One of the blogs I follow is one I find hard to read. That’s because it seems like most days BikingInLA usually has coverage of a bicyclist fatality . It’s a major downer for me, and I’m sure everyone. But it’s important to hold the City of Angels and car drivers’ feet to the fire. Also, the author has a ton of other good stuff in there. If you can get past the gloom and doom, it’s worth a read. Here are a few Texas stories I found and thought I’d share with y’all. Thanks, BikingInLA! Keep fighting the good fight.
El Paso Can’t Stripe a Bike Lane Correctly
In El Paso Cyclists Say Bike Lane on Yarbrough Is Too Narrow (KFOX 14), the city re-paved a major road but reduced the bike lane so much that it’s half in the gutters. That’s way too dangerous because you could easily hit the curb or gutter and bounce out into the car lane. So the alternative is to take the lane, which doesn’t sound safe due to high speeds, or ride another road that may not be direct or have any lanes at all. Sounds like the City is looking into it. Way to go for speaking out and getting the media on this one, El Paso riders!
Austin’s Flagship University Hates Cyclists
In UT arguing in Texas Supreme Court to make cyclists trespassers on all government-owned land (Daily Texan), the University of Texas at Austin (where A Dude lives) is being ridiculous. Basically, a woman was riding on part of the campus, got hit by a UT truck, had her wrist broken, and then sued. The burnt orange college is appealing to the Texas Supreme Court a lower court’s decision to not toss the case.
This is stupid, because it would mean unless you’re a student, faculty,s taff or invited guest, if you bike on UT (public college) property and get hit, you would have no claim. Shirking responsibility, much, Longhorns? This one will hopefully lose and she’ll get some damages. And the rights of anyone riding through the 40 acres will be protected if someone hurts or kills another cyclist. Anthony John Garcia was killed by a city bus on campus in an area where there have been plans to build bike lanes for a long time. Just do it, UT!
San Antonio Starts New Bike Advocacy Group
In New Nonprofit Hopes to Save Lives of Cyclists (Spectrum News), bike riders in San Antonio, down the road a fair piece from Austin, are gearing up to speak up for their rights. Live to Ride is the name of the organization that is a collaboration between the City, two cycling groups and two foundations. Their mission is to: “build public awareness in the endeavor to share the road, while supporting innovative grantmaking to move San Antonio toward safer streets.”
This is great news because it’s a huge city that has a number of highways cutting it into pieces, and they are lagging behind in terms of their master plan. With the death of bike shop owner and another prominent cyclist, emotions are raw and maybe the powers that be are ready to listen. Sounds like the Mayor’s on board so we’ll see how they do. I met a few activists at the Bike Texas Summit, and to hear them tell it, they have their work cut out for them. This grant and collaboration should help save lives.
Houston Is Building Miles of Bike Lanes
In Houston Powers Ahead on Bike Lanes (Next City), the huge city is adding 50 miles of bike lanes within a year to separate cyclists from cars. If you’ve ever been to Houston you know it’s a sprawling metropolis. The article says it covers 627 square miles, and quite alot of that is freeways and streets with no bike facilities. Why are they doing this? Sympathetic mayors responding to the agitation from the great activists at Bike Houston, naturally.
We heard about this at the Texas Bike Summit as well. With a bond election of $66 million from 2012, they are building 150 miles of trails connecting east-west alnog the nine bayous. Now, the vision is 700 miles of bike lanes and another 450 miles of trails. That from a town that had one bike lane downtown. People are starting to use the dockless bikes as well, driving demand for safer facilities. In time, Houston will begin to catch up with other cities if not pass and lead the way.
Ride of Silence In Dozens of Texas Towns
TexBiker.net routinely publishes all kinds of news from around the state — including re-posting a number of blogs by A Dude Abikes. He’s compiled a list of all 21 (!!!) of the Texas cities hosting a Ride of Silence on May 15, the international day to remember bicyclists injured or killed by traffic violence (cars, trucks, buses, etc.) Here’s the link to this post, but I’m trusting he won’t mind if I include the list here:
- Fort Worth
- Midland / Odessa
- San Antonio
There’s certainly other news from Dallas, Fort Worth, Laredo, and more. I hope you enjoyed this taste of Texas bicycling storie. I’ll look into more good news to share from outside of Austin. If you’re in Texas, send me your bike news!
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