Bike Friendly Richardson

Updated Pics Of The Central Trail (South) Construction

Posted in Bike Change, Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on July 30, 2013

Here are some updated pics of the new, southern link to the Central Trail.

Central Trail

Test Ride

Towards Completion

Heavy Equipment

 

Construction is still looking a bit light, south of Belt Line. We’ll keep you posted on any new updates.

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Central Trail Construction (South) Coming Along Nicely

Posted in Bike Change, Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on July 7, 2013

We’ve been keeping an eye on the construction of the southern extension of the Central Trail.

Central Trail is the trail that runs parallel to Central Expressway, along the DART Rail Red Line tracks. Currently, it starts at Renner Road at Routh Creek Parkway (where it connects to the Spring Creek Trail), and runs south to DART’s Arapaho Center Station – well, sort of. In our opinion, it really stops at about Alma Road, and becomes a sidewalk, along Greenville, until it reaches Arapaho Center Station. Read more about that here.

This new addition is designed to extend Central Trail south, from Arapaho Road to Buckingham Road – at the city limit. Future extensions will eventually connect it to the White Rock Creek Trail. We were also given some information that lead us to believe that the trail extension will connect to the Arapaho Center Station train platform, instead of the bus transfer station on the east side of Greenville Road. That would be fantastic if it actually happens.

Once this extension is complete, people will be able to walk or ride their bikes to three of the four DART train stations in Richardson (Spring Valley, Arapaho Center and Galatyn Park). The Bush Turnpike Station will have to wait for a future extension.

Here are some pics and descriptions of the current progress:

This shot was taken at the southwest corner of Arapaho Road And Greenville Avenue. You can see the DART tracks to the right and Greenville Avenue to the left.

North End, Just South of Arapaho

This shot was taken a bit further south along Greenville Avenue. As you can see, they’re making every effort to save the trees.

Trees Saved

This shot was taken even further south along Greenville Avenue. Here you can see how the trail will coexist with the DART Red Line.

Morning Train

This pic was taken just south of the Jackson Street crossing.

From Jackson To Belt Line

As you can see, the trail isn’t ready to ride.

Missing Section

As the trail approaches Belt Line Road, it actually crosses under the DART Rail track overpass.

Under The Tracks By Belt Line

This is where the trail will cross Belt Line Road. The city has decided that the light at Interurban will be the best place to cross.

Belt Line Crossing At Interurban

Once across Belt Line Road, the trail is lost at this parking lot entrance. It eventually begins again at the rail underpass.

South Side of Belt Line (Facing East)

The trail construction seems to end at Polk Street.

Ends At Polk Street

I rode a bit further south to find this bridge being built at Phillips Street. Not seeing a current plan, I can only guess that this will have a roll in the extension of Central Trail.

New Bridge At Phillips Drive

I didn’t get a chance to ride down to Spring Valley Station. I’ll try to get down there next weekend to check on any progress down there.

Pics Of The New Bike Lanes On Collins – North Of Campbell

Posted in Bike Change, Bike Friendly, City Stuff by dickdavid on April 6, 2013

Bike Lane - Southbound Collins (north of Campbell)

We got a notice from Dave Carter, with the City of Richardson, that more bike lanes were being installed – with more planned for the summer. I’m excited because the ones installed this summer will be in my neighborhood. Click here to see a map of the completed bike lanes in Richardson (so far).

Another 1.1 miles of new bike lanes are being installed this week on both sides of Collins Blvd from Campbell Rd. northward to tie into the existing bike lanes on Collins Blvd at Palisades Creek. This installation will connect the existing bike lane system on Collins Blvd from the Renner Trail all the way down to Campbell Road.

Later this summer there will be three additional bike lane segments installed as part of the Safe Routes to School program grant received from TxDOT.
Collins Blvd (Plano Rd to Jupiter)
Yale Blvd (Arapaho to Campbell)
Owens Blvd (Woodoak to Campbell)

All of these bike lane segments were discussed in the City Council worksession on 10/22/2012 and continue to address the Council Near Term Action Item #29.

I went out to take some pics:

Bike Lane - Southbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lane - Southbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lane - Southbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lane - Southbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lane - Southbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lane - Southbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lane - Southbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lane - Northbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lane - Northbound Collins (north of Campbell)

Bike Lanes In Richardson - Paint Crew

Bike Lanes In Richardson - Paint Truck

 

UPDATE:  Here is more information from the City of Richardson.

