Juliana Henao, El Diario de El Paso
A la luz de las recientes tragedias que involucran a tres ciclistas y dos peatones, incluyendo la muerte del pequeño José Córdova, de 9 años de edad, mientras montaba su bicicleta en el Centro de El Paso, preocupados por sus vidas integrantes de la Coalición de Ciclistas y Peatones Velo Paso se reunieron con oficiales de Gobierno ayer sábado.
The same state department of transportation that is eagerly pursuing a $5.2 billion third outerbelt for Houston yanked $1.6 million from the city of El Paso this week out of concern that the city’s bike-share plans were not “the most efficient ways to address air quality with limited funding.”
According to the El Paso Times, the city’s Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority was preparing to move forward with bike-share after securing some $400,000 in local funds, including funds from City of El Paso and the University of Texas at El Paso.
But officials from the Texas Department of Transportation indicated this week they were withholding the $1.6 federal match. “TxDOT plans to coordinate conversations with transportation partners to garner more information on how we can dedicate those limited funds to important congestion-mitigation projects around the state,” TxDOT said in a memo said, according to the Times.
The Texas Department of Transportation slammed the brakes on a bicycle-sharing program for Downtown and Central El Paso by denying $1.6 million in federal funding, at least for now.
During its monthly board meeting on Wednesday, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority was prepared to move forward with the BikeShare Program, which the City of El Paso and the University of Texas at El Paso had already approved partial funding for. But the plans changed when Raymond Telles, the authority’s executive director, said Mark Williams, TxDOT’s director of planning, told him earlier this week that TxDOT was not in agreement with the use of the $1.6 million.
The money was going to come fromthe Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program and the Surface Transportation Planning/Metropolitan Mobility program run by TxDOT.
“As far as I’ve been told the decision is final,” Telles said.
But in a prepared statement, TxDOT said the decision is not final.
Read Full Article HERE
Do you want to make El Paso safe for cyclists and pedestrians?
Do you wish it was easier to take your mom and your children out for a bike ride or walk around El Paso?
Do you wish you could live here without needing a car?
Are you angry that TxDOT is trying to deny El Paso funding for our bike share program, even after city council approved it?
Come to the first Velo Paso-bike pedestrian coalition Community Meeting and share how you feel!
When: Saturday 8/24 10am-12pmWhere: ELP Public Library, downtown branch
Bring your ideas about how we can create an El Paso where it’s easy and fun to bike and walk for everyone!
Breakfast will be provided! (Think pan dulce and coffee)
On Friday, July 12, the El Paso MPO Transportation Policy Board approved $2.3 million in citywide bicycle infrastructure and programs over the next three years. Several bike advocates voiced their support for bike funding during the meeting, while countless others called and emailed their representatives ahead of time.
“Infrastructure and bike programs will not only help the [City of El Paso’s] new bike share program,” said Ben Foster, board member of Velo Paso, a bicycle-pedestrian coalition, “but it will also inspire people to dust off their bikes sitting in their garage and ride to work, school, parks and maybe even to an Aardvarks [minor league baseball] game.” Plans for the $60.8 million Triple-A ballpark include 80 bike racks, a requirement for LEED certification.
After doubts were raised earlier in the week about the bicycle infrastructure fund’s security, BikeTexas sent an Action Alert to bicycle advocates in El Paso, asking them to speak up. “The advocacy presence may have saved this pot of money from being diverted to other projects,” said a city official.
Read Full Article HERE
El Paso – El Paso city representatives voted their support this week to develop the community’s first-ever bike share program. City representatives unanimously authorized Mayor Oscar Leeser to sign an interlocal agreement between the city, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA), and the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), in which the city will provide $100,000 for a $2 million bicycle kiosk project. The $100,000 was budgeted as part of the city’s environmental services.
The main funding for the project comes from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program in the amount of $1,512,000. Other funding sources include $276,000 from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Rider 8 program; $88,000 from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Surface Transportation Program (STP); and $24,000 from the University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) green fund.
Mathew McElroy, the city’s Deputy Director for Planning and Economic Development, explained the program to city officials, at a City Council meeting on July 9, saying that the bike kiosks are not intended to be amenities necessarily, but that they serve a greater function in planning the city’s mass transit system.
Read Full Article HERE
Before 2012, I never really gave bicycling a second thought as an adult.
During my commute to work, I’d often see a bicyclist here or there but nothing that particularly caught my attention. On a personal level, I hadn’t even learned how to ride a bicycle until I was 14 years old and even then my learning curve with riding bikes was incredibly sloppy. I remember that at one point, I thought I had mastered the art of balancing on two wheels, so I took my borrowed, crooked old Schwinn cruiser up a steep hill and figured I’d coast down with ease.
Let’s just say the bike did make it down the hill – but without me on it.
Suddenly life happens. You get a job, a family, a car. Leisurely activities like bicycling become a ghost of the past and for many just a fond childhood memory. For me, the reinvigorated passion for bicycling as an adult came about through the tragedy of a busted Pontiac G6 engine. I was given a cheap mountain bike for free and luckily for me, I live and work Downtown so commuting was no issue.
Read Full Article HERE
A local group is organizing events for bikers around the National Bike to School Day, May 7, and National Bike to Work Week, May 13-17.
The group, El Paso Bike Month, encourages the border community to increase bicycle use and become healthier while having a good time.
“We want people to be aware of biking and participate and see how fun it can be,” said Sarah Rich, a volunteer organizer for El Paso Bike Month.
Yesterday, May 1, the kick-off event for a month devoted to cycling, was scheduled for San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso from 6 p.m to 8:30 p.m.
The kick-off route was planned to first go around Union Plaza and then have a stop at Armijo Park, between 7th and 8th avenues on Campbell Street. The ride was planned to be an easy pace, open to the public and completely free.
“We just want people to come out and have a great time,” Rich said.
El Paso Bike Month is volunteer-organized and has program events, workshops and rides.
A full calendar of events is available on elpasobikemonth.com and can be searched for on Facebook by typing “El Paso Bike Month.”
El Paso Bike Month will kick off with three Downtown events tonight.
They are: (1) El Paso Bike Month Proclamation by Mayor John Cook at San jacinto Plaza @ 7 p.m. (2) Downtown Redevelopment Tour on Two Wheels. After the proclamation, ride a two wheel tour to see the latest on downtown redevelopment. (3) Meet & Greet With The Bike Community. After the tour, let’s all gather for a social mixer at Bowie Feathers at 10 p.m.
Find out more about El Paso Bike Month by clicking here.
Copyright © 2019 Velo Paso Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition.
A 501©(3) nonprofit organization.