Posts Tagged ‘Bike Friendly Richardson’
We are very fortunate to have a League of American Bicyclist board member, Gail Spann living in north Texas. Her dedication to cycling and bike education is an inspiration for many bicyclists, advocates and enthusiasts. This past weekend, she and her husband, Jim, hosted a visit from the League’s president, Andy Clarke, who came to talk to us about Bike Education and the Bike Friendly Communities Program in north Texas.
Given that our time with Andy was limited and wanting to keep this visit focused, we set up two meetings with just a few key instructors, advocates, industry leaders and city officials.
The first meeting – which was held Sunday evening at Gail’s house – was about the current education program, were several local LCIs (League Cycling Instructors) met with Andy for dinner and a ’round table’ discussion. We discussed ways to make the program better and how to reach a larger audience. Quite a few good ideas were discussed and many of us left the meeting inspired and ready to move the program forward.
Bike Friendly Communities:
The second meeting – held on Monday evening at the Plano Parks and Recreation office – was about north Texas and the the Bike Friendly Communities Program. Attending, were representatives of BikeTexas, BikeDFW, Bike Friendly Richardson, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and Plano Bicycle Association, city officials from Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Richardson, and industry leaders from Richardson Bike Mart and Plano Cycling and Fitness.
At this meeting, city officials were able to openly discuss the efforts that have been made towards bicycling infrastructure, issues and concerns with the Bike Friendly Communities Program and ways to get clear benchmarks moving forward. It was evident that many of the city officials weren’t expecting a ranking based on the current program, but wanted to see some sort of recognition for the expenses and efforts made so far. They felt that having this would help motivate and inspire city management and council to continue investing in bicycling education and infrastructure.
Given the limited amount of time, we were able to have a good conversation with Andy Clarke, and he was able to assure us that the League of American Bicyclists was listening and willing to help us achieve our goals of becoming bike friendly communities. It was nice to be able to have this direct link to the League to make it clear that cycling is growing in north Texas and we are a strong community of bicycle riders.
Thanks to Bruce, over at the Bike Friendly Richardson Facebook page, for spotting the new Bike Lanes on the eastern section of Collins Boulevard – in my city: Richardson, Texas. Although not complete, lacking ‘bike’ markings on the pavement and ‘bike lane’ signage, they are ready for riding. Eventually, these bike lanes will continue east, right into my neighborhood, where more bike lanes are scheduled. Unfortunately, the bike lanes will not continue west, right now, and connect to the other bike lanes on the western section of Collins.
I got word from the City of Richardson‘s Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic, Dave Carter, who reports:
This Bike Lane will connect from Alma all the way to Jupiter. The portion east of Plano Rd is being paid for with Safe Route To School (SRTS) funding. The western half is Richardson funding. We wanted to get it all done at the same time. There is a new trail that will be going in adjacent to the Apartments under construction that will connect from Alma down to Greenville. There is also trail along Alma that will lead down to the Arapaho DART station so getting this Bike Lane in now really connects quite a few projects.
As for the Collins bridge over US75 – we don’t have enough funding to make all the improvements we need yet. However, we will be adding some “Bikes may use Full Lane” signs and sharrow markings across the bridge for now.
From a personal perspective, I ride down this part of Collins, almost every time I ride. The traffic is usually very light and having it three lanes in each direction, made it very accessible for me – even without bike lanes. My first thought was that these bike lanes might be overkill for this road. I was completely wrong.
First, having these bike lanes opens this section of Collins Boulevard for many, less confident, cyclists who would never attempt to ride on this road. This creates a great connection between east Richardson neighborhoods and the Central Trail. Also, it wasn’t until I actually rode the bike lanes, before I realized how much more relaxed I am riding down Collins. This has become a great upgrade to my commute.
As you can see from the map we’ve made of completed bike lanes, the City of Richardson is doing a great job at making bike connections all around town.
Update: Apologies. I had the map set to private. It should be visible, now.
Last Friday was the Bike League’s National Bike To Work Day. For the third year, my local bike advocacy group, Bike Friendly Richardson, worked with BikeDFW, DART and NCTCOG to set up a bike commuter Energizer Station at one of our local rail stations. This year, BikeDFW and DART were able to set up 9 stations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Reports are coming back that those stations had great success greeting the many bicycle commuters who came through. This indicates to me that folks around the Dallas area are starting to look at bicycle commuting as an viable form of alternate transportation – which most feel is hard to do in a city built for cars.
The Richardson station was quite successful. We had 25 bike commuters stop by our Energizer Station, where we provided them with snacks and breakfast tacos. We also handed out lots of swag donated by DART and NCTCOG as well as energy bars provided by Clif Bar and KIND. Richardson Bike Mart was out to do bicycle safety checks.
We even had a news camera man from Channel 11 stop by and interview us, but we never made the news cast that day. Fortunately, other stops in Dallas got some coverage:
Here are some pics from this year’s Bike To Work Day Energizer Station in Richardson:
I had forgotten all about this, until I ran across the pic in my photo stream.
A few years back, during the construction of one of Richardson’s bike trails, I buried a “Bike Friendly Richardson” pin in the ground before they laid the cement. I’m calling it a time capsule of positive thinking.
Hopefully, many years from now – when they dig it up to widen the trail – somebody will see that we cared about cycling back then.
Here are just a few of the many bicycle events that are happening this weekend in the Dallas area.
AURORA Ciclovia 2013
When: Friday, October 18, 2013 (tonight)
Location: Pearl and Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201
Details: Calling all Bike Friendlies, save the date! Get ready for the biggest lighted ride in Dallas. Held in conjunction with AURORA 2013, AURORA Ciclovia will meet at Main Street Park for a Best of competition, then ride the town to show off the lights, finishing at AURORA. Be a part of the largest independent arts event in Dallas!