Recap – Cyclists In Suits – Texas Bicycle Lobby Day 2013

Posted in Advocacy, Bicycle Events, Bike Change by dickdavid on March 30, 2013
CyclistsInSuites_BikeTexas

Image ©BikeTexas.org – Please visit their site.

When I first heard about the BikeTexas event, Cyclists In Suits, my first thought was (like perhaps a Tweed Ride) this is a bike ride where folks dressed up and rode around the capital. I would soon discover that this was not a dapper critical mass, nor did it even involve getting on my bike. Cyclists In Suits was not an event to show state legislature that we can gather for a ride, but rather, we can gather and have a productive discussion about bicycle policy in Texas.

Cyclists In Suits is a biennial event held during the Texas Legislature’s regular sessions. It is great opportunity for Texas cyclists to share their love of cycling with their state legislators. The goal is to have cyclists from every legislative district in Texas visit the capitol with our staff and remind the legislature that we are voters and we want them to represent our cycling interests.

The next thing that ran through my head was, I’m not a lobbyist, nor am I a very political person. Why would I want to participate in this event? The answer is, I LOVE CYCLING, and I will do everything I can to make it better in Texas. The least I could do was add myself to the head count and show the Texas legislature that there are many constituents who care about cycling.

Our local advocacy group, BikeDFW, hosted a bus ride to Austin that day – which I joined. The trip involved departing from DFW at 5:00 am, arriving in Austin to participate in lobby activities, network with like-minded advocates from all over the state, then return that evening. It was a really long day.

Although the group on the bus was very diverse, ranging in gender, race and cycling style, I was hoping to have a better balance of  the different bike cultures. Perhaps, as cycling becomes more popular among the non-sports crowd, we’ll see more of that. Regardless of the balance of cyclist types, this group was fantastic. There’s something to be said about shedding the lycra, cleats, helmets and skinny jeans and seeing bicyclists unite for a common cause. On the bus, we weren’t ‘racers’, ‘roadies’, ‘commuters’, ‘critical mass-ers’, ‘fashionistas’ ‘VCs’ or ‘weekend riders’. We were, simply, cyclists.

When we got to Austin, we were greeted by the BikeTexas folks. They escorted us to the capital building and into a room they had reserved for the bicycle lobbyist. We were each given a couple of bags of bicycle lapel pins to hand out to anybody wanting to show support. We then got a quick tutorial on who we would be talking to and the best way to communicate to them. We also learned about the bills they were currently trying to push through, HB 2225 – Safe Passing (SB1515 – Safe Passing) and HB 1102 – Complete Streets (SB 565 – Complete Streets). There were more bills for cyclists, but the goal was to remain focused on these two for better impact with legislators – who meet with many different types of lobbyists, daily.

Cyclists In Suits March

Fresh Of The Bus, Heading To The Capital Building

After the briefing, we were split into smaller groups and given folders containing all the information about these bills. We were to go to our selected offices, introduce ourselves as constituents and pass on the folder that represented their district. The expectation was set that we most likely wouldn’t meet with the actual Senator or Representative, but rather their staff. That was the case for all of my group’s visits, and most of the staff that we encountered were very receptive and happy to meet with us.

Jay Dunn Gets It Done

Jay Helping Us Lobby

After our lunch break, the whole group met at the Senate Gallery for a Reading of Special Resolution. When that was finished, we were asked to take a moment, visit the Senator and Representative from our own districts and sign their visitor log books. For my part of Richardson, this was Representative Angie Chen Button and Senator Ken Paxton. You can click here to find yours.

Texas Senate Room

Texas Senate Session

Once we were finished lobbying, we all gathered on the steps of the capital building for a group picture, where we were joined by Texas Senator Rodney Ellis. It was nice to see such a large group representing Texas cyclists, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it get larger.

Group Break

Bike Pins Everywhere – Showing Support

Later that afternoon, we walked over to the BikeTexas headquarters for a group happy hour. Here we were able to meet and discuss the events of the day as well as the things we learned. It was nice to network with other cycling advocates from around the state.

Happy Hour

BikeTexas Happy Hour

Meet And Greet

BikeTexas HQ

We finished out the trip with the long bus ride back to Dallas. On the bus, I was able to reflect on what I learned that day. Here are a few:

– Cyclists in Suits is not a bike ride.
– Lobbying isn’t just for the politically minded. It’s for anybody who cares about a cause.
– Cycling policy affects all bicycle cultures. If you care, you should try to get involved.
– Texas Legislators are there to listen to their constituents. Talk to them.
– It costs a lot of money to hold these events and sponsor bus rides. If you like what is being done, you should join or support BikeDFW and BikeTexas.

