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.
We now have all the City Council candidate replies to our survey at the link below:
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!
From the City of Richardson:
The Richardson Health Department will spray a portion of southeast Richardson this evening based on a positive finding of West Nile in a mosquito testing pool. Weather permitting, the spraying will occur between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. tonight through tomorrow morning in the area from Main Street/Belt Line Road south to Buckingham Road and U.S. 75/Central Expressway east to Jupiter Road. If wind speeds of greater than 10 miles per hour are sustained, Health Department workers may postpone spraying until weather conditions are more favorable.
“We monitor the spread of West Nile through the use of mosquito traps strategically placed around the City,” said Richardson Health Department Director Bill Alsup. “Any time we find a positive result in an area, we target it and the surrounding area to try to prevent the spread of the disease. It’s a measure that helps to limit exposure to the virus, but people still need to maintain vigilance in protecting themselves when they go outside.”
The City was notified of the positive West Nile test result this afternoon by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The area targeted for spraying is based on the location where the positive result was located and also includes the surrounding area.
To protect from mosquito bites, people are urged to follow the Four D’s of protection:
- DRAIN standing water around the home,
- Use insect repellent containing DEET,
- Avoid being outdoors at DUSK and DAWN when mosquitoes are most active,
- And DRESS to protect yourself with long sleeves and pants to reduce skin exposure.
This will be the second spraying event to occur in Richardson in the past two weeks. The first spraying event occurred last week after mosquito pools and a Richardson resident tested positive for the West Nile virus. Three other cases of people infected with West Nile have also been reported in other parts of the Metroplex.
Spraying to control the population of mosquitoes and the spread of the West Nile virus is a last resort, and is part of a comprehensive plan the Richardson Health Department follows to control the mosquito population. All areas of the City are continuously monitored, and further sprayings will be scheduled based on mosquito surveillance used to monitor the spread of the West Nile virus.
Richardson is not alone in the noticed increase in mosquito populations and findings of West Nile in mosquitoes. Environmental conditions from last summer’s drought, a mild winter and abundant spring rains have resulted in an increased population.
More on the West Nile Virus
The West Nile virus is caused by a bite from an infected mosquito that’s already carrying the virus, but not all mosquitoes are capable of carrying or transmitting the disease. In North Texas, the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito is greatest from July to October. Not everyone who gets bitten by an infected mosquito will get the virus, and it’s rare for people to become very sick if they do develop symptoms from the disease.
Symptoms of West Nile virus vary depending upon the person who becomes infected. People who do develop symptoms usually suffer from mild “flu-like” illness. Rarely, symptoms may require medical care or hospitalization. The people who are most susceptible to the disease are the very young, the very old and those with weakened immune systems.
By Jenny Rilling
Richard’s post over at Suburban Assault of the League of American Bicyclists “Bicycling and Health” infographic reminded me to share a handy map radius tool that I sometimes use for work. As the infographic says, 70% of American’s car trips are under two miles. Many times, these 2 mile and under car trips could be replaced with biking.
Here is a picture of a circle with a 2 mile radius around my neighborhood of Highland Terrace:
Here’s a list of some destinations that fall within the circle:
- Convenience Store
- Beer store
- DART stations
- Post Office
- Branch of the bank I use
- Library, City Hall
- Recreation center
- Richland College
- Starbucks, Cafe Brazil
- Half Price Books
- Several restaurants
- Car repair places
- Hardware stores & plant nurseries
Lots of good stuff there! Here’s a link to the map tool if you want to find out what areas are within 2 miles of your home or workplace:
Tonight while I was out running some errands I hunted down the construction being done on the Glenville Trail, in Richardson.
As you can see on the Richardson Trail Guide, this trail will follow Glenville Rd from Woodhaven Grove Park, down on Spring Valley Rd, and go north. A branch will take you behind Mark Twain Elementary School over to Huffines Park, while the main trail continues north, with a loop that connects to the Duck Creek Trail, crossing Arapaho, and ultimately connecting with the DART trail that follows the light rail line up to Galatyn Park.
From what I can tell, the area I’ve circled in red is the part under construction right now. There is also some construction at the bridge on Arapaho, just west of Plano Rd. (I’ve put a red dot there), which I think is probably part of the trail – I guess they are taking it under the bridge there?
This trail will give people down in south east Richardson really good access to the trail system. They’ll able to ride to the light rail stations, Galatyn Park, the Spring Creek Nature area, well — everything. Super super cool.
I just picked this up from the BikeTexas site. Looks like it will be interesting information – once I get a moment to sit down and read it.
From a quick flip through, looks like Dallas and Texas are included, but Richardson isn’t. As you may have guessed, it appears as if north Texas didn’t rate so well.
While your at it, you may want to shoot Dave Carter, Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic an email thanking him and the city for their efforts at making Richardson bike friendly. You can reach him at Dave.Carter (at) cor.gov or by phone (click on the letter on that page to get it). Some other names to keep in mind when it comes to Richardson transportation and traffic are David Morgan, Assistant City Manager, EA Hoppe, Assistant to the City Manager, and John Webb, Director of Development Services. I hope we can work together to make Richardson a safe city to ride.