On this Martin Luther King Day, I’m still thinking about the death of an African-American cyclist, Merry “Cookie” Daye. She was killed in the bike lane in a hit and run in December. On the 50th anniversary of MLK’s death, I wrote a blog about him (MLK On a Bike, The Struggle for Justice, and My First Bicycle Consulting Client). Transportation justice is a real thing, since we cyclists are treated like second-class citizens. In Cookie’s case, the authorities have still not found the murderer.
I’ve been thinking about the fact that there appears to be little coordination among the various non-profit bike groups here in Austin, Texas. The group of advocates seems like a small community; the things I get to tend to have the same few advocates. And many do different things. But as a first step to possibly bringing them together in a coalition, I thought I would list the ones I know.
- Austin Yellow Bike Project
- Bicycle Advisory Council
- Bike Austin
- Bike Texas
- Bikes Across Borders
- Central Texas Families for Safer Streets
- Farm and City
- Ghisallo Cycling Initiative
- Please Be Kind to Cyclists
- Smart Trips Austin
- Social Cycling Austin
- Vision Zero ATX
Austin Yellow Bike Project
Yellow Bike Project is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has been working since 1997 to get more bikes on the streets of Austin by operating community bike shops, teaching bike mechanics and maintenance, and acting as a local bike advocacy group. https://austinyellowbike.org/
Bicycle Advisory Council
The purpose of the City of Austin Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC) is to advise the City of Austin and other jurisdictions on all matters relating to the use of the bicycle. They meet monthly on the third Tuesday at City Hall, 6-7 pm. http://www.austintexas.gov/department/bicycle-advisory-council
A merger of Austin Cycling Association and League of Austin Bicyclists, this group does advocacy, education and rides. Their big annual event is Bike to Work Day in May. Bike Austin improves quality of life for all of Austin and Central Texas by growing bicycling as a form of transportation, exercise, and recreation. https://bikeaustin.org
Also known as the Texas Bicycle Coalition, they encourage and promote bicycling, increased safety, and improved conditions; unite and inspire people; and provide a cohesive voice for people who ride bikes in Texas. Working statewide, they advocate for legislation at the state level like the three foot passing law, access to trails, ebike rules, and slower speed limits on neighborhood streets. Cyclists in Suits is their biannual lobby day. https://www.biketexas.org/
Bikes Across Borders
An annual trip from Austin to either the border of Mexico or Monterrey, this group grew out of Bikes Not Bombs. It’s affiliated with the Yellow Bike Project, and currently I don’t find a current website for them. This link is to a 10-minute video about the group. https://www.pbs.org/video/ut-student-productions-east-austin-stories-presents-bikes-across-borders/
Central Texas Families for Safer Streets
This group was organized 2017 by a group of families who joined together to turn their grief into action and promote safer roadway throughout Austin and Central Texas area. Many of the members have either lost family members or been injured in traffic crashes and seek to prevent others from experiencing this same pain. They believe our roadways are not safe and they advocate making change that will save lives. On-going efforts will eventually include a range of support services for others who have lost a loved one, been injured, or are caring for someone injured in a traffic crash. It is a project VisionZero ATX. https://www.facebook.com/CentralTexasFamiliesforSafeStreets/
Farm & City
While not specifically bicycle-oriented, this small group is committed to high quality urban and rural human habitat in Texas in perpetuity which also started in 2017. I know them as advocates for Vision Zero to be adopted by various cities and organizing the annual Day of Remembrance for Victims of Traffic Violence. They want the Texas transportation decision- making system to include everyone and they also work to advance transit in the state. http://www.farmandcity.org/
Ghisallo Cycling Initiative
They envision a community where youth become expert cyclists who grow to become lifelong, safety-conscious riders. Their primary mission is to develop youth who safely and expertly integrate bicycling into their daily lives, to teach participants self-sufficient cycling skills, and to facilitate the experience needed for youth cyclists to be peer leaders. http://ghisallo.org
Please Be Kind to Cyclists
This group was created after its founder was severely injured by a car crash. They have worked with policy-makers and community members to raise awareness and promote mutual respect between drivers and cyclists on the road, creating healthier and more harmonious communities. They put out a bumper sticker and have some good videos on their site. http://www.bekindtocyclists.org/
Smart Trips Austin
The Smart Trips Austin program is a join project of the City of Austin and Capital Metro. It is designed to help Austinites find transportation solutions that work for everyday trips. Whether it’s riding the bus, carpooling, biking, walking, or trying one of our city’s ever-expanding mobility options, they help people get around—and avoid traffic in the process. Smart Trips Austin hosts free events like transit adventures, walking tours, and bike rides; offers transportation information and resources; and provides one-on-one personalized support. https://smarttripsaustin.org/about/
Social Cycling Austin
Predominantly a collection of fun bike rides, SCA is listed because they also do Rides of Silence for victims of car crashes. https://www.facebook.com/socialcyclingaustin/
Vision Zero ATX
Vision Zero is the simple idea that every death and serious injury in traffic is preventable. People will make mistakes, but those mistakes should not lead to anyone losing their life or being severely hurt. Motivated by the desire to reduce the danger of the roadways, citizens of Austin have been working to provide information, change culture and influence policy. Membership is made up of individuals passionate about creating safe streets. http://visionzertoatx.org
Well, that’s what I’ve found. Let me know if you know of a group I’ve left off. You can join, support and donate to these groups. Happy and safe biking!
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