Jay and Preston

Bicycle Networking

Join BikeDFW and Head To Austin For Cyclists In Suits

Posted in Advocacy, Bike Change by dickdavid on March 11, 2013

From the BikeDFW blog:

cyclists_in_suits_2013.jpg

Every two years in Texas, we get a unique opportunity to talk about cycling with people who can make a difference.

Save the date, take the day off and take a road trip with a bunch of friends to Austin to participate in your democracy. You’ll meet the people that represent you and, most importantly, let them know that you think more effort to accommodate bicycling is important for the future of your community and your state.

It cannot be stressed enough that numbers matter; we need representation from every congressional district in North Texas.

Don’t worry about jumping off the bus and not knowing what to do. Bike Texas will provide a thorough briefing on hot topics as well as tips and techniques for meeting and communicating with your legislators. They will also organize groups according to their legislative districts. It’s also OK if you just want to be a smiling face with a bicycling pin! Your interest and presence speaks volumes to your representatives.

BikeDFW has made arrangements for one-day, round-trip chartered bus trips from both Dallas and Fort Worth to Austin to participate in Cyclists in Suits for the very reasonable cost of $30 per person.  The buses are luxury coaches and we will serve breakfast and coffee on board.

Dress: The name says it all, formal office attire makes the best impression and helps to break down the lycra stereotype, allowing for more effective communication. You can wear more casual clothes on the bus and change upon arrival, that is up to you.

Dallas area departure location: Richardson Bike Mart (SE corner, Coit and Campbell, Richardson)

Fort Worth area departure location: Trinity Bicycles (343 Throckmorton, Fort Worth)

Departure Time from both locations: 5:00am

Estimated return to both locations: 9:00pm

Purchase your ticket for Fort Worth or Dallas departure at the bottom of this page.

Schedule in Austin:

The agenda per Bike Texas is as follows (more details on the Bike Texas site:https://www.biketexas.org/news/biketexasevents):

8:30am – Beginning Brief  (Capitol Extension, Room E1.004)

Get briefed on the important issues and learn best practices for meeting with legislators.

9:30am – Meet your Legislators (through mid-afternoon)

Visit legislative offices and meet with legislators and their staff about the Complete Streets Bill and other bills of concern to Texas cyclists. In the course of the day, we will see the House or the Senate in session. We’ll take a group photo with the capitol as our backdrop.

Lunch – Capital Grill (expect about $10 per person)

4:00 pm — Happy Hour (Bike Texas HQ at 1902 E 6th St.)

Depart Austin: approximately 5:30 pm

WHEN
March 25, 2013 at 5am – 9pm
WHERE
Texas State Capitol in Austin
CONTACT
Mike Emmons · mike.emmons@verizon.net

Richardson City Council Awards Bid for Central Trail Construction

Posted in Bike Change, Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on March 2, 2013

End Bike Route - Red Line

 

From the City of Richardson weekly newsletter:

The City Council on Monday awarded a bid of $3.4 million to Ed Bell Construction Company to extend the Central Trail 1.9 miles from the Arapaho Road DART Station to the southern city limit. Construction of the 10-foot wide concrete multiuse trail is expected to begin in April and last for about one year. 

The $4 million project is funded through Dallas County and the City of Richardson’s 2010 Bond Program. The lowest bid to construct the trail came in about $400,000 over budget, so the City removed some amenities such as irrigation systems, landscaping, and benches to be constructed in a possible second phase at a future date. The City also hopes to use $600,000 in Regional Tollway Revenue funds awarded for the Central Trail to help enhance the project. 

The Central Trail currently runs from the Spring Creek Trail in north Richardson and ends at the Arapaho Road DART Station. The extension will run alongside the DART rail line and is planned to eventually connect with the Richardson city limit to the south and a future connection to the Dallas’ White Rock Creek Trail

Watch the City Council presentation at http://bit.ly/V6oiYQ.

We are extremely excited that this is happening and we’d still like to see the small gap in the plan addressed.

The Signs Of Our Times

Posted in Bike Change, Bike Friendly, City Stuff by dickdavid on December 29, 2012

RichardsonBicycleRoadSigns_vert

We just wanted to share some of the signs that you might have been seeing along the road in Richardson. Starting several months back, the City of Richardson has been adding these to a number of locations around town, many of them appear right where you enter the city.

