ at 1902 E 6th St.)
Depart Austin: approximately 5:30 pm