It’s that time of year again. It’s the time to AVOID all the big crowds at the shopping mall, work off that Thanksgiving dinner and have a fun ride around town.
You are invited to attend Bike Friendly Richardson‘s SEVENTH (that’s right, 7th) annual Black Friday Ride. Started seven years ago as the inaugural ride that launched Bike Friendly Richardson (which makes us 6 years old), the Black Friday Ride gives folks an alternative way to kick off the holiday season. This is a casual paced ride that will explore many of the different route options available to Richardson cyclists. We will ride on back-roads, side-streets, multi-purpose trails and available bike lanes.
Come on out to the Richardson Heights Shopping Center, enjoy a tasty lunch at Haystack Burgers, The Taco Joint or one of the many fine restaurants in the area. We’ll meet in front of the Alamo Drafthouse around 1:00 pm.
The route will be similar to last years, with the addition of a fun rest stop. More details to come.
Because Richardson is such a Bike Friendly Community, we thought it would be great to hold a couple of Traffic Skills 101 classes this fall.
Traffic Skills 101 (TS101) gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. Through TS101, students learn how to conduct bicycle safety checks, fix a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques. We recommended this class for adults and children above age fourteen. The curriculum is fast-paced, and prepares cyclists for a full understanding of cycling on Richardson streets.
Traffic Skills 101 Curriculum
Part I: The Basics
• The Bicycle
• Maintenance Basics
• Clothing and Equipment
• Bicycle Handling
Part II: Bicycling in Traffic
• Your Role in Traffic
• Avoiding Crashes
• Hazard Avoidance Maneuvers
Part III: Enjoying the Ride
• Riding Enjoyment
• Ride Etiquette
• Helping Motorists Share the Road
Required to participate in this class:
– Bicycle in good working condition
– Helmet that fits
– Completion of online portion of course – info provided upon registration
– Cash for lunch
There will be 2 classes available:
Date: Saturday, September 12, 2015
Time: 9:00a.m. – 3:30p.m.
Location: Huffhines Recreation Center – 200 N. Plano Rd., Richardson, TX 75081
Date: Saturday, October 17, 2015
Time: 9:00a.m. – 3:30p.m.
Location: Heights Recreation Center – 711 W Arapaho Rd., Richardson, TX 75080
All tuition will be used to cover class expenses. Any remaining funds will be rolled back into the BFR education program.
Go here to register. Sorry. There is no deep link to this class. You’ll need to click on the “Adult” category in the side menu.
It was one thing to be honored with becoming the 5th city in Texas, and the first city in north Texas, to be recognized as a Bike Friendly Community. It was even better to actually have a League of American Bicyclists Board Member present us our certification, in person.
Gail Spann, one of the most active and influential board members of the League, also happens to live in north Texas. Instead of sending a League staff member from Washington D.C., Gail came out to personally congratulate Richardson residents and the Richardson City Council for a very difficult accomplishment. We are privileged to to get such a personal visit to welcome us into a growing community of exceptional bike friendly cities.
There is now a sign that marks our designation, that is installed in front the west entrance to City Hall. I would love to see these pop up at every road leading into the city.
With the announcement of 42 new and renewing BFCs today, Richardson joins a leading group of communities, in all 50 states, that are transforming our neighborhoods.
“We applaud this new round of communities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their residents and beyond,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “The growing number of leaders taking up bicycling as a way of solving many complex community problems is encouraging. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a bicycle-friendly America for everyone.”
The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this impressive round, there are now 350 BFCs in all 50 states. The Bronze BFC award recognizes Richardson’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
This is a big deal in north Texas. Even though many cities in the area – including Fort Worth, Plano and Frisco – have received an Honorable Mention, Richardson is the first north Texas city to be recognized as a Bike Friendly Community. With it’s many bike lanes, growing trail network and interconnecting neighborhoods, this is a well deserved recognition.
There were many other variables involved in earning this status, including a great city management team – encouraged by a city council with a vision to create a great city. Richardson is also growing a strong bike community – supported by local and regional advocates like Bike Friendly Richardson and BikeDFW.
Richardson is just getting started. They’re hoping that Bronze is just a stepping stone to an even better, more robust bike community. They also hope to see that the many great efforts of their neighboring cities get recognized by the League as well.
We hope that this recognition becomes a way to motivate other north Texas cities to work harder to become bike friendly as well. Let’s keep this momentum going.
Earlier last month was the Bike League’s National Bike To Work Day. For the fourth year, Bike Friendly Richardson, worked with BikeDFW and DART to set up a bike commuter Energizer Station at DART‘s Arapaho rail station in Richardson.
