Stop everything – call Senator Hutchison about bike funding now!

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

The League of American Bicyclists sent this to one of our board members.  It could not be more urgent for everyone who supports bicycle infrastructure, in light of Michael Tripp McNair’s horrific accident with a vehicle and is currently fighting for his life.  He was a meticulously observant vehicular cyclist who followed all rules and still was hit by a car.

PLEASE follow the instructions below to contact Senator Hutchinson:

Dear Fellow Cyclist,
I woke up this morning with a true sense of urgency: I couldn’t bear to see 20 years of progress swept away without trying everything to save biking and walking in the Transportation bill. I hope I can share that sense of urgency with you and ask you to take just a couple of minutes to call Senator Hutchison – today. Right now.

An e-mail may not be enough – please call the district office for your Senator.

Senator Hutchison plays a key role in this debate. Please let her know that bicycle and pedestrian safety is important to you – and 83% of Americans. Urge her to pass a transportation bill that incorporates the bicycle and pedestrian provisions passed in the Senate’s bipartisan transportation bill (MAP-21).
If you need more information, please read these pieces, and share them with your friends.
Thank you so much for your action on behalf of bicycle and pedestrian safety and access.
Sincerely,
Andy Clarke
President, League of American Bicyclists

Call Senator Hutchison at 214-361-3500 then click through to our action center to let us know that you called, and what response you received.

Talking points:
  • As your constituent I am calling today to urge you to pass a transportation bill that preserves funding for important bicycling and walking programs
  • Local communities must have access to these funds to ensure that safe bicycling and walking condition are provided to save lives
  • Over 4,212 pedestrians died in Texas between 2001 and 2010.
  • Having saddled communities with unsafe streets, it would be the height of cruelty for Congress now to take away resources from local communities trying to improve those conditions and save lives.
  • Please let me know where Senator Hutchison stands on this important issue

The First Lady Learns About Oak Cliff Bicycle and Better Block Projects

February 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

Last night, my wife and I were invited to have dinner with the First Lady Michelle Obama along with six other moms and dads to talk about our community initiatives to promote greater health and fitness for children. It was an amazing night and we were honored to have the opportunity to brag about all of the wonderful bike/ped projects in Oak Cliff like iBikeRosemont and the Better Block project.

The Dallas Observer has posted our recap of the dinner here.

Save Safe Routes to School!

February 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

We need as many of you as possible to write your congressman to oppose the recent House Transportation bill that removes Safe Routes to School, and bicycle infrastructure funding. We’ve come too far to have the clock turned back now on our nation’s infrastructure. The League of American Bicyclists has created a simple email form here. Simply type in your zip code and it will help draft a letter that can be emailed to your representative.

All Major US Cities beating Dallas for on-street bike infrastructure

December 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

The Dallas Observer has posted several articles recently highlighting the struggle our city has in installing a single mile worth of on street bike facilities. Meanwhile, the above graphic is from the Detroit Free Press highlighting the fact that even the “Motor City” has begun buildout of multiple miles worth of onstreet bike lanes.

Below is a list of the top 30 US cities by population…of all the cities listed, Dallas is the only one with no on-street bike lanes. Also, of the cities listed, almost half have upped the ante by applying for and receiving official “Bike Friendly Communities” status from the League of American Bicyclists, which means they have shown a high dedication to the LAB’s “5 E’s”: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning.

Another noteworthy point is that all of the US “World-Class” Cities (NYC, LA, SF, Chicago) , as well as some of the top US destinations (Boston, Denver, Austin, Portland) are on the BFC list.

1. New York (LAB Silver)
2. Los Angeles (LAB Honorable Mention)
3. Chicago (LAB BF Silver)
4. Houston
5. Philadelphia
6. Phoenix (LAB Honorable Mention)
7. San Antonio
8. San Diego
9. Dallas Only US City without on street bicycle infrastructure
10. San Jose
11. Jacksonville
12. Indianapolis
13. San Francisco (LAB Gold)
14. Austin (LAB Silver)
15. Columbus
16. Fort Worth
17. Charlotte (LAB Bronze)
18. Detroit
19. El Paso
20. Memphis (LAB Honorable Mention)
21. Baltimore (LAB Bronze)
22. Boston (LAB Silver)
23. Seattle (LAB Gold)
24. Washington (LAB Silver)
25. Nashville
26. Denver (LAB Silver)
27. Louisville
28. Milwaukee
29. Portland (LAB Platinum)
30. Las Vegas

In related news, Dallas was ranked 5th in the nation for highest rates of heart disease and obesity in the country by Prevention Magazine, with the comment “despite its big city status, only 7% of Dallas residents’ trips are taken by foot or bike, according to the Alliance for Biking and Walking.” Given our lack of bicycle infrastructure, this is understandable.

