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!
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.
This was an idea inspired on our Facebook page. Some riders have been noticing some issues with trash, animal waste and broken glass on some of our trails. Instead of complaining, we are going to take action by organizing our first trail cleanup day.
Date: Saturday, February 21. 2015
Time: 9:00 am (earlier if you choose) – 11:00 am (later if you choose)
Location: Spring Creek Trail parking lot (southeast corner of Renner Road and Central)
Who: All volunteers who care about our trails
Since this is our first attempt at this, we’re going to keep it simple, starting at one location. Everybody is welcome to jump in and feel free to help out as long as they can. We’re working with the City of Richardson to get some supplies, so stay tuned for details on that. For now, here are some suggestions of things you can bring:
– Dustpans (for broken glass)
– Trash Bags (in case we can’t get any from the city)
I’ll be riding my bike out, so it’ll be interesting to see how I get my tools strapped on. Obviously, if it rains, we’ll postpone to another date – so keep an eye out here and on our Facebook page for updates.
If this is a successful event, we will schedule more cleanup days throughout other parts of the city.
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
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.
Bike Friendly Richardson will be participating in City of Richardson’s 42nd Annual Christmas Parade, and we want YOU to participate. Grab the family, decorate your bikes and meet us this Saturday morning. The pace is really, really slow and it’s lots of fun being part of this great event. Come down and let the city see how bike friendly it is.
Date: Saturday, December 6, 2014
Time: Check in @ 7-8, Parade @ 9:00am
Place: Staging Behind Lowe’s
@ Beltline Road and Plano Road
Parade Info: On our Facebook Page
It’s time for another installment of the I Bike Richardson series, where we put a face on Richardson cyclists. We’d like to introduce Ken Cohen. He took the time to answer a few questions about biking. Enjoy:
How long have you been riding?
I just started bicycling again in April of 2014. Prior to that, I hadn’t bicycled in 30 years.
How often do you ride?
I bicycle 3-4 times a week, weather permitting, usually in the morning. I’m looking for people to ride with during the week, in the morning.
What’s your favorite route?
I live near Campbell & Shiloh in Garland, very close to the edge of Richardson. Whenever possible, I try to ride only on “bike trails”.
Here’s my usual route. I take SpringPark Way to Sherrill Park Golf Course. I take the golf cart path that leads into the woods and goes up the hill to Lookout Park. At that point, I continue straight, getting onto Lookout Drive. I go a couple of hundred yards to Plano Road. Then right on Plano Road, down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, I take a U turn (right), and get on Spring Creek Trail that takes me under Plano Road and through Spring Creek Nature Area. Once I’m in the Nature Area I “hug right” whenever there is a fork in the road. I come out just this side of Central Expwy. I veer left, which will take me underneath Central Expwy and back up onto Renner Trail. I take Renner Trail to its end (Synergy Park Blvd) and then go left onto University Trail. At the top of the Hill (Floyd Road), the trail goes left. Then right on Campbell and the trail ends at Campbell and Coit, where I turn around. I go home the same way, with some exceptions. When I’m heading east on Renner Road, I stop at Alma Road (light). I go down Alma (North) for around ¼ mile, just about to George Bush Freeway, where I take a right onto Spring Creek Trail, which takes me back to the Spring Creek Nature Area entrance. I like this diversion for a change in scenery. I go left into the Nature Area. When I come to an open and curvy area where the light rail tracks are overhead, there is a circular wooden ramp which I take up to Routh Creek Parkway. At the end of the ramp, I go left on Routh Creek, then left on Glenville, and left on Lookout, which will take me to my path home. I like this diversion because it nicely avoids having to ride up the steep hill on Plano Road. I like this route because there’s lots of diverse scenery, some hills, but mostly flat areas. I usually see a lot of people in the Spring Creek Nature Area, which is nice.
My favorite “trail” is the Chisolm Trail in Plano. The starting point is on the north side of Colin Creek Mall and is 6 miles from my house. I take the same route to Central Expwy, going through Spring Creek Nature Area. Instead of veering left to go under Central Expwy, I veer right. This section of Spring Creek Trail will take me up to Alma Road, just south of George Bush Freeway. I follow the sidewalk (right) a short distance to Plano Parkway (southwest) corner of Colin Creek Mall. Warning—when crossing Plano Parkway, do not have your shoes clipped in because the sidewalk on the other side is extremely uneven and the space is tight. I continue north on Alma (sidewalk) and take the first entrance to the mall. At this point, I’m looking at a strip of stores that are outside the mall. I ride around them and get on the Colin Creek Mall Drive, the wide drive that goes around the mall. Riding around the mall is actually very pleasant. I rarely run into any cars on Colin Creek Mall Drive. I go around 1/3 of the way around the mall and take a left on Center Drive, which will take me to 15th Street. I cross 15th Street and go right a short distance. The entrance to the Chisolm Trail is on the left just before “On The Border”. I recommend that you take this “2nd entrance”. Chisolm Trail is around 5 ½ miles, each way. It follows a creek, Spring Creek, and is very nice, particularly when compared to trails that follow power lines. No major cross roads that you have to deal with. Here are my detailed notes on Chisolm Trail.
