Bike Friendly Richardson

National Bike Month Starts Today

Posted in Advocacy, Bicycle Events by dickdavid on May 1, 2012

May is National Bike Month! The League of American Bicyclists invites you to “celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride. Whether you bike to work or school; to save money or time; to preserve your health or the environment; to explore your community or get to your destination, get involved in Bike Month in your city or state — and help get more people in your community out riding too!”

If you haven’t already done it, dust off your bike, air up the tires and ride!

Bike Friendly Richardson is also celebrating National Bike Month. We’ll try to get in a group ride to the Cottonwood Art Festival this weekend. We’ll also be participating in the Richardson Wild Ride Against Cancer. Also, stay tuned for an upcoming event to be held on National Bike to Work Day on May 18.

Recap and Pics of Ciclovia de Dallas on SuburbanAssault.org

Posted in Advocacy, Bicycle Events by dickdavid on April 15, 2012

Coolest Bike Family. Ever.

For those of you who couldn’t make it out to the Ciclovia de Dallas yesterday, you can find a quick recap and some pics over at Suburban Assault.

Great Article In The March 2012 Far North Dallas Advocate

Posted in Advocacy, BFR Misc by dickdavid on March 31, 2012

You might have read in this post, local blogs, Suburban Assault and Biking In Dallas were mentioned in a local magazine, the Far North Dallas Advocate. It is a really great article that made it to print in their March 2012 issue. Unfortunately, since this is the last day of the month, most of those issues are gone or replaced with April issues. So, keep an eye out for the March 2012 issue, and grab a few.

Fortunately, if you miss it, you can download a digital copy here. Or, you can always read Emily Toman‘s online article here.

Some Exciting News

Posted in Advocacy, Bike Friendly by dickdavid on February 15, 2012

R

Bike Friendly Richardson is pleased to announce that we have just submitted the application to have Richardson considered for a Bicycle Friendly Community designation!

This was an idea that we had had for a while and last November, Jenny Rilling took it on as a project. With the help of City staff, we made it happen. The Bicycle Friendly Community program is administered by the League of American Bicyclists. With all the bicycling improvements in recent years, and more to come, it was time to throw our hat in the ring. Not every application receives the Bicycle Friendly designation, however, the LAB staff generously provide feedback to each applicant to help them do better next time.

This is our first time submitting the application, so we don’t know how we’ll do, but we are proud of how far we’ve come, and we’re looking forward to getting feedback on where we can improve. Currently only three cities in Texas have received the Bicycle Friendly Community designation: Austin, San Antonio, and The Woodlands.

We’d like to recognize the following people without whom this wouldn’t be possible:

Richard Wezensky and Jenny Rilling with Bike Friendly Richardson

Dave Carter, the City’s Bicycle Coordinator and Assistant Director of the Transportation Department

Jessica Shutt and Mark Titus in the Transportation Department

Jim Lockart and Jim Dulac at the City

The Richardson City Council, Parks Department, Police Department

And of course, all the BFR friends and everyone out there who said, “Hey, we should improve biking in Richardson”, and everyone out there using the bike trails, bike lanes, and roads and having fun and trying to continually improve things for cyclists.

Thanks, everyone, for all you do. See you out there on the road!

-BFR Staff

Safe Passing Approved In Plano

Posted in Advocacy, City Stuff by dickdavid on February 14, 2012

Plano City Council Meeting

BFR stopped by to show our support for cyclists who were working to get a Safe Passing Ordinance approved in Plano – which was on the Plano City Council’s meeting agenda last night. There was a crowd of  about fifty cyclists, who also came out to show their support.

I have to give some recognition to the Plano City Council. Not knowing what to expect at this session, I was worried that there might be some hesitation or debate with passing this ordinance. Fortunately, the vote was quite uneventful and relatively quick. They introduced it as part of the meeting’s Consent Agenda, voted on and approved it in a matter of minutes.

Plano City Council Meeting

Plano City Council Meeting

Plano is now the third north Texas city to pass a Safe Passing Ordinance after Forth Worth and Denton. Hopefully Richardson will be close behind.

Read more about the ordinance at Bike DFW.

Below is content pulled from the approved ordinance:

An Ordinance of the City of Plano, Texas amending Chapter 14, Offenses- Miscellaneous, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Plano to add a new Article XI, Vulnerable Road Users, to regulate the conduct of motor vehicle operators while passing cyclists on a highway or street and providing a penalty; and providing a repealer clause, a savings clause, a severability clause, a publication clause and an effective date.