More Info: On Facebook
Texas Custom Bicycle Show 2013
When: October 19-20, 2013 (Saturday-Sunday)
Time: Saturday at 10:00am until Sunday at 4:30pm
Location: 2642 Main St., Dallas, TX
Details: True Fabrication, Violet Crown, Phantasm, Southwest Frameworks, Gallus Cycles, Millennium (Massengill), DalTex Handmade, Gjertsen, Kirklee, Edoz, Clyde James Cycles and more to come.
More Info: On Facebook (and here as well)
Bike Swap Meet: Cyclesomatic 2013
When: Saturday, October 19, 2013 (Tomorrow)
Location: Community Beer Company – 1530 Inspiration Drive, Dallas, Texas 75207
Details: Join us for our first-ever swap meet at the Community Beer Company in Dallas for an afternoon bikes, bartering, and brews. This event is one of a series of events in BFOC’s 5th annual Cyclesomatic.
Want a table at the swap meet? Get one for only $10. Here’s where you sign up: http://goo.gl/OT96Vz
More Info: On Facebook
Cycle to the Nasher Sculpture Center
When: Sunday, October 20, 2013 (Sunday)
Time: Ride Start: 1:45; @ the Nasher: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Location: Ride Start: Oak Cliff’s Oddfellow’s; Arrive: Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201
Details: A few folks will be gathering at Oak Cliff’s Oddfellow’s at 1:45pm, to depart shortly thereafter.
More Info: On Facebook and on the Biking In Dallas website.
ALSO: Don’t forget that the Bike Friendly Richardson Bike and Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt is still going on.
When: October 2013 (all month long)
Location: Various Richardson Locations
Details: You are invited to participate in Richardson’s first Ride And Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt. Throughout the month of October, we are inviting and motivating folks to get out and ride their bikes, explore their neighborhoods and win prizes! This year’s theme will be “The Sculptures of Richardson”.
More Info: On Facebook and the BFR Website
Bike Friendly Richardson, is hosting Richardson’s first Ride And Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt. Throughout the month of October, they are inviting and motivating folks to get out and ride their bikes, explore their neighborhoods and win prizes! This year’s theme will be “The Sculptures of Richardson”.
Date: October 1- 31 (all month long)
Place: Various Richardson, Texas Locations
Prizes: A few partners have donated prizes that we will give away to participants via raffle
Sponsors: Richardson Bike Mart, Alamo Drafthouse, DART
HOW TO PLAY:
– Self-paced ride and hunt around Richardson, Texas
– You must capture images of your bike next to (up to) 14 specific sculptures (or fountains) around town (listed here)
– All images must be taken between October 1-31, 2013
– Each image submitted will equal 1 raffle ticket for prizes; Complete Set (all 14 images) = double bonus tickets
– All images must be submitted (see below) by Thursday, October 31, 2013
– Bonus tickets will be given to any shots of your bike with any OTHER sculptures (than listed here) around town
– Must be taken in October 2013
– Does not count as part of the “Complete Set” for bonus tickets
IMAGE SUBMISSIONS (choose one of the following):
– email (images or links) email@example.com
– BFR Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BikeFriendlyRichardson/
– Instagram #bfrhunt2013
– Twitter #bfrhunt2013
– Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/groups/2296216@N24/ (you must join this group to submit)
EACH IMAGE SUBMISSION MUST INCLUDE:
– Your full name
– Your email address
– Your phone# (optional)
(flickr, twitter and instagram users can email BFR this info to match up with your alias)
For more details, lists, images and maps, please visit the Ride And Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt page.
With cooler months in North Texas, the weather has been ideal for some amazing group rides. Here are just a couple that I participated in:
Last weekend my local bike group, Bike Friendly Richardson hosted their 4th Annual Black Friday Ride. It was an amazing day with an incredible group of riders (totaling over 30). Even Richardson City Councilman, Amir Omar, stopped by to see us off and applaud our efforts.
There was a pretty large variety of bikes, from a stretched-frame cruiser, a cargo bike, a tandem, some classic refurbs, a few mountain bikes, to some super light road bikes. With so many different styles of riders, our concern was how we were going to pace a ride and keep everybody happy. With such an amazing group, this ended up not being problem.
There was no an agenda, other than having a casual ride around town and avoiding the crowded, Black Friday shopping malls. The ride was slow with lots of stops to let folks, who got stuck at crossings or lights, catch up. Everybody seemed relaxed and ready to enjoy the amazing fall colors, as we rode through some nice, Richardson neighborhoods.
Overall, we took lots of back roads, bike trails and some bike lanes – all made possible by the City of Richardson’s great bike plan as well as some amazing, interconnecting neighborhoods.
Here are a few pics from the Black Friday Ride:
Also, this weekend, Bike Friendly Richardson participated in the annual City of Richardson Christmas parade. Like with the Black Friday Ride, we had a great variety of bikes, including one with a kid trailer, one with a couple of dogs leashed on, an urban cruiser, a couple of family truckster cargo bikes (loaded with kiddos) and even a penny farthing bike – all decked out with holiday lights and decorations. Even the riders were dressed with festive gear. All together, we had 12 bikes and 16 participants.
The ride itself was mostly stop-and-go or very slow paced, which made it easy to enjoy each other’s company, as well as the spectacle of the parade. The ‘super mom’ (I actually heard that term used by a spectator) family trucksters and the penny farthing bike got a lot of crowd’s attention.
Participation in the parade was Bike Friendly Richardson’s way to build on their bike community, gain awareness and to just have fun. They also, unexpectedly, won an award from the city – 1st place in the ‘Civic Clubs/Organizations Mixed Unit Category’. Not bad for the first time out.
Here are some pics from the parade. Click here to see the entire set of Christmas Parade Pics.