Entries tagged: Biketexas

New Bike/Ped Funding in PA, Impressive Florida Road Diet, Rabinowitz Strikes Back

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Blast from the past: a snippet of a City of Edmonton bike map from the 80’s. (Edmonton Bicycle Commuters

Alliance Member News

The Pennsylvania senate passed a $2.5 billion transportation bill that establishes a $2 million Multi-Modal Fund with dedicated dollars for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Now onto the House! (Pennsylvania Walks & BikesBike Lebanon)

In local PA news, meet Pittsburgh’s new bike-friendly mayor. (Bike Pittsburgh)

A road once destined to be a 6-lane highway in Sarasota, Florida was instead converted into a two-lane Complete Street, saving the county $2.3 million and preventing lots of headaches for neighbors. (BikeWalkLee

A study of new bike lanes in Calgary found a higher volume of bicycles and lower collision rates. (Bike Calgary)

A Seattle construction company earned silver level certification from BizCycle, Cascade Bicycle Club’s new bicycle-friendly business certification program. (Cascade)

Biking to school in Sugar Land, Texas. (BikeTexas)

Job-seeking New Englanders: advocacy groups in Rhode Island and Vermont are hiring. (Bike NewportLocal Motion)

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Image copyright Steven E Gross / Active Transportation Alliance

Virtuous patience is on display in Active Trans’ album of Chicagoan cyclists waiting at red lights. (Active Transportation Alliance

Support great local and state biking & walking advocacy — donate today. 

Biking & Walking in the News

The Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz is back for more commentary on Citi Bike. Did the criticism change her perspective? No, not really. (Transportation Nation)

The one big problem with New York City’s bike share may be the technology, not the bikes. (Reuters)

Do helmets keep cyclists safer? (Grist)

Livability is especially important for some of our most vulnerable citizens — seniors. (Atlantic Cities)

Bikes mean business! In Washington, DC, Capital Bikeshare helps sell apartments and houses. (Washington Examiner)

Biking under the influence in the Twin Cities isn’t illegal… yet. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

BikeTexas Releases State-Specific Benchmarking Report

A new BikeTexas report modeled after the Alliance for Biking & Walking’s national Benchmarking report sets baselines for walking and biking policies, infrastructure and programs in the Lone Star State’s largest cities.

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A good read: BikeTexas’ new 2012 Benchmarking Study

While the Alliance report examines biking and walking in the 51 most populous cities in the United States, the Texas study examines the 35 cities in Texas with a population of 90,000 or more.

“In the original national study, 7 Texas cities were included,” explained Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas. “We wanted more cities in Texas to be able to compare amongst themselves.”

Robin and his colleagues have found that cities tend to think in terms of competitive pairings within the state. “A city like Amarillo is very interested in Lovett, but is not that interested in Austin,” he reported. “In Tyler, there’s a lot more interest in Longview’s progress than Dallas’ progress.”

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BikeTexas’ study includes data from Texas’ 35 largest cities, shown here on a map

BikeTexas advocates hope that finding benchmarks for each city will help encourage competition for progress on active transportation.

Much like the Alliance Benchmarking Report, the Bike Texas Benchmark Study examines and ranks cities according to key data points and policy features. Metrics include walk and bike modeshare, safety data, city policies that affect bikers and walkers, funding amounts, walking and biking infrastructure and planning, education and encouragement programs, advocacy organizations and community bike shops, and public health statistics.

To design the survey, BikeTexas compiled questions from the Alliance for Biking & Walking Benchmarking survey and the League of America Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community survey. 

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The report tracks policies related to walking and biking in Texas cities

“We’d had some feedback that there was a lot of overlap between the Alliance and League surveys,” Robin noted. “So we included 100% of the questions from each, eliminated duplication, added a few new questions, found the answers already in the public domain, and then gave the rest to the cities. This eliminated unnecessary work for the cities.”

“Both the Alliance and the League bent over backwards to provide us with their questions and tips on collection,” recalled Robin. “We couldn’t have asked for more. The BikeTexas report is an homage to both organizations and the good work that they do. We couldn’t have done this starting from scratch.”

