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Advocacy Ramblings, Real Ale, and more…

May 27, 2009

Well, it’s been a week since my encounter with a car on Red River.  For those of you who don’t know, I was commuting to Zavala Elementary in East Austin to attend a Safe Routes to School Coalition meeting (read: IRONY). A car pulled out unaware of my presence and I was forced to throw myself and my bike into the middle of Red River to avoid an accident. The diagnosis: 3 broken bones in my big toe joint. Last night my big toenail finally made its exit. Ouch.

Jason at ATXBS has corrected a previous report that the cyclist hit on Thursday night had passed away.  Read more

I’m still stoked about our new U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. He stresses the importance of bicycle safety and defensive riding as Bike Month comes to a close. LaHood wrote in his blog Welcome to the Fast Lane, that “Our roads and communities must be built to allow people to get around safely outside of their cars, on bike or on foot.”  He adds,  “As more people take to bicycling, that idea can only be sound when drivers and cyclists help each other share the roads safely.”  Read more.

A jovial crowd of cyclists across the culture spectrum attended the Bike Plan Hearing Thursday the 21st.  Close to 300 signed in to support the Plan.  Near 70 signed up to speak, but in a united gesture, the majority gave their allotted time to a handful of significant spokespersons.  Our fearless leader, Hill Abell was one of those eloquent speakers.  Bicycle Sport Shop provided valet bike parking for the Hearing.  We parked at least 100 bikes as the meeting went on until 10:30p.m.   Council heard from a few audience members who did not support the Bike Plan due to a planned bridge in North East Austin.   Property required to complete this project was purchased 10 years ago by the city.  In addition, the architectural survey and plans have been purchased and are complete.   This project is ready to roll.   The opposition believes that this bridge will link the “bad” neighborhood with their neighborhood,  thus increasing crime.  Testimony indicated that this small parcel of land is currently being used for “debauchery”.   It’s this author’s belief that if the bridge is built, and well lit, these people will go elsewhere.  They are seeking a hiding place. They do not want to be visible on a well traveled route.   In addition to connectivity, this bridge will also give direct, easy access to the elementary school in their neighborhood.   Currently students in the “bad” neighborhood have to be bused, around I-35.   AISD supports the bridge, since students will be in proximity of the school, and no longer need the bus service.

 Council cannot rule on the Bike Plan until their next meeting, June 11th, due to a legal technicality that was discovered. This Council appears to be unanimously in support of the Plan. Send a note to the Bicycle Pedestrian coordinator, Annick Beaudet  and the Public Works staff for doing an incredible job preparing this “bible” that will move Austin to become a world class cycling city by 2020.

Just got word from Robin Stalling at 11:30 last night.  SB 161 was signed into law by Governor Perry.  That is the license plate bill where funds are directed to the Safe Routes To School program.  That was the original intent for the “God Bless Texas” plate funds, but until now those funds were routed through TXDOT.  And getting those funds at TXDOT released in a timely manner was close to impossible.  Now those funds will go directly to the Safe Routes program.  Good work Bike Texas!  Now if we can get those other three bills through the “chubbing” gauntlet. 

DON’T FORGETReal Ale Ride   is this weekend. Bikes, Beer, and Barbeque always blend beautifully. Don’t wait for the day to sign up with the other 600 people. Sign up now

Keep riding…..Leslie Luciano

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2009 10:33 pm

    Pam LeBlanc contacted APD and APD denied the rumors of the death of the cyclist injured on Thursday night. http://tbik.org/anQUh

  2. May 28, 2009 3:23 pm

    Jason, at ATXBS.com has corrected the initial report. The still unidentified cyclists is in serious condition. Read more: http://www.atxbs.com/?q=node/1176

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