Simultaneously in different locations across the metroplex cyclists were packing their panniers or clipping into their pedals. We would soon converge at the same location to do one thing and one thing only: party.
Big thanks to Bike Friendly Midcities for putting the event together. The first — of hopefully many — one-day camping trips was a big hit with us. A S24HO (sub 24 hour overnighter) is meant to be an alternative to the state-line-crossing bike tours. It always last less than 24 hours so you can get back to your real life, in an out in time for laundry the next day.
Two of us set out from Arlington a little after noon. Leaving from Fuzzy’s Tacos we had a tail wind just about the whole way, and in less than two hours we were setting up camp.
Later that afternoon the group from Dallas and Bike Friendly Midcities joined us. Big thanks to one BFMC’s cyclist who couldn’t make it, but had cupcakes waiting for us.
That night there was a bike ride, a campfire and all the typical campsite shenanigans. Early the next morning BFMC left, a little later that morning — after camping luxuries like coffee and eggs — the BFA and Dallas crew rolled out as well.
That’s what we feel. Nearly 2 years since we fought for on-street bicycle infrastructure in Arlington, to make the city safer, and more accessible by its residents, the city has yet to install any of the planned bike routes.
To add to the disappointment is the finger-in-the-eye announcement that the city is funding a multi-year bus pilot program at the cost of $350,000 a year i.e. Pilot bus project could begin rolling in Arlington by August, and Passengers would pay $5 to $8 fare on Arlington bus service to Centre Port. In terms of bike infrastructure, that is the entire on-street portion of the Hike & Bike Plan ($291,000) plus an extra $50,000. If the city put that kind of money into on-street infrastructure on a yearly basis, we would already have the on-street infrastructure sanctioned by the approved plan, plus the infrastructure in the original plan that was cut out as a false compromise with Tea Party members and U.N. conspiracy theorists Buddy Saunders and Zack Maxwell.
While connecting the city’s residents to the TRE line (after they passed on having a station of their own) is admirable though somewhat overdue, at the end of the day it’s just another pilot program that can disappear when the political will disappears, or money is tight i.e. according to a blog article at the Dallas Morning News about the newest pilot program:
“Arlington has tried commuter bus lines before, partnering with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, known as The T, in 2008 to run an express service to and from downtown Fort Worth. That park-and-ride effort folded in 2011 because of low ridership and insufficient funding.” (Benning, DMN)
Paint on the ground, stays on the ground. And routes put in place become better known and more used over time. If the city is serious about better transportation options for its residents, they’d do well to follow through on the Plan they passed in August of 2011 instead of frilling away dollars on another bus pilot program which, if past performance is any indication, is going to be another source of disappointment for Arlington transportation advocates.
If you feel like bicycle infrastructure is not getting it’s due recognition, or you want to express your disappointment with the current direction the city’s transportation policy is headed, please write the city council and let them know that you support the Hike & Bike Plan’s implementation.
You can write to the entire council by copying & pasting their email addresses below to your e-mail program of choice:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: I support implementing the Hike & Bike Plan
We were there with several other Bike Friendly organizations to talk to house and senate representatives about several pieces of legislation, highlighted for us by Bike Texas. The day was a “success,” as we were able to speak to every office in the building.
Complete Streets calls for a set of guidelines for any road projects or improvements that are supported by federal or state funds. These guidelines would accommodate for all modes of transportation, including cars, bikes, pedestrians including the disabled or children, busses, commercial trucks etc. The guidelines vary based on the suburban, urban or rural context, but generally call for more walkable cities and recognizes that transportation improvements are opportunities to improve air quality and safety too.
Complete Streets was authored by Rodney Ellis and Bob Deuell. It was co-authored by Wendy Davis, Eddie Lucio, José Rodríguez and Kirk Watson. The house version was authored by representatives Linda Harper-Brown, Jim Keffer, Geane Morrison, Armando Martinez, Eddie Lucio III in the house. It was coauthored by Jessica Farrar, Elliott Naishtat.
Safe Passing will create a law requiring motorists give at least three feet of space when passing not just cyclists but any unprotected road user. A nearly identical, bipartisan, well-supported bill was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry in the 2009 session (AustinChron). The new bill has changed the words “Vulnerable Road User” to “unprotected” in an attempted to address Perry’s concerns.