Because interest in these stations continues to grow, BikeDFW and DART were able to set up another 9 stations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area, including Plano, Garland, Irving, Addison, Carrollton, Oak Cliff, and two locations in Downtown Dallas. Unfortunately, May was a really wet month, with record rainfall in our area. Bike To Work Day, was no exception. Reports came back that those stations had less success greeting bicycle commuters than previous years.
The Richardson station was still pretty successful. We had a dozen bike commuters stop by our Energizer Station, where we provided them with snacks and breakfast tacos. We also handed out lots of swag donated by DART and NCTCOG as well as energy bars provided KIND. Richardson Bike Mart was out to do bicycle safety checks.
Although it was a lighter turnout than we had hoped, it’s still apparent that folks around the Dallas area are starting to look at bicycle commuting as an viable form of alternate transportation – which most feel is hard to do in a city built for cars. Because of this, we will continue to host these stations on Bike To Work Day – rain or shine.
Here are a few pics from the Richardson event:
Mark your calendars! Friday, May 15, 2015 is The League of American Cyclists‘ National Bike To Work Day. IF there is ever a day to ride to work, make it this day. Think about the positive statement we’ll be making as cyclists, safely using an alternate form of transportation.
Based on our great success in Richardson 3 years ago, which grew to 5 stations around Dallas 2 years ago, and up to 9 stations last year, BikeDFW, DART and local bike groups, like Bike Friendly Richardson, have partnered up to host another 9 Bike Commuter Energizer Stations around the Dallas/Fort Worth area – including the original stop at Arapaho Station.
Richardson Energizer Station info:
LOCATION: RICHARDSON – DART Arapaho Station
DATE: Friday, May 15, 2015
TIME: 6:30-9:00 am
We will be providing snacks, beverages and FREE bicycle safety checks at most stations.
Let us know you are coming on our Facebook Event Page.
MORE DETAILS TO COME.
We now have all the City Council candidate replies to our survey at the link below:
On Monday, April 20, 2015 Richardson City Staff presented their Bike Plan to Richardson City Council. The presentation was a combination recap of what they’ve done, as well as their next steps.
It was nice to see how important bicycling is to our city officials and how they continue to see the value of what it brings to our community. It was also nice to see that our little grassroots, advocacy group has been recognized—not only for what we’ve done, but also as a partner moving forward.
You can catch the presentation, online. Click the link below and go to Item D in the list:
The video shows Michael Spicer, Director of Development Services and Lori Smeby, Director of Parks and Recreation. Dave Carter, Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic – who helped put it together – was there as well.
The were lots of people who were engaged in the conversation, but we really appreciate our City Council’s positive reception of the Bike Plan and their enthusiastic support of cycling in Richardson. Thank you Laura Gibbs Maczka, Bob Townsend, Mark Solomon, Scott Dunn, Kendal Hartley, Paul Voelker and Steve Mitchell.
This is a great opportunity to have a voice for all people who ride bikes. We should work to build our community as a diverse group with a broad perspective. If you have any friends or neighbors who are interested but concerned about cycling, please invite them to join our Facebook page, engage our City and be part of the conversation.
This is an exciting time to live in our city and we look forward to the next steps.
Last weekend, the City of Richardson held their annual Trash Bash event, recruiting volunteers and organizations, from all over the city, to help pick up trash and get the city clean. Motivated by the success of our own trail cleanup day, Bike Friendly Richardson stepped up to participate.
We took on the Spring Creak Nature Preserve area, located on the southeast side of Renner Road and Central Expressway. The Preserve, with it’s scenic trails, is frequently visited area by cyclists – which made it the obvious location to focus our efforts.
Overall, we had 11 adults and 4 kids show up to help, and we filled about 8-10 bags. It was nice to give back to the city and care for the amenities that make this community so great.
Here are some pics of our volunteers:
There is a city election coming up. Richardson residents must choose the office holders for City Council. The election will be held on May 9, 2015, but early voting will start on April 27, 2015.
As an advocacy group, Bike Friendly Richardson does not have any official endorsement for any of the candidates. However, as Richardson residents who bike, we were concerned about each candidate’s position on bicycling issues. We sent each a questionnaire covering several bicycling topics, and many of them sent in their responses. We will post those responses on our blog so that people who bike in Richardson can have a perspective of who they are voting for. Don’t forget to vote!
Here’s a link to the List of Candidates
In this post, we will hear from Rick Wilder and Bob Townsend, who are competing for Place 1, and Mabel Simpson (running against Claudia Tatum for Place 4); as well as unopposed candidates Paul Voelker (Place 5), and Scott Dunn (Place 3). Thank you for your thoughtful participation in our survey.
EDITED TO ADD: Claudia Tatum and Mark Solomon’s responses appear below.
EDITED TO ADD: Steve Mitchell’s responses have been added below. Steve explained in an email that he is in the tax business, and now that tax season is over, he was able to respond to the questions.
THANK YOU to all Council members and new Candidates!