The survey had the added benefit of educating city officials unfamiliar with bicycle and pedestrian planning terms.

“We included a glossary in our online survey so that anybody who was answering could look up the definition of a protected bikeway or sharrow,” Robin said. “Now we have a lot more decision-makers who know what a cycletrack is.”

Robin says that the organization was careful to produce a report worthy of a serious transportation researcher. Data collection for the project was led by a transportation engineer with oversight from an MPH reviewer. Next time, BikeTexas may enlist the help of a PhD principal investigator.

BikeTexas financed the report with internal funds. In an exciting show of support, the Texas Department of Transportation agreed to print 3500 copies of the report for free.

BikeTexas has distributed copies to city officials around the state, to members of the Texas legislature, and to staffed state biking and walking advocacy organizations. The report is not yet available online.

So far, responses to the printed report have been encouraging.

“One city engineer called us and requested 15 more copies,” Robin said. “The state DOT is distributing 500 copies within the agency. All of the bike/ped coordinators, all the traffic safety people, and all the district engineers will get a copy.”

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State-specific: the BikeTexas report specifically targets Lone Star State officials and decision-makers.

Going forward, BikeTexas advocates hope to find funding for future reports with updated questions and data from smaller cities. Robin and his colleagues also hope that fellow state advocacy groups will emulate the Texas report.

“We think of this report as the beginning of a dialogue,” said Robin.

Posted by mlhall on March 27, 2013
Tags: texas, biketexas, benchmarking report, benchmarking
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Check out Pics from the Advocacy Awards

Last night the Alliance announced the winner of the 2012 Advocacy Awards at a packed reception at the National Bike Summit. Click the image below for more pictures from the event!

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Winners Announced for 2012 Advocacy Awards!

To shine the spotlight on the progress and victories of the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy movement, the Alliance for Biking & Walking is pleased to announce its 2012 Advocacy Award winners. Since 2009, the Alliance has solicited public nominations and recognized the individuals, organizations and business leaders who are propelling our People Powered Movement. This year, we honor the following winners from across North America.

Advocacy Organization of the Year- WalkBoston

imageNearly all Americans walk on a daily basis, but very few consider themselves pedestrians. Organizing and advocating for this often-overlooked constituency — which is dramatically overrepresented in roadway fatalities — is challenging but critical work. Since its founding in 1990, WalkBoston has led the way, not just locally, but on the national level, as well. In Boston, the advocates’ long list of accomplishments includes a wealth of infrastructure victories, policy progress and successful public events. In 2011, WalkBoston launched its “Good Walking is Good Business” campaign, which highlighted the economic benefits of walkable communities, and distributed 40,000 copies of a federally funded research project to develop and test innovative tools to engage underrepresented populations in the planning process. Despite WalkBoston’s tireless work and nation-leading successes, the small staff is generous with its time and expertise, ever willing to share best practices with other organizations and engage with national advocacy groups in a way that benefits people who walk, not just in Boston, but in communities across the continent.

Advocate of the Year: Eric Rogers, BikeWalkKC

imageThe campaigns may change, but in Kansas City, Missouri, one thing remains the same. “If you show up for an advocacy effort,” one nomination summed up, “there’s one guy you will always see — and that’s Eric Rogers.” Rogers’ long-standing involvement at the state and local level has earned him a reputation as both as a passionate advocate leader for the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, and trusted, go-to expert on bike-ped issues for policymakers of all stripes. While he chairs the Kansas City Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee and serves as the executive director of BikeWalkKC, Rogers spends countless hours attending hearings and meetings across the region; working behind the scenes to keep advocates updated; and improving critical education and encouragement programs like the KC Car-Free Challenge and KC Safer Routes. As one city council member attested in her nomination: “Eric has been a constant, persistent, passionate voice in the oversight of private developments and city infrastructure services, speaking out for sidewalks, bike lanes and routes, driver education, defined trails and safe crosswalks.” And, in the true spirit of genuine, selfless advocacy, Rogers never expects recognition beyond the legacy of his own good works.

