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Friday, May 27, 2011

Texas Loves Cyclists

Texas is quickly establishing itself as a state that loves cyclists.

Through the actions of the TxDOT, various bicycle advocacy groups, city engineers and citizens, various guidelines and policies have been put into place to ensure that Texas is a state that welcomes cyclists.

This only means that the state is showing concern with the growth and anticipation for bicycle facilities and needs. Here are a few examples of these extraordinary ideas that are being put into play in Texas right now:

  • Just a few weeks back, TxDOT released a new guidance memo that cements the importance of building roads to include space for people who walk or ride bicycles. John A. Barton, P.E. highlights to all TxDOT District Engineers that this action is in line with the goals of the Complete Streets Bill --- which is a bill that ensures that roads are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation.

  • A more interesting take is the action being done in Austin: two dedicated staff bicycle engineers are hard at work creating green-painted bicycle-dedicated lanes. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikedenton/5219659457/sizes/l/in/photostream/)

  • The organization BikeTexas and their site, BikeTexas.org is constantly filled with updates on bike-centric news for Texas. They are advocating the advancing of bicycle access, safety and education. Their site currently houses tons of information concerning Biking in Texas, including Texas bicycle laws, bicycle tourism trails and ways for people to interact with their representatives to get bicycle safety policies to be pushed forward.

  • A total of eight Texas cities now have ordinances requiring cars to give 3 feet when passing bikes and pedestrians.

  • Fort Worth has efforts planned throughout the year to improve bike infrastructure. This involves building hundreds of bike racks, painting bike lanes and adjusting existing roads to better accommodate the needs and the safety of cyclists.

  • Both Dallas and Arlington are planning to create bike networks, policies and priorities implemented through various planned programs. All to accommodate the growing number of both cyclists and pedestrians who have as much right to road safety as motorists in cars or other vehicles.

Learn more about bicycle safety from the National Safety Commission.

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