2% of cities existing street funds would create 100 miles of bike lanes

December 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

 

2010/2011 Capital Budget

We’re pulling together our “Best of” list for the year at BFOC, but before that hits the blog we thought  we’d post this tidbit:

According to a Dallas Morning News chart, the city of Dallas capital budget for Streets and Thoroughfares for 2010/2011 was $142,304,779. The recently adopted bike plan notes that one mile worth of bike lanes is $30,000. If we took merely 2% of the existing budget, we’d be able to stripe approximately 100 miles worth of bike lanes throughout the city.

In related news, New York City just announced that bicycling has doubled within 4 years…in that same time period, the city installed 260 miles worth of bike lanes.

NYC Ridership

Harvard Study: “Pedaling in traffic 28 times more likely to hurt you than sticking to a bike lane”

February 10, 2011 § 3 Comments

The Daily posted an article on a recently announced study by the Harvard School of Public Health noting what we already see in Europe;  separated bike lanes increase ridership and reduce accidents. The full study can be found  here. What’s most impressive is that Scottsdale, Arizona now has 339 miles worth of separated bike lanes and is requiring all repavings to incorporate bicycle infrastructure. This study is timely given the Dallas Bike Plan adoption in April. We hope to see similar strides that cities like NYC, Minneapolis, and Scottsdale have made.

NYC’s Transit Director Profiled in Esquire

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

(Image from Esquire.com)

Janette Sadik-Kahn, the head of NYC’s Department of Transportation, was profiled in this month’s Esquire magazine.  Janette is responsible for the incredible pedestrian plaza, and bike network that has sprung up in less than 5 years.  Her era of city redevelopment has reduced traffic accidents to historic lows,  increased bicycle ridership exponentially, and shown major reductions in bike casualties.

The article goes on to site that businesses are seeing major increases in economics, all while increasing quality of life measures. For anyone who visited the city 5 years ago, and returns now, they’ll notice an entirely different landscape. The changes have not been without some consternation.  With over 250 miles of bike lanes installed in relatively short order,  it would be hard to not see some people take up opposition, but what the article details well, is that these changes have real numbers that back why the infrastructure is worthwhile.  The road system we built out in 50 years took little notice of how neighborhoods formed and how they needed to grow. The new movement now taking place across the nation focuses more on what makes a city heatlthy, econonically viable, and sustainable. There will be growing pains as everyone adjusts, but the end result is a city that is active, alive, and accessible to everyone from ages 8 to 88.

Texas Custom Bicycle Show next week

October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

For those who won’t be in Dallas for Cyclesomatic next week (Oct. 16-17), Austin is holding the third annual Texas Custom Bicycle Show, organized by Dallas’s own Daltex bikes. Along with Daltex, three of the other framebuilders  are from DFW, as well as the high performance bike light manufacturer Trail LED.
Day one is at Austin Music Hall and Day two is at an outdoor venue in Austin with daylong cyclocross racing as the show’s backdrop. More details here.

Dallas Bike Ridership Up 219%

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hat tip to Howard Draper of Bike Friendly Denton for forwarding us the latest report from the League of American Bicyclists noting the rates of bicycle ridership in the 70 largest cities in the US. While Dallas still ranks low for overall ridership, we had the highest percentage increase of all the cities ranked with a 219% uptick from 2008 to 2009.  FWIW, BFOC launched in 2008…not that there’s a direct correlation, but we like to think our efforts are helping raise awareness and ridership. See the full list here.

NYC’s bike lanes reducing injuries by 50% for all modes of transit and bringing out more riders

September 24, 2010 Comments Off


 

This is an inspiring video from StreetFilms where they’ve interviewed women who have begun taking up bicycling in greater numbers in NYC. Dallas’ bike consultant, Peter Lagerway, mentioned that bicycle infrastructure brings out more cyclists, but seeing it here first hand is heartening.

The other incredible statistic is that injury rates for ALL modes of transit have decreased as much as 50% where bike lanes are present. We noted from our recent visit to NYC that the reason for injury reduction was not only the heightened awareness due to the greater number of cyclists on the street, but also that with bicycle infrastructure present cyclists rode at a slower pace. Excessive speed is one of the greatest threats to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers and noting the natural calming of traffic speeds has dramatically changed the psychology of the streets so much so that people who would never have bicycled before, have begun to hop on the saddle. Portland stated this as well, that the fearless cyclists made up approximately 2% of their overall ridership, while the other 98% which gave their community one of the highest cycling rates in the nation, was due to accommodating those who were uncomfortable riding in traffic.

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