WHEREAS,
the City of Plano Police Department recently conducted a review of past accidents involving pedal-cyclist and determined that driver inattention was a major cause of most pedal-cyclist crashes within the City; and

WHEREAS,
City staff recommends that City Council add a new Article XI, Vulnerable Road Users, to establish safe passing distances and to regulate the other conduct of motor vehicle operators while passing cyclists on a highway or street to enhance cyclist safety; and

WHEREAS,
upon recommendation of staff and upon full review and consideration of all matters thereto, the City Council hereby finds and determines that it is necessary and in the best interest of the city and public safety to amend Chapter 14 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Plano to add a new Article XI, Vulnerable Road Users, to regulate the conduct of motor vehicle operators while passing cyclists on a highway or street.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF
 THE CITY OF PLANO, TEXAS, THAT:

Section I.
A new Article XI, Vulnerable Road Users of Chapter 14, Offenses- Miscellaneous is hereby adopted to regulate the conduct of motor vehicle operators while passing cyclists on the highway or street to read in its entirety as follows:

ARTICLE XI. VULNERABLE ROAD USERS


Section 14-127. Definitions.
The following words and phrases as used in this section shall have the meanings as set forth in this subsection.
“Vulnerable Road User” shall mean a person operating a bicycle, hand cycle, unicycle, motor-driven cycle, or other human powered wheeled vehicle on a street or highway.
“Safe Distance” shall mean three (3) feet if the operator’s vehicle is a passenger car, or six (6) feet if the operator’s vehicle is a truck or a commercial motor vehicle.

Section 14-128. Passing a vulnerable road user.

(a) An operator of a motor vehicle passing a vulnerable road user on a highway or street shall:
(1) vacate the lane in which the vulnerable road user is located if the highway or street has two or more marked lanes running in the same direction; or
(2) pass the vulnerable road user at a safe distance.
(b) An operator of a motor vehicle may not overtake and execute a right-hand turn in front of a vulnerable road user unless the operator is safely clear of the vulnerable road user, taking into account the speed at which the vulnerable road user is traveling and the braking requirements of the motor vehicle.
(c) An operator or passenger of a motor vehicle may not knowingly throw or project any object or substance at or against a vulnerable road user.

Section 14-129. Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation found to be violating any term or provision of this article shall be subject to a fine in accordance with Section 1-4(b) of the City Code of Ordinances for each offense.”

Section II.
All provisions of the ordinances of the City of Plano in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed, and all other provisions of the Ordinances of the City of Plano, not in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance, shall remain in full force and effect.
Section III. The repeal of any ordinance or part of ordinances effectuated by the enactment of this Ordinance shall not be construed as abandoning any action now pending under or by virtue of such ordinance or as discontinuing, abating, modifying or altering any penalty accruing or to accrue, or as affecting any rights of the municipality under any section or provisions of any ordinance at the time of passage of this Ordinance.
Section IV. It is the intention of the City Council that this Ordinance, and every provision thereof, shall be considered severable and the invalidity or partial invalidity of any section, clause or provision of this Ordinance shall not affect the validity of any other portion of this Ordinance.
Section V. This Ordinance shall become effective immediately upon its passage and publication as required by law.

Click here to download this as a pdf.

Plano Safe Passing Ordinance – Monday Night Vote – February 13th

Posted in Advocacy, Bike Friendly, City Stuff by dickdavid on February 10, 2012

Entering Plano - All America City 1994

Our friend Warren Casteel, with BikeDFW, sent us an email encouraging cyclist to come out and show their support at Monday night’s Plano City Council meeting. Apparently, they are voting on The – long awaited – Safe Passing Ordinance. There is hope that if we can pass this in Plano, perhaps we can pass it here in Richardson as well.

This ordinance stipulates distances motor vehicles must allow cyclists, outlaws throwing or objects or substances at cyclists, and provides legal remedy if a cyclist is hit by a motor vehicle in some situations. The ordinance can be viewed here (pdf).

Plano City Hall is about a block from the DART Station. Map.

We hope to make it out there and we hope to see you there too.

Report from the 2012 Texas Trails & Active Transportation Conference

Posted in Advocacy, Bike Education by Adam on February 5, 2012

I spent the latter half of last week down in sunny (and humid!) San Antonio with hundreds of other cycling advocates, public officials, and planning and design professionals.  This conference is put on every other year by two state-wide organization—BikeTexas (a cycling advocacy organization that spends the odd years lobbying the state legislature) and the Texas Trails Network (an organization dedicated to the provision of linear trails for transportation and recreation uses). 

 As always, the conference was excellent.  Beyond the great job the two organizations do planning and running the event, the caliber of presenters and speakers is unparalleled, in my opinion.  Plenary speakers included John Burke, president of Trek Bicycle Co.; Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis, D-Houston; Congressman Jim Oberstar, D-Minnesota, and Keith Laughlin, president of the Rails to Trails Conservancy.  While each of the speakers was excellent, it was truly an honor to hear the speech from Jim Oberstar—the father of Safe Routes to School, the Transportation Enhancements program, and multi-modal funding in federal transportation bills.  Few people have had as great an impact on bicycling.

North Texas was well-represented at the conference both in terms of presenters speaking about the great strides we’re making in the Metroplex, as well as attendees there to learn what is happening across the state.  There were several presentations given that focused on bikes and pedestrians in North Texas:

  • Max Kallhammer (Dallas’ bicycle coordinator) spoke about Dallas’ new bike plan;
  • Michael Hellman and Jared White (from the Dallas Parks Department) presented Dallas’ new “Happy Trails” trail signage program;
  • Andrew Howard and Jason Roberts spoke about the success of their Better Block program (which we STILL need to bring to Richardson);
  • Deb Humphreys of NCTCOG discussed the development of a complete streets policy for North Texas; and
  • Yours truly presented Collin County’s new regional trail master plan.

In addition to those that presented, there were city employees and advocates from McKinney, Allen, Plano, Grapevine, Fort Worth, and others from Dallas (including three council members) in attendance.  And finally, Lewisville won an award for its recently-completed citywide Trails Master Plan.

But we didn’t just sit around for three days.  There were also SIXTEEN mobile sessions where participants could take a tour of the various bike routes, trails, and urban revitalization projects in San Antonio by biking, walking, running, or paddling—depending on the session.  This was truly an active conference!

All-in-all it was a great experience and I highly recommend EVERYONE connected to BFR attend the next conference, which is scheduled for 2014 and might happen right here in North Texas!

– Adam Wood

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What About Bike Parking

Posted in Advocacy, BFR Misc by dickdavid on February 3, 2012

Locked

So, we’ve got the great biking infrastructure in the works. Bike trails, bike lanes and bike signs are being set up all over town to encourage bike riding. But what about bike PARKING. Where are folks going lock their bikes once they reach their destinations? I’ve seen a few racks around town and I’ve managed to find some random sign poles or fences to lock my bike, but as ridership increases, parking is going to be a real problem.

We would definitely like to see more racks around our city facilities. There are a few racks at places like city hall, most schools and the public library. But other places we visit, including our post offices, playgrounds and parks don’t have them.

One of our goals this year is to map out bike rack locations around town and to encourage riders to politely request bike racks at their favorite destinations. We might even post a little flyer that you can print and hand out to business owners.

Stop Sign Bikes

Taco Republic Parking - Wrong Way

Bike Lock Fail

Plano On-Street Bicycle Signs and Routes

Posted in Advocacy, Bike Trails and Routes by bergerandfries on January 18, 2012

Hello there, bergerandfries with my first BFR posting. Our friends in Plano have kicked off a project to make Plano easier to ride by bicycle!  Plano has a great off street Multi-Use Path system, but now they are implementing On-Street bicycle signs and routes.

A map can be found at here (pdf).
An excerpt from Plano’s Website at: City of Plano’s On-Street Bicycle Routes

What will the signage be?
The signage is in accordance with the Texas Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a code that regulates traffic signage at the state level, ensuring that all traffic signage is consistent. This code also dictates how signs are placed in terms of location and frequency and how they are displayed. Most of the signage is green and white guidance signage. This regulatory sign below tells both the cyclist and the motorist that the cyclist has the right to occupy the whole travel lane.
Cyclist Right to Whole Lane
Guidance signs show the Plano logo, a bicycle symbol and the route number you are on. Some directional signs show which way to turn to intersect with another bicycle route.
Route 90 Sign
Route 88 Left Turn
What do the numbers mean?
For example, the numbers 90, 88, 70 and 37 above are route numbers. The routes are numbered because they are often not one single through street but a combination of several different streets making up the route.
The numbering system mimics our nation’s interstate highway system. Odd numbers indicate north-south routes. The odd numbers are smaller on the west side of the city increasing as you move eastward starting with 5 and ending with 97. Even numbers indicate east-west routes. The even numbers are smaller on the south side of the city increasing as you move north starting with 2 and ending with 90.

What can Richardson folks do to help?
Plano Bike Route #97 leads directly into Richarson North Star Rd, which on the Richardson Bike Plan is a future signed on-street route too. You might remark to City of Richardson that it’s time to get moving on North Star Rd marking. These signs can really helps Richardson folks to get around Plano if they don’t know the best places to cycle on-street. And if you stop in any Plano businesses, even if the signs are not up yet, please thank them for being on the Plano Bike Route #xxx and ask when are they getting a bike rack!

2 Mile Radius

Posted in Advocacy, Uncategorized by jennyrilling on December 13, 2011

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:

  • Kroger
  • Convenience Store
  • Beer store
  • DART stations
  • Walgreens
  • Post Office
  • Branch of the bank I use
  • Target
  • Petco
  • Library, City Hall
  • Recreation center
  • Richland College
  • Starbucks, Cafe Brazil
  • Half Price Books
  • Several restaurants
  • Chinatown
  • 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:

http://maps.forum.nu/gm_sensitive_circle2.html