Business Advocate of the Year: CLIF Bar

imageWith its innovative 2 Mile Challenge, CLIF Bar continued to raise awareness about the power and possibility of biking for transportation in 2011, spurring thousands of people to log their trips on the website that tracked metrics like miles pedaled, car trips avoided and carbon dioxide saved. In line with its commitment to active transportation, CLIF Bar donated $100,000 to the three nonprofits leading the charge in the 2 Mile Challenge, including the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

Winning Campaign of the Year: Bike Delaware

imageDespite lean economic times, Bike Delaware did the nearly unthinkable in 2011—advocated for and won $5 million in new, dedicated state dollars for biking and walking projects and programs. With a tiny budget, the advocacy organization pioneered new ground in statewide bike-ped advocacy with its “Bikeable, Walkable Delaware” campaign, not only securing critical funding, but also cultivating key relationships at the state capitol and working with the Delaware Department of Transportation on the state’s first State Trails and Pathways Plan.

Best Practices Award: League of Illinois Bicyclists

imageThe Best Practices Award goes to an organization that serves as a model for other bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations. In 2011, the League of Illinois Bicyclists played a critical role in the effort to preserve dedicated funding for biking and walking in the next federal transportation bill. Executing a model campaign that utilized relevant data and engaged of local elected officials, the Illinois advocates expertly capitalized on years spent cultivating relationships with members of Congress to to win pivotal support from Republican Representative Tim Johnson. And the LIB didn’t just build bridges on Capitol Hill — the statewide organization also worked with local groups, like the Active Transportation Alliance, showcasing the importance and power of effective partnerships.

Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award: Julia Field, Undriving

imageThis award commemorates Alliance co-founder, Susie Stephens, honoring her passion for biking and walking as fun and economical means of transportation. The parallels between Susie and Julia are many. As one nomination pointed out: “Like Susie, Julia knows that people want to do good things—sometimes they just need ideas and cheerleading.” As the founder of Undriving, Julia established an artistic, energetic and effective program that empowers citizens to reimagine their travel habits in ways that protect the planet and improve community health. The positive power of the Undriving concept has earned Field recognition, not just in Seattle, but across the U.S. and beyond. If Susie were still with us, we know she’d be wielding her Undriving license with pride!

Innovation Award: BikeTexas

imageThe Innovation Award goes to an organization that’s pioneering or inventing new ways to promote biking and walking — and BikeTexas continues to cultivate new and effective models in working effectively with the full spectrum political perspectives and full range of community stakeholders. Thanks in part to its traveling bicycle fleet, BikeTexas has organized rides with policymakers, agency staff and nonprofit organizations that have cultivated important political relationships and built bridges with new constituencies, including a 2011 President’s Award from the state NAACP for “going above and beyond the call of duty to develop interest in biking and green benefits from biking in the African American Community.”

BikeTexas Brings “Cyclists in Suits” to State Capitol

imageThis month, many Alliance leaders traveled to Washington, DC, to lobby their members of Congress during the National Bike Summit. But the politicos on Capitol Hill aren’t the only ones making critical decisions about biking and walking funding, policies and programs. State legislatures are in full swing and member organizations are providing a strong, vocal presence for bicyclists and pedestrians in virtually every state across the nation.

One example comes from BikeTexas. Just this past Monday, more than three dozen members of the statewide organization traveled to Austin for the biennial “Cyclists in Suits Lobby Day.” With neon bike pins shining from their lapels, they educated their elected officials on important bills and showcased the large constituency for bicycling in the Lone Star State.

“Cyclists from all over Texas split into small teams and met individually with transportation staffers in every legislative office at the Capitol — all 181 of them — to discuss key pieces of bike-friendly legislation filed this session,” Emma Cravey reports on the BikeTexas blog. “Chief among the bills shared was HB 1105 / SB 513, the Complete Streets bill. This legislation would ensure that new road construction and reconstruction projects consider all road users in their design — meaning cyclists, pedestrians, bus riders and the disabled — not just motorists… Volunteers also shared information about HB 1943, which would provide utility right-of-way for bike trails in Houston and El Paso, and HB 1583, which would require cyclists to use a red rear light at night.”

