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City’s Bicycle Program Chief Moves to the Capital Planning Office

July 24, 2013

We get a fair amount of cycling related news. And we love it when it is good news for both a friend and the City at large. Last week we learned that the head of the City’s Bicycle Program, Annick Beaudet would be moving to a new role. We checked in with Hill who had a few thoughts about the news which are shared here, and Annick’s original email is below.  Best of luck in your new role, Annick!

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A Hearty Congratulations!

The Austin bicycle community received big news last Friday with the announcement that Annick Beaudet, head of the City’s Neighborhood Connectivity Division (probably better known as the Bicycle Program) was leaving her position there.  While it may initially seem to be a great loss for those of us who have followed Beaudet’s many successes during her time at the Bike Program, it is going to be a great opportunity for her to continue supporting the efforts of all of us who are working to make Austin a better place to live and ride a bike.

I’ve witnessed Beaudet’s work with the City and I know that she has made a profound impact on the planning and implementation of new bicycle facilities in Austin.  With prior experience working in the bike department augmented by time spent in the private sector representing the development community, she brought a wealth of knowledge and the skills needed to shepherd precedent setting projects through the City bureaucracy, working with planners and engineers who were not always “bike friendly” to get important projects completed across Austin.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to her for her dedication to making Austin a great place to ride a bike, no matter if you’re a strong and fearless rider or a newbie just getting your wheels rolling.

Beaudet’s new position in the City’s budget office will allow her to monitor how projects are funded and built out, giving her a bird’s-eye view of where the money is going and if bicycle projects are receiving the funding that they are budgeted to receive.  With that knowledge she can inform City leaders on how well we are implementing new projects and where we may have room for improved efficiency in getting them built out.

Please join me in wishing Annick Beaudet continued success.

Chad Crager, an engineer in the Neighborhood Connectivity office responsible for designing many of the new bicycle projects on the ground and about to start (like the new Mopac bike bridge over Barton Creek!) and a committed transportation cyclist, will be the interim head of the Division while a search for a new Division head is conducted.  Good luck Chad!

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Colleagues and friends,

In August 2006 I started a new job at the City of Austin Public Works and Transportation Department.  The task given to me was to utilize my local government, project management, and urban planning skills to help grow the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.  Seven years later I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished.  On August 12, 2013 I’m excited to start a new chapter in my admiration for this City by joining the talented team at the City of Austin Capital Planning Office.

Having worked in multiple City departments, this is an exciting next step that will allow me to utilize those experiences to help shape our city-wide Capital Improvement plans and procedures.   In this new position, I hope to continue to bring the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan (IACP) to life and continue to make a difference.  The Public Works executive team has appointed Mr. Chad Crager, P.E. as acting Bicycle and Urban Trails Program Manager.  Chad has worked as a Project Manager with the Program since 2010 and will help shepherd the transition.

The last seven years saw the perfect combination of program vision, support, energy, and investment at the right time with impressive results.  I applaud City management, City staff members, numerous non-profits and partner government agencies, business leaders, and citizens for their role over those years.

The Bicycle Program is now an internationally recognized model program that I’ve had the privilege of representing locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.    Key elements of success were our ability to translate City bicycle and pedestrian policy into effective administrative procedures and to accelerate construction of significant infrastructure.  Our results are remarkable.  It is impossible to go out in this City and not see a new bicycle lane, urban trail, or sidewalk; that’s progress.  Our work product has translated to real and visible positive effects.  Our central-city enjoys a 5% bicycle commuting rate, and we’ve reached 2% city-wide which is more than double the city-wide rate from seven years ago.  We have engaged citizens in our processes and have inspired them to use and help us build sustainable transportation choices.

A key contributor to citizen engagement was the rebuilding of the Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC).  The BAC is now one of the most interesting places to see robust local government in action.  Austin’s leadership in the sustainability field and adoption of the IACP were also contributors to our seven year success story.

The Bicycle Program is a well-oiled machine and will continue to be a contributor to re-thinking and re-shaping transportation in Austin.  With so many talented people working proactively not only on the bicycle network, but all modes of transportation, the next several years are sure to continue to realize amazing results.

I look forward to continuing my valued relationships with all of you in this new role.  With my new location at City Hall, I plan to be an avid user of Bike Share downtown once launched later this year.

With deep appreciation,

Annick Beaudet

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