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.
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:
This past weekend, Bike Friendly Richardson, participated in the City of Richardson’s 42nd Annual Christmas Parade. Of all the rides we do, this is one of our favorites. It’s not because of the great speeds or distance, but rather the opposite. Since this is a parade, the route is extremely short and equally as slow, which opens it up for people we don’t normally get to ride with, families.
Many folks decorated their bikes and brought candy to hand out to spectators. Local rider, Howard, even brought his goat on a trailer, pulled by a tandem. BFR’s Jenny brought her young baby for his first parade. Both the goat and the baby were big hits with the crowd.
Riding with families in a parade accomplishes many goals – two of which are important to us. First, it allows families with kids (and goats) to be part of the bike culture, which hopefully builds a stronger bike community. Also, it allows the other folks, who weren’t riding, to see that cycling is something that’s fun and can be shared by all.
Participating in the parade definitely requires a lot of patience. Since you have to get there early, there is a more waiting than there is riding. We suggest that if you want to be part of a Christmas parade, folks with families, should try to arrive a bit later or have ways to entertain the kids until the start. Also, bring plenty of candy to hand out. We always seem to run out in the first 200 feet.
Here are a few pics from the parade. Click here to see the full set.
Well, it’s been over a month since the Ribbon Cutting on June 2, and now it looks like the Central Trail (southern extension) is almost complete. It seem like we went weeks with no progress on the few remaining gaps. Now, all that’s left are a few curb finishes, where it crosses Polk Street.
There is also some great news with the trail extension, just north of Arapaho Road. The ‘bonus’ connection to the DART Arapaho station is really taking shape. The forms are up and you can see the full length of that section.
For those of you wondering how they intend to connect the trail to the train platform, that mystery has been answered. They are installing a small bridge that goes over the sub-Greenville Avenue tunnel ramp. Now you can connect directly from the trail to the Aprapho Station platform without having to cross to the entrance on the other side of Greenville.
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.
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.
There are two big bike events happening on Monday, June 2. Please try to attend either one, or both.
The first is the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the new Central Trail extension in Richardson. It’s a much needed extension of an existing trail, providing some great connections between our local DART rail train stations and neighborhoods. The City of Richardson and Dallas County are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the trail on June 2.
Here are the details:
Date: Monday, June 2. 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Spring Valley DART Station/Central Trail – Spring Valley Road at Lingco Drive
The next is the Bike Friendly Richardson, Bike Parking Initiative presentation to the Richardson City Council, that evening.
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. Our new Bike Parking Initiative’s lead, Mark Adams, will 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.
Date: Monday, June 2. 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m. – During the City Council Work Session
Location: Richardson City Hall – 411 W Arapaho Rd, Richardson, TX 75083
WE NEED TO SHOW OUR SUPPORT FOR THESE EVENTS! Let’s try to get as many cyclists as possible to the ceremony and council meeting, and show our appreciation and support.
Because of some of the success cyclists are getting with local businesses to get bike parking, we are getting some attention from the Richardson City Council. Currently, we are working on a proposal to promote more bike parking throughout Richardson and we would love to get your input.
If you are free this Friday evening, please stop by and let us know what you think about bike parking around town, where you think we need it, where businesses would benefit and how the city can help facilitate this.
Date: Friday, May 30
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Freebirds – 238 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080
We hope to see you there.