According to BikeTexas, legislators and their staff were “receptive and interested,” and advocates celebrated their success with a happy hour after a productive day creating and cultivating relationships with their elected officials.

Click here to follow the progress of key bills in Texas or read more about BikeTexas’ campaigns.

Photo: Cyclists in Suits 2011 Lobby Day (BikeTexas)

Making a Difference in DC: “Working with Congressional Delegates” Tip Sheet

Blog contributed by Alliance intern, Camie Rodan

imageThis month, Congress is gearing up for a crucial vote that could negatively impact funding for biking and walking projects. In this uncertain time, it is critical that advocates reach out to their elected officials and show them that these programs are popular, cost-effective and beneficial for our communities.

For some advocates, this urgent need prompted questions such as: How do we make initial contacts with our elected officials? And what is the best way for us to make our case? How can we ensure that our meetings with our Congressional Delegates are effective?

To help answer these questions, we invited a Congressional legislative assistant and two experienced advocates to share their insights and suggestions during our first Mutual Aid Call of 2011 on “Working with your Congressional Delegates.” Panelists included Lois Moss, executive director of Walk+Roll, Robin Stallings, executive director of BikeTexas and Tyler Frisbee, legislative assistant to Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon). They shared their experiences and provided some helpful tips on how to contact and interact with elected officials on Capitol Hill to build a mutually beneficial relationship.

Missed the call? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a tip sheet that gives you the important takeaways. (We’ll be uploading the entire call at that link, too.)

Be sure to mark your calendars for our next call on February 23. We’ll be discussing the Do’s and Don’ts of Lobbying for Advocacy Organizations.

Posted by Carolyn S on February 11, 2011
Tags: walk+roll, us congress, tyler frisbee, robin stallings, lois moss, congressman earl blumenauer, biketexas
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Texas Advocates Prove Again That Biking Is Bipartisan

imageThe Lone Star State may be a Republican stronghold but BikeTexas proved once again this week that cycling crosses party lines.

On Wednesday morning, a fleet of bicyclists from both sides of the political spectrum departed the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Annual Summit in Louisville for a scenic, eight-mile tour through the Kentucky city.

The 6th Annual Bipartisan Ride — led by both Republican and Democratic legislators from Texas, Kentucky and Minnesota — included 23 senators and representatives from eight states.

“The NCSL ride gives legislators from Texas and around the country a chance to experience the joy of cycling, which is an excellent first step toward achieving our legislative goals,” Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas, said in a press release.

Bike Texas inaugurated the ride back in 2005 and they’ve kept the tradition alive by bringing their fleet of bikes to subsequent NCLR Summits. Because the conference moves each year, Texas advocates partner with a local organization in the host city. This year, Bicycling for Louisville made the event bigger than ever, not only planning the route but also rallying more than a dozen expert cyclists to marshal the ride.

Click here to read more about BikeTexas and see photos from the Bipartisan Ride.

Posted by Carolyn S on August 12, 2010
Tags: national council of state legislatures, louisville, kentucky, bipartisan ride, biketexas
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BikeTexas Gets $1.4 million for Safe Routes to School Programs

imageLate last month, the Texas Department of Transportation announced the recipients of more than $50 million in Safe Routes to School grants.

BikeTexas got a bundle: $1.4 million.

Of course, the seven-figure grant wasn’t out of the blue. The bicycle-advocacy organization has a long history pushing for Safe Routes to School in the Lone Star State. In 1999, when Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar needed a red state to gain bipartisan support for Safe Routes in the 2005 federal transportation bill, BikeTexas delivered. “We helped draft legislation in Texas and got it passed in 2001 and that became part of the federal Safe Routes program,” says Robin Stallings, the group’s executive director (pictured).

