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:
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.
Richardson continues to impress us with their network of great bike and pedestrian access routes throughout the city. As part of that, we have some really nice multi-purpose trails. However, over time and through excessive usage, they have’ve gotten covered in litter, animal waste and broken glass. Instead of complaining about the mess, Bike Friendly Richardson decided to take the maintenance and care of our trail network into our own hands.
We scheduled our first, hopefully of many, Trail Clean Up Days. Given such short notice, and everybody’s busy schedules, our first turnout wasn’t that great. We did get a few volunteers from all around the city, as well as somebody from our neighboring city, Plano. The plan was to try and fill as many trash bags (provided by the city) as possible in two hours.
Overall, we were pretty successful in filling 8-10 bags—not bad for a small group of people. Think about what we could have accomplished with more volunteers. There was still a lot more trash on the trail that we couldn’t get to. Perhaps we’ll get it all the next time.
Our goal is to do this more often than not—hopefully in other parts of the city as well. We only hope is that we’ve inspired other people to get out there and care for the public areas near them. This is our city, and we need to take responsibility for it.
When we started Bike Friendly Richardson, in December 2009, our original goal was to follow in the footsteps of Bike Friendly Oak Cliff. Although our core beliefs are still the same, over the last 5 years, our focus has evolved to better fit the needs of the cycling community in Richardson.
We are a group of bicycle advocates promoting the continued creation of better cycling facilities and improved infrastructure in Richardson. Our main focus is on education and increasing the ridership of those wanting to ride for transportation and pleasure over sport.
• Increase bicycle ridership
• Increase bicycle education
• Increase bicycle awareness
• Increase bicycle safety
Our concentration will always be with Richardson cycling, but we share our advocacy with all of our DFW neighbors.
We’ve accomplished many things over the years, but there are many more goals coming in 2015:
• Working with the City of Richardson to get Bike Friendly recognition from the League of American Bicyclists
• Working with the City of Richardson to get better bike parking and bike parking policy
• Working with the City of Richardson to get a safe passing ordinance passed
• Working with BikeDFW to bring more education courses to local riders
• We will strive to host and/or promote more social events and rides
I had forgotten all about this, until I ran across the pic in my photo stream.
A few years back, during the construction of one of Richardson’s bike trails, I buried a “Bike Friendly Richardson” pin in the ground before they laid the cement. I’m calling it a time capsule of positive thinking. Hopefully, many years from now – when they dig it up to widen the trail – somebody will see that we cared about cycling back then.
Thanks to Bruce, over at the Bike Friendly Richardson Facebook page, for spotting the new Bike Lanes on the eastern section of Collins Boulevard – in Richardson, Texas. Although not complete, lacking ‘bike’ markings on the pavement and ‘bike lane’ signage, they are ready for riding. Eventually, these bike lanes will continue east, into the Yale Park neighborhood, where more bike lanes are scheduled for Yale Boulevard. Unfortunately, the bike lanes will not continue west, right now, and connect to the other bike lanes on the western section of Collins.
We got word from the City of Richardson‘s Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic, Dave Carter, who reports:
This Bike Lane will connect from Alma all the way to Jupiter. The portion east of Plano Rd is being paid for with Safe Route To School (SRTS) funding. The western half is Richardson funding. We wanted to get it all done at the same time. There is a new trail that will be going in adjacent to the Apartments under construction that will connect from Alma down to Greenville. There is also trail along Alma that will lead down to the Arapaho DART station so getting this Bike Lane in now really connects quite a few projects.
As for the Collins bridge over US75 – we don’t have enough funding to make all the improvements we need yet. However, we will be adding some “Bikes may use Full Lane” signs and sharrow markings across the bridge for now.
Having these bike lanes opens this part of Collins Boulevard for many cyclists who wouldn’t usually attempt to ride on this road. This creates a great connection between east Richardson neighborhoods and the Central Trail – as well as many other parts of Richardson.
As you can see from the map we’ve made of completed bike lanes, the City of Richardson is doing a great job at making bike connections all around town.
UPDATE: Apologies. I had the map set to private. It should be visible to all now.
Increased bike parking has always been one of the goals of Bike Friendly Richardson. More bike parking provides incentive for folks to ride their bikes to local destinations, like parks, libraries and local businesses. We have a great city to ride, and now it’s time to work harder on our destinations.
Recently, we were asked by City Council member, Scott Dunn, to present information about creating a functional and comprehensive bike parking plan that would benefit, not only cyclists, but local business owners as well as the city. Bike Friendly Richardson‘s new Bike Parking Initiative’s lead, Mark Adams, was able to present a brief introduction to a bigger plan that will, hopefully, pave the way to a system of well designed and well placed bike racks that will encourage more cycling around town.
Along with some shared input from other local cyclists, Mark has done some extensive research into the world of reliable, sensible and secure bike parking, and we will be sharing that information with city council, staff and developers. We hope to follow in the footsteps of other great cities and incorporate a bike parking component into future building ordinances. We would also love to have the City as a supporter in our crusade to ask existing local businesses to consider investing in bike parking as well.
Although not entirely complete, this trail will eventually provide a much needed extension to the existing Central Trail North. Scheduled to be finished within the next few weeks, the Central Trail will be a complete route that reaches from the northern end of the city limits to the southern end. Eventually, it will connect to other trails which will provide access into downtown Dallas.
Along with the many city officials, government partners and city staff, Bike Friendly Richardson, was there to participate in the ceremony.
Here are a few pics. Click here to see the entire set.