We think these are a nice little welcome into our city, a good way to make motorists bike-aware, and a great way to articulate that we are a bike friendly community.

We feel that these are a nice additions to the cycling infrastructure and a good compliment to our trails and bike lanes.

They’re pretty self-explanitory, but here is the City of Richardson‘s description of each:

In addition to bicycle lanes, the City is installing “Share the Road” signs on Renner Road where hundreds of cyclists ride many evenings and weekends despite the higher vehicle speeds and volumes. On some collector roadways and residential streets we simply provide a Bike Route sign without a dedicated lane. Below are examples of these different signs and characteristics associated with each facility type.

Share the Road – This sign is posted on routes where vehicular traffic may encounter larger volumes of cyclists even though it is not a dedicated bike route or bike lane. Cyclists are legally permitted on these roadways so these signs are to make motorists aware of the presence of bicycles and to remind them to give the same rights to the bicycles as they would to motorized vehicles (cars, trucks, etc.)

Bike Route – This sign is posted along roadways in the city that have lower traffic volumes than “share the road” streets, and will help cyclists connect from bike lane to bike lane or between an off-street trail and an on-street bike lane. These routes may carry higher volumes than streets with designated bike lanes, but most of these routes are located on collectors or residential streets versus arterials.

Bike Lane – This sign is located along roadways that have a dedicated bike lane. There are currently six bike lanes located in Richardson and more are proposed as future funding is available. This bike lane sign will also be accompanied by white pavement markings of the cyclist symbol and a solid white stripe separating motorized traffic from the bicycles.

For some reason the city didn’t put up a description for the Bike May Use Full Lane signs. To us, those are just as important, if not more informative than the others. You’d be surprised to know that many motorists AND cyclists don’t realize that this is the law.

I’d love to have a set for my garage or office. 😉

Jason Roberts mentions BFR

Posted in Advocacy, Bike Change by bergerandfries on November 1, 2012

By bergerandfries

The upside is the amount of traction he’s gotten in local politics. He’s also running for US Congress (I’d vote for him). The downside is that the “just go do it, legal or illegal” is creating a backlash, of course, targeted at cyclists, the easiest and most visible folks to lash out at. Someone is now painting shared lane markings on Dallas streets, and angering Dallas City Staff and now Council too. So you are left with a Dallas Mayor that is a bicyclist, with a council and staff that are telling him it is a no go on bike infrastructure. I’ll keep riding in Dallas, don’t worry, but I don’t expect much company to join me soon…

Help Plano See the Light

Posted in Advocacy, Bike Change, Bike Friendly, Bike Trails and Routes by bergerandfries on October 30, 2012

By bergerandfries

All, Plano is looking at putting in a traffic signal at Preston Road and Commonsgate where Bluebonnet Trail could cross Preston. In order to do that, they have to do a traffic signal warrant study. Both vehicular traffic on Preston and bike/ped traffic on Bluebonnet at Preston will be counted. A signal can be warranted based on the volume of vehicular traffic (which we easily have), and/or volume bike/ped traffic. Get the picture?

When?
Wed 10/31 from 1 pm to 7 pm
Thurs 11/1 from 7 am to 1 pm

What?
You need to travel West/East on Bluebonnet and turn around in the gas station parking lot (RaceTrac or QT) and head back East/West during the above windows of time.

I will leave 2400 Glenville Drive at 4:00pm on 10/31 to go to this intersection, and will ride from this intersection back to 2400 Glenville Drive starting at 7:30am on 11/1 if anyone wants to join me!!!

5 Bike Repair Stations Across UT Dallas Campus

Posted in BFR Misc, Bike Change, Bike Friendly by dickdavid on August 14, 2012

Thea Junt, Energy Conservation & Sustainability Manager for UT Dallas Facilities Management, contacted us with some fantastic news about the UT Dallas campus, located in Richardson.

They just installed 5 Bike Repair stations across campus! According to Thea, the stations are for anyone who needs them – even if you aren’t a student. They are fixed units with a number of tools attached to them. There is also a QR code on them that links to videos/instructions showing how to make basic repairs.

Apparently biking is a big deal for UT Dallas. They also have over 1500 bike parking spaces (150+ bike racks).

And that’s not all. Thea also let us know that they now have a second bus route running through campus.  All of their buses are bike-friendly, and Richardson Bike Mart is on the route. For UT bus routes, no DART pass or fare is required – just hop on the 883 or 884 to get around.