Both pieces of legislation are still in committee, but you can contact your representatives anytime, asking her or him to support the bill.
You can find your representatives here. Send them an email asking for support, or one to thank the representatives that authored the bills.
Bike Texas representatives were sure to point out other bills that might concern cyclists.
For more on Cyclists in Suits read the BikeTexas blog, Bike Friendly Richardson blog (Suburban Assault’s photos), or the Pondering Cyclist’s latest post. People for Bikes.org also has a post about one couples expereience at the event. Also, a big thanks to BikeDFW for organizing transportation for everyone in the metroplex.
Bike Friendly Arlington will keep you posted on the status of these bills as news develops.
Subscribe to our newsletter for bike news and events.
Senators re-introduced a bill to the Texas Legislature that would require city planners to consider all modes of transportation — like bicycles and walking — when drafting transportation projects. Sens. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, and Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, filed the “Complete Streets” bill, SB 565, which is identical to Ellis’s bill that failed to leave the Senate in 2011. — Houston Chronicle
Get involved by signing Bike Texas’s Complete Streets petition.
If you’re looking for another way to be more involved, we’ll be the Cyclist in Suits on March 21th. Sign up to join Bike Texas for a bus ride from Dallas or Forth Worth to Austin and speak to your Legislative representatives.
If you’re going down to Austin this week, you can rent a bike for the day or the whole week. — Bike Texas bike rental
Bike Friendly Arlington Events
Tuesday Night Ride. Every Tuesday night we leave from the patio of Twisted Root Burger and Hooligan. We’ll meet at 6:30, but will wait 15 or 30 minutes before leaving.
Saturday, March 16, we’ll take the train to Dallas to ride in the St. Patrick’s Day Bicycle Parade.
Saturday, March 30, we’ll ride from downtown Arlington to Grapevine Lake for a night of camping with other cyclists from the metroplex. There’s a group leaving from North Richland Hills and a group leaving from Dallas.
Sunday, March 31 Come celebrate Bike Friendly Arlington’s birthday for our easter picnic and egg hunt.
Wednesday, April 17, We’ll be at UTA for the campus’s Earth Day activities.
Hit and run in Dallas
Sunday night two cyclists were struck in a hit and run when a driver ran a red light, while the two were on their way home. According to the Dallas Morning News Blog the couple did not receive medical attention at the scene, but later Sean Clancy, who works at the International Bowling Congress in Arlington, was admitted to the emergency room for symptoms of a concussion. Clancy’s fiance Malanie Jarrett told the Morning News that they are both lucky to be alive and probably will want to take action.
According to Dallas Police Spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey said an arrest has not been made yet, even though police have the license plate number. She added that these things take time and an out of date registration could have an inaccurate address. Anyone with questions about the incident can call the communications office at 214-671-4065.
We are urging cycling advocates, and Dallas residents especially, to contact their representatives. Contact all of the city council here, the mayor here or your individual representative here. We’ve drafted a possible letter below, feel free to add comments or write your own.
I’m writing in regard to incident # 0051194-A. This was a hit and run at Gaston and Hall, March 3, 2013. I hope you have someone assigned to bring the driver to justice. This is not an issue of a motor-vehicle accident so much as it is an issue of assault. These two are lucky to be alive. Since you have a license number, then you have a name and address. There’s no good reason not to move forward with it. Thank you for keeping our city and city streets safe.
One a related note, the League of American Bicyclists is asking its members to write the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and insist on a specific national goal to reduce the number of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries or deaths on public roads. The US Department of Transportation is required by law to establish national safety goals, but bikes and pedestrians are not included in those new safety goals. You can add your voice here.
The BBC takes a crack at why motorists hate cyclists.
Brooklyn bike lanes expand as long as support remains.
A recumbent cyclist left Gainesville, Florida last Monday to continue his inspirational 30,000 mile ride around the US.
Cycling and paddling the Trinity River and trails. Trinity Trails blog.
Today join Bike-Friendly Mid-Cities on a short ride with Greek food. Facebook event. We’ll be joining them later this month for a sub 24 hour overnight bicycle camping event. Be sure to check back for more on that.
Tuesday night is our regular weekly night ride.
