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Recap and Pics – Cyclists In Suits – Texas Bicycle Lobby Day 2015

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CyclistsInSuits_2015

Image © BikeTexas.org – Please visit their site.

Last week, BikeTexas hosted their Cyclists In Suits – Bicycle Lobby Day event at the Texas State Capital in Austin, Texas. This happens every other year, for more years than some of us have been advocates. I think we heard somebody mention that they were on their 9th or 10th visit to the capital.

Each time, cyclists from all over Texas, strip the lycra, wool and skinny jeans, to put on their best dress clothes. Business attire was key to being taken seriously as we represented the cycling community to the Texas State Legislature.

The bills we’re took to legislators were (links will take you to the text of the bills):

The Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act, HB 2459 & SB 1416
Ban on Texting while Driving, HB 80
Safety Light at Night, HB 471
Transportation Safety Advisory Committee, HB 1136
Safe Neighborhood Streets, SB 1717

We also let legislators know that we oppose HB 383, which would require bicycles to be equipped with a mirror as part of a safe passing law.

The group coming from Dallas was a bit smaller this year. Some folks drove down, while others shared a van hosted by BikeDFW.

This year’s event was organized a lot better than previous years. Although it was a shaky start, with a little bit of confusion in the crowd, the lobby teams were better organized so that each person got to visit the office of their own Senator and Representative, as well as the legislative offices near by. This allowed us to optimize our time by not having to run all over the capital building. Most of us were finished by lunch.

After lunch, we headed over to the Senate to hear a special resolution for people who ride bikes – read by bike friendly Senator, Rodney Ellis. From there, we headed over to the front of the Capital building for our group picture.

Once our lobbying was finished, the group headed over to the BikeTexas headquarters for a small wind-down event. It was nice to regroup, visit and talk about the days events and share cycling stories about our hometowns.

If you enjoy cycling and want to make it safer and more acceptable in Texas, this is definitely an event that you should be a part of. I look forward to seeing you there in 2017. Here are a few pics from the event:

Cyclists In Suits - 2015

Cyclists In Suits - 2015

Cyclists In Suits - 2015

Cyclists In Suits - 2015

Cyclists In Suits - 2015

Cyclists In Suits - 2015

Written by dickdavid

April 8, 2015 at 5:58 am

Bike League’s Andy Clarke Visits North Texas

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DFW BFC Meeting

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.

Bike Education:
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.

LCI Meeting

LCI Meeting

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 RichardsonBike 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.

DFW BFC Meeting

DFW BFC Meeting

DFW BFC Meeting

DFW BFC Meeting

Pics and Recap of the Trinity River Revel – Dallas, Texas

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Four great Dallas amenities opened this past weekend during an event called the Trinity River Revel, and it was celebrated with a Rolling Ribbon Cutting. A large group of a few hundred cyclist, which included a few of Dallas’ elected officials, representatives from local and state bicycling groups as well as surprise visitor Gary Fisher, all set out on a slow paced rally around the Trinity River to officially reveal these great new open spaces.

This is what opened:
The Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge – A new linear park build on the old Continental Street Bridge, which spans the Trinity River west of downtown Dallas. It includes 39 trellis and shade structures, a meditation labyrinth, bocce court, spray fountain and playground.

Trinity Skyline Trail – This is a paved hike, bike and skate trail in the Trinity River basin that leisurely rolls between Sylvan Avenue and West Commerce Street. This is a great place to take your family for a nice bike ride or walk, and see lots of nature around the Trinity River.

Sylvan Avenue Bridge – The bridge has been redesigned as a six-lane bridge with two six-foot sidewalks on the shoulders. Even better, is the Trinity Skyline Trail crosses the river below.

West Dallas Gateway Plaza – This is located between the western end of the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge and Trinity Groves. This is a perfect spot to visit, with great views of the Dallas skyline.

This event was part of the Trinity River Corridor Project. Click here to learn more about the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.

It was a great day to ride and be part of this historic event. It was also inspiring to see such a large group participate, letting the City of Dallas know that bicycling and walking are important to the people who live here.

Here are some pics from the event. Click here to see the entire set.

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It Was A Busy Bike Weekend – With Not Very Much Riding

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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 siteThe 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.

BikeDFW Banner

Friday Keynote

Seminar Speakers

Seminar Speaker

Trade Show

 

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.

Volunteers

Bell Installation

BikeDFW Tent

Warren Installs a Bell

Bell Installation

Randall Installs A Bell

 

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.

Hauling The Big Trailer

LAB’s Steve Clark Visits Plano

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Steve Clark Come To Plano

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.

The League is visiting 100 communities this year, bringing their bicycle-friendly expertise directly to the local level — and Plano was on the priority list.

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.

Steve Clark Come To Plano

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.

Steve Clark Come To Plano

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.

LAB's Steve Clark

Riding Bikes On The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge In Dallas

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Closed For The Event

Here is the bridge, right after the running event, but right before were setting up the tents.

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 MartMercy 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.

BikeDFW Tent

Here is Warren at the BikeDFW Tent.

BikeTexas on the MHH Bridge

The BikeTexas Tent

BikeTexas Bike Rodeo

BikeTexas hosted some great activities for the kids.

Under The Bridge Vendors

Some of the best artisans and vendors from north Texas were here.

Ready For A Group Ride

BikeTexas hosted a Beer & Bike Swarm at Four Corners Brewing Company just down the street.

Written by dickdavid

March 18, 2014 at 5:27 am

Pics From Cyclists In Suits – Bicycle Lobby Day in Texas

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CyclistsInSuites_BikeTexas

Image ©BikeTexas.org – Please visit their site.

I’m back from the Cyclists in Suits event that was hosted by BikeTexas in Austin. It was an exhausting day that involved getting up by 3:00 am to catch a 5:00 am bus. After a 3+ hour trip from Dallas to Austin, we spent the day lobbying for cyclist to our state officials, only to repeat the same trip back that evening. It was a great learning experience and I got to meet some great people, which made it all worth while.

I’ll do a proper recap on the Bike Friendly Richardson site later this week. Until then, here are a few pics from the day (click here to see the entire set):

Cyclists In Suits March

Fresh Of The Bus, Heading To The Capital Building

Jay Dunn Gets It Done

Jay Helping Us Lobby

Texas Senate Room

Texas Senate Session

Group Break

Bike Pins Everywhere – Showing Support

Happy Hour

BikeTexas Happy Hour

Meet And Greet

BikeTexas HQ

Jay and Preston

Bicycle Networking

Written by dickdavid

March 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm