May 13, 2013
Committee Meetings: Pedestrian
Mobility Advisory Committee Wednesday May
15, 2013 3:30
Conference Room 825
S. St Mary’s Transportation
Policy Board Monday
May 20, 2013 1:30 p.m. VIA Metro Center 1021 San Pedro Technical
Advisory Committee Friday June 7, 2013 1:30 p.m. MPO Conference Room 825 S. St. Mary’s Bicycle
Mobility Advisory Committee Wednesday June 12, 2013 8:00 a.m. MPO
Conference Room 825
S. St. Mary’s
MPO Committee Meetings:
Pedestrian Mobility Advisory Committee
May 15, 2013
MPO Conference Room
825 S. St Mary’s
Transportation Policy Board
May 20, 2013
VIA Metro Center
1021 San Pedro
Technical Advisory Committee
June 7, 2013
MPO Conference Room
825 S. St. Mary’s
Bicycle Mobility Advisory Committee
June 12, 2013
MPO Conference Room
825 S. St. Mary’s
Close to 500 people attended the MPO's 17th annual Walk&Roll Rally on Friday May 3rd at Main Plaza in spite of the weatherman’s warning for a record low May temperature in the low 40’s. Fortunately, with the surrounding buildings blocking a brisk breeze, the sunny morning turned out perfect for the event.
Each year the Walk&Roll Rally celebrates active transportation including walking, bicycling, carpooling and transit and features several elected and agency speakers, free refreshments, door prizes and informational exhibits.
This year’s Rally speakers included Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff; Bexar County Commissioner and MPO Chairman Tommy Adkisson; SAMHD Director Dr. Thomas Schlenker, City Manager representative Julia Murphy; Jeff Arndt, VIA Interim President and CEO; Dean Danos, Executive Director AACOG; and Jonathan Bean, Planning Engineer for the SA District of TxDOT. Bob Rivard of the Rivard Report did a great job MCing the event. Everybody received free Walk&Roll t-shirts and many won some great door prizes.
Once again, thanks to all our MPO partners – the Alamo Area Council of Governments, TxDOT, City of San Antonio, Bexar County and VIA for one of the best Rallies ever. Viva Walk&Roll!
May is National Bike Month. Celebrating National Bike Month is a great way to highlight how rapidly bicycling in our region is growing. With this increase in cycling comes the need for more education about cyclists and motorists sharing the road. What better way is there to focus on education than to identify an entire month specifically to talk about the benefits of including cycling into the transportation system?
Working together we can make the region a world-class bicycle-friendly community. Please visit www.walkandrollsa.com and browse the website. While you are there take the pledge to start or increase your cycling during May. You can also see all the bicycle friendly events already scheduled. Check back often as events are being added regularly.
Here are some of the sponsored events highlighted when you visit www.walkandrollsa.com/events:
· The Bike Waiter sponsored ride to the movies (Alamo Draft House)
· Alamo Bike Shop weekly clinics
· Book Signing: “Had to Take Another Break, Bicycling Mis-Adventures”
· Brackenridge Park Conservancy Resource and Conservation Bike Tour
· Cool Cats leading the Ride of Silence
· Frankenbike Swap Meet: #36 (3rd Anniversary)
· San Anto Cultural Arts Bike Tour
· San Antonio Botanical Gardens dollar discount off admission for cyclists the weekend of May 18th and 19th
· San Antonio River Authority weekly rides to Mission Espada from the Guenther office
· Wild Dawgs Bike Show
Please call Lydia Kelly at 210-230-6911 or e-mail at email@example.com to discuss how you can participate in our National Bike Month events.
Board members of the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) recently elected Kevin Wolff (left), a Bexar County commissioner and MPO Transportation Board member, as the new chairman of the board. Wolff replaced Don Tymrak, the former mayor and current city manager of Karnes City, who resigned when he became ineligible to remain on the board.
Commissioner Wolff began his new post immediately and will serve through 2013.
AACOG is comprised of cities, counties and other governmental districts in state planning region 18, which covers 12 counties with a mission of working regionally in partnerships to meet regional needs.
Credit: AACOG news release
Rising gas prices and warmer temperatures are some reasons for a 9% increase in motorcycle deaths in 2012, according to a new study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association. GHSA provided a state – by - state analysis of the more than 5,000 motorcycle deaths last year. Overall, 34 states saw an increase in deaths while 16 states saw a decline. Fortunately, Texas was in the latter group with 398 deaths in 2011 compared to 352 deaths in 2012. Unfortunately, that’s still 352 deaths too many.
Safety is a mutual responsibility for motorists and motorcyclists alike. Motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants. Whether you are driving the family sedan, an SUV, a school bus, a delivery van, or an 18-wheeler, drivers should always be on the lookout for motorcyclists. Be aware that a motorcycle, as one of the smallest of vehicles on the road, can be ‘hiding’ in your vehicle’s blind spots. Always check blind spots, use mirrors and signal before changing lanes or making turns. Here are some tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways:
· Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
· Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane;
· Perform a regular visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections;
· Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic;
· Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed;
· Allow more following distance - three or four seconds - when behind a motorcycle to give the motorcyclist time to maneuver around obstacles in the roadway, or stop in an emergency;
· Never drive distracted.
Motorcyclists have responsibilities too. Riders should obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed, alert to other drivers, conspicuous at all times, never