Even before that bill passed, BikeTexas created a curriculum that trains teachers to instruct students on bicycle and pedestrian safety. The success of the program led to a number of significant grants — including $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Education between 2004 and 2007 — allowing BikeTexas to reach more than 200,000 kids each year. “We’ve worked in probably 120 school districts and we’ve trained about 4,000 teachers in bike safety — elementary PE teachers — who, in turn, have trained quite a lot of children,” Stallings says.

But even for the seasoned grant recipients, the $1.4 million — the result of three successful proposals — is significant.

“It’s big,” Stallings says.

It won’t just continue BikeTexas’ current education programs, but, hopefully, expand its reach. “One of the exciting things is that we’ve been concentrating on 4th and 5th graders, but we’re going to be able to broaden that and reach more kids with relevant material from K to 8,” Stalling says. “So it’s not a one-time thing; they get more on-going reinforcement.”

And TxDOT didn’t just back BikeTexas’ proven programs; it funded an innovative proposal, too. “The Safe Routes to School: Our Rich Texas History Program” will be a unique, online tool that combines physical activity with state heritage. “We’re going to develop a website so kids can log-in to learn about walking and biking, and, in the process, virtually travel along a historic or current Texas route or trail,” Stallings says.

To read more about BikeTexas and access their Safe Routes to School materials check out their information-packed website.

Posted by Carolyn S on June 03, 2010
Tags: texas, safe routes to school, biketexas
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Introducing the BikeTexas ParentsPlus Program

imageBikeTexas recently announced that on October 1, 2009 they began development of the new BikeTexas ParentsPlus Program. Accoring to BikeTexas, “The program is funded through a Texas Department of Transportation grant, and will provide parents, plus other adults concerned with bicycle and pedestrian safety, the certification training and resources necessary to develop neighborhood bicycling and walking events. These events will incorporate safety messages in a fun and healthy venue and will bring the safety lessons to the larger community, thus amplifying their effect.

The BikeTexas ParentsPlus Program includes: (1) training parents, plus other adults concerned with bicycling and walking safety, using the developed ParentsPlus training materials; (2) developing some of the safety materials in both English and Spanish; (3) continually revising and distributing the training materials; and (4) publishing print and web-based resource materials to reach a broader audience.

These activities will increase public information and education efforts on the rules of the road, use of safety equipment, and motorist awareness for sharing the road. They will also improve public education and information on safe walking and safe bicycling practices.” Read more from BikeTexas here.

New License Plate for Bikes in TX

imageAccording to BikeTexas, the new Texas Trails Specialty License Plate will benefit biking in Texas. “Once they are made available to the public for use on cars, motorcycles, trucks and trailers, the proceeds ($22 of the $30 annual fee) will benefit the BikeTexas Education Fund (501c3) Community Trails* programs.

The organization is now seeking help to choose the final design for the plate and help raise the fee required by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to begin production. BikeTexas must choose and submit the final design to TxDOT before Thanksgiving and must raise the $8,000 necessary to offset the fee. You can cast your vote (as many votes as you wish) on which design you like best and your $2 per vote, tax-deductible donation will help BikeTexas pay the required fees. Plus, your vote(s) will count towards which plate is chosen to represent Texas’ Trails! Click here to vote!

For more information on the new license plates, visit BikeTexas.

Posted by krsteele04 on October 30, 2009
Tags: vote, texas bicycle coalition, texas, license plate, biketexas, bike texas education fund
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BikeTexas and BCGP Organize National Bipartisan Bike Ride

Bike TX logoBike Philly logoOn July 23, state legislators from across the U.S. took part in the 6th National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Bipartisan Bike Ride, organized by BikeTexas and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. The 100 participants, including 14 state senators and 21 state representatives from 23 states, rode eight miles through scenic downtown Philadelphia. BikeTexas coordinates this annual ride in partnership with the local advocacy organization. According to Robin Stallings of BikeTexas, “dollar for dollar, this is the most effective lobbying activity we do to advance the state-level legislative bicycle agenda.”

To learn more about the event and view photos visit www.biketexas.org

Posted by brighid on July 23, 2009
Tags: rides, legislation, biketexas, bicycle coalition of greater philadelphia
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