Saturday is Frankenbike bike swap event in Fort Worth. Join other cyclists from the metroplex to swap bikes and bike stories. The event is at Avoca Coffee from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Also Saturday, ride to Austin from dallas next weekend for SXSFixed. A three-day, 230 mile ride to Austin traditionally only for fixed gear bikes, but all cycles are welcome.
Sunday afternoon join us for our weekly Sunday Funday ride.
As always feel free to point out any news or event we missed in our round up. We know these usually go out on Friday, but we’re going to try Mondays, so you know what to look for the rest of the week. Please, feel free to leave us a comment or send us an email at email@example.com
Bike Friendly Arlington’s second yearly food drive went off with out a hitch last week (except that flat in the first five minutes, thanks for the tube Jeremy). Five dedicated riders took off early in search of the nonperishable foods, to the hundreds of houses where we’d passed out flyers. We averaged about one pick up per-neighbor hood. The ride took most of the morning and Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex was very positive and thanked us many times for our help. We do the drive every year after the holidays so check back in 2014 for more info.
Check in every Friday afternoon for local bike news and events. If you’ve read something we’ve missed, please send us a link in the comment section and we’ll add it to the next roundup.
- Dallas Critical Mass starts at Switching Gears Cyclery and ends at Public Trust contemporary art gallery for Sunday Peoples: A group exhibition for the love of bicycles. — Art and Seek
- Join us in the Saturday February 22 at 9:30 a.m. for our second annual Canned Food
driveBike Ride. We will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Mission Arlington parking lot. 210 W South St, Arlington, TX. The parking lot is on the south side of the building.
Tuesday and Sunday
- Arlington streets need $400 million in repairs. — NBCDFW.com
- Fort Worth Bike Share needs help. Volunteer to ride one of 300 bicycles to launch the bike share program on April 22. Contact — firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cycling Savvy DFW has classes in March and April in both Dallas and Fort Worth. The three-session classes cost $75 dollars and teaches safe cycling on the streets and in traffic.
- Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price’s rolling town hall meetings will continue this spring, starting in March.
- Seattle, Washington considers a fee for cyclists to pay for its $10 billion transportation plan. — Seattle Times
- Bike thefts in Amsterdam are being exported to other countries due to GPS tracking in the bikes. — Bike Europe
Since there are so many great articles out there concerning bicycling, and there’s only so much we can post on Facebook we felt it prudent to start a Weekly News Roundup and together articles, posts, editorials, in one place.
- BikeDFW will host a one-day trip to Austin to give cyclists in the Metroplex an opportunity for speak with their state representatives. Sign up for Cyclists in Suits.
- The first bike of the Fort Worth Bike Sharing fleet arrived this week. FortWorthology has the scoop. (And Austin decides on its bike-share bike.)
- Police in Seattle look for a cyclist who helped save a woman being assaulted in the park. SeattlePI
- Bikes with 5-inch tires are the next big thing in mountain biking.
- NPR tells the story behind a love note written by bicycle.
- Don’t forget! Join us tonight for the monthly Pub Roll. While you’re there, like our facebook page. It’s only five away from 1,000 likes.
If you’ve read something we missed, please link to it in the comments and we’ll add it to the next roundup.
A Texas A&M study found the DFW Metroplex to be the 13th most stress full for our commuters. (Study)
In 2009 a some people in a Colorado city wanted bicycles off the road. This week the Colorado Supreme Court overturned the city of BlackHawk’s ordinance to ban bicycles. (Yahoo)
We all know biking makes you smarter. But the science of why and how is still untapped. (TheAtlantic)
BikeDallas wants to do a critical mass on Central Express way, but the Texas Department of Transportation says they need permission to close the bridge. (CBS Local)
Dallas-based company SCA Promotions Inc. is suing Lance Armstrong for $12 billion in prize money it gave him for three of his Tour de France wins. (SanFranciscoChronicle)
The utility poles on Division St. will be gone soon. (nbcdfw.com)
“A chicken in every pot and a bicycles in every drive way!” A Malta citizen asks the local newspaper why no bicycles for all? (TimesOfMalta)
…And don’t forget to join us at the Trinity Bicycles hosted Bike Swap at Rahr & Sons Brewery this Sunday. You can ride there with us. Or meet at the event. Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. 701 Galveston Ave, Fort Worth, Texas 76104