My Chisolm Trail notes…
Be alert for patches that are real muddy. Go around them. The underpass just after you go under Custer Road is the worst place for this mud problem. If there is a mud problem, they’ll probably have the gate down. You can easily ride around the area that is gated off.
When you take a sharp left for the Dog Park, you are now on Blue Bonnet Trail and you’ll be on Blue Bonnet for a short distance. It’s obvious because you’re obviously in the middle of a big path of power lines. You’ll be going around an athletic field and there will be a bridge on the right. Go over bridge. Notice that the trail is adjacent to Spring Creek (and not the power lines). You’ll now be on the west side of Spring Creek. When you started on the trail, you were on the east side of Spring Creek. You’ll see a bridge on your right that will cross over Spring Creek. Don’t take it. You’ll go a mile or two more until you hit Legacy, which is the end. Come back on this same trail (west side of the creek). I’ve tried coming back on the other side and lost the trail.
To prevent “losing the trail”, it’s best to start on the east side, then switch to the west side once you go past Blue Bonnet Trail.
Although the Chisolm Trail is my favorite trail, it’s not always my favorite route. If I’m short on time or if there are heavy “south to north” winds, I won’t take this route. I don’t like the idea of being 12 miles from home and having to ride home into heavy winds.
I have a 3rd route available to me, which I rarely use. At Lookout Park, I can go left onto Owens Trail, which runs into Duck Creek Trail and Glenville Trail. Owens Trail follows a power line and requires that you stop frequently at major cross streets and the crossings require you to wiggle through a maze in the center of the road. The maze appears to be there for the purpose of making sure people are super careful when crossing these busy streets. Owens Trail is my least favorite of the trails near me. Duck Creek Trail is very nice, with all the ducks and expanded riverbed, but it’s very short. Glenville Trail is nice in the small section that is between Duck Creek and Huffines Park, but the rest of it involves too much stopping at cross streets. I believe that Glenville Trail is only there for the purpose of providing a connecting bike path to Huffines Park. It does appear that Richardson is attempting to connect all its parks with trails.
Why do you cycle?
Exercise and fun.
What is your perspective on riding – in general or in Richardson?
I’m retired and I find it great being able to get out and see what the rest of human race is doing. It makes me feel more connected to the real world. I think that Richardson has done a fabulous job with all the bike trails. They’ve also done a great job in finding perfect streets that area quiet and ideal for “bike lanes”.
Tell us about your bikes.
I have 1 bike, a hybrid. I feel safer with the bigger tires. I like being more upright with the straight handle bars (easier on the upper back). I use clipless pedals/shoes.
We want to thank Ken, for sharing his perspective on Richardson cyling.
We’d also like to extend an invitation to any cyclist who lives and/or rides in Richardson to share their story as well. You can either answer the questions (above) or send in a story – along with some pics to bikefriendlyrichardson(at)gmail.com.
For the 6th year, bike riders from all over the north Dallas area gathered for Bike Friendly Richardson‘s annual Black Friday Ride. Each year, to celebrate the anniversary of our bike group, we launch the holiday season with what matters the most: having a nice, casual ride around town. No pressure. No shopping malls. No discount stores. No long lines. No angry people. Just a bunch of folks, enjoying the fresh air and a beautiful day.
Today, over 20 people gathered in front of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Richardson. We took a slow, mostly flat, ride around some of the more scenic roads and trails of Richardson. Here, we enjoyed some of the colorful fall foliage that doesn’t last very long in north Texas. Overall, the short route of about 12 miles gave us the perfect amount of riding – especially after a day of heavy feasting.
Each year, I am thankful to do this ride with so many great cycling friends.
Here are a few pics. Click here to see the full set.
Before we announce the winners of this year’s Ride and Seek Scavenger Hunt, we would like to thank a few people. First, our partners: Richardson Bike Mart, Alamo Drafthouse, Ten50 BBQ for donating the prizes. If you happen to visit one of these places, thank them for supporting Richardson cyclists.
Next, we’d love to thank YOU, the awesome bike riders of Richardson, for participating in our little fun ride event and submitting such amazing photos. We hope to use the information that you’ve gathered to help us build a better, more bike friendly community.
After collecting over 150 photos, from over 20 riders, we had a drawing of a couple hundred raffle tickets (many of the submissions earned double tickets). Here are the winners:
• Richardson Bike Mart Prize Pack (a pair of bike socks, water bottle and a $25 gift certificate) – Jason Mechler
• Richardson Bike Mart Prize Pack (a pair of bike socks, water bottle and a $25 gift certificate) – Matthew Wright
• Ten50 BBQ Gift Certificate ($25) – Bill Johnson
• Alamo Drafthouse Prize Pack (an Alamo Drafthouse pint glass, $20 food voucher, 2 movie passes) – Bryan Lindsey
Thanks again to everybody for participating in our second annual scavenger hunt. We hope to do this again!