Archive for the ‘News’ Category

ImageHere’s the group after the parade. Big thanks to everyone who came out to ride with us! It was great to see some new faces and old friends. 
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Here’s the group again, but with Ben Franklin this time. 

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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.

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The Dallas and Arlington group slept in on Sunday morning, but clearly we are energized! Next time, we’ll get the group picture the night before.

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.

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Fueling up for the ride!

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.

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Some of the Dallas crew, some of the Arlington crew and some of the Mid-Cities crew pose for a picture with the delicious cupcakes. BFMC cyclist Lisa Tilley made a batch of “BFF,” butter finger forever and S240 s’mores just for the camping trip!

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. 

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Super cyclist Tony Tennant gives a big smile while he prepares the fire wood for the night. In the background the Bike Friendly Mid-cities group’s bikes rest on a pole (yes, that IS a cargo bike on the left).

 

asdf

Disappointment.

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: robert.cluck@arlingtontx.gov, charlie.parker@arlingtontx.gov, sheri.capehart@arlingtontx.gov, robert.rivera@arlingtontx.gov, lana.wolff@arlingtontx.gov, robert.shepard@arlingtontx.gov, michael.glaspie@arlingtontx.gov, jimmy.bennett@arlingtontx.gov, kathryn.wilemon@arlingtontx.gov

CC: Bikefriendlyarlington@gmail.com

Subject: I support implementing the Hike & Bike Plan

Cyclists in Suits Recap

ImageLast week more than sixty cyclists from across the state went to Austin to advocate for bike legislation at the capitol building.

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.

The two pieces of legislation we focused on were Complete Streets (HB 1102 / SB 565) and Safe Passing (HB 2225 / SB 1515).  All have bipartisan support and are still their respective committees.

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.

Safe Passing was authored by Rodney Ellis. The house version was authored by Linda Harper-Brown, Armando Martinez, and Ruth McClendon.

 

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. 

HB 307 Requiring a red rear light for cyclists. 
SB 28 / HB 36 Banning texting while driving 
SB 1693 Managing federal and state funds for the Texas Safe Routes to Schools program

 

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.

News Round Up

News

Bike Texas recaps the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C.  and the League of American Bicyclists has a photo slide show.

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.

News Round up

 

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.

 

News

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.

 

Events

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.

Wednesday the weekly rolling town hall meetings with Mayor Betsy Price continue. Full list of those events are on the Dallas city website.

Friday is Cycling Savvy DFW’s March workshop in Dallas.

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 bikefriendlyarlington@gmail.com

 

 

Thanks for biking the vote last month.

Congratulations to Mrs. Capehart (D2), Mr. Shephard (D6), Mr. Bennett (D7), and Mr. Glaspie (D8) on their electoral victories.

But wait… It’s not over for those in District 1.

There’s a runoff between Mr. Charlie Parker and Mr.  Bill Verkest.

At a Glance are the candidates bike friendly?

Charlie Parker – No

Bill Verkest – Yes

Vote tomorrow (Saturday June 23rd) if you haven’t already

Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. In total, there are six voting locations in District 1.

Nichols Jr. High – 2001 Ascension Blvd
Northeast Library – 1905 E Brown Blvd
Pope Elementary – 901 Chestnut Dr
Shackelford Jr. High – 2000 N Fielder
Sherrod Elementary – 2626 Lincoln Dr
Webb Elementary – 1200 N Cooper St.

We think there should be a bike limbo competition instead of an election, but our calls to the city secretary’s office were never returned.low rider

Source: Acme Bikes

 

Am I in District 1? Here is a district map. A bigger version can be found here.

More Info

The City’s secretary has campaign finance information here. You can learn about all the candidates through the Chamber of Commerce’s website: VoteforArlington.com. The League of Women Voters has a good candidate handout (PDF).

And here are some news articles that can inform you on the positions of various candidates and what they’ve said to the press:

Star Telegram

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Bike the Vote 2012!

Election Day is Saturday, May 12th, but early voting is going on now (every day!) and lasts till Tuesday, May 8th. See our post on early voting information.

Considering that only 10, 514 people or 5% of registered voters actually voted in last years election, it cannot be stressed enough that a few votes can have a drastic impact on an Arlington election.

And the stakes are high again this year considering that the main opposition to bicycle infrastructure, Buddy Saunders, has come out in support of several candidates that could unseat incumbents that voted for the plan, but also fill vacancies that would allow for anti-bike infrastructure voices to influence future infrastructure decisions.

About the Candidates

While we are not going to tell you who to vote for or endorse specific candidates, we will provide a summary of what they have said in response to our short questionnaire about bicycle transportation, and in the absence of a response to our questionnaire, sourced quotes, and past voting records.

Address specific (only those in the district can vote)

At-large (everyone votes)

What’s my district? Here is a district map. The online version, including the incumbents can be found on the city’s webpage here.

More Info

The City’s secretary has campaign finance information here. You can learn about all the candidates through the Chamber of Commerce’s website: VoteforArlington.com. The League of Women Voters has a good candidate handout (PDF).

And here are some news articles that can inform you on the positions of various candidates and what they’ve said to the press:

Star Telegram

The Shorthorn

GO VOTE – Polling Locations

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Election Day is May 12th, but early voting runs from April 30th to May 8th (every day!).

The best part about early voting is that you can vote at any polling location within Tarrant County (on election day you have to go to your local polling place)!

Here are the dates for early voting:

Monday, April 30th
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday, May 1st
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday, May 2nd
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, May 3rd
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, May 4th
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, May 5th
7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, May 6th
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Monday, May 7th
7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday, May 8th
7:00 am – 7:00 pm

And here are the locations in Arlington (check out the full list here) (and our map here):

Bob Duncan Center 2800 South Center Street
Elzie Odom Recreation Center 1601 NE Green Oaks Boulevard
Center for Community Service
Junior League of Arlington
4002 W Pioneer Parkway
South Service Center 1100 SW Green Oaks Boulevard
Tarrant County Sub-Courthouse 700 E Abram Street

On the ballot for this election (see your personalized sample ballot here)

Grab your ID or voter registration card and come out and let your voice be heard in the polling booth!
More details available from Tarrant County Elections.

Since there are so many great articles out there concerning bicycling and there’s only so much we can post on Facebook here’s a blog post of bike related articles, editorials, events. If you’ve read something on the interwebs we missed, please link to it in the comments and we’ll add it to the next roundup.  

 Norwood Lane – Ribbon Cutting: Saturday April 7th (Facebook)

Wider Faster does not make better (Streetsblog)

Cyclists hit the road as gas prices rise (CNN)

What makes gas prices go up (New York Times)

Irving PD looking for driver who hit bicyclist & fled (WFAA)

Bicycle Symbolism – Towards the Future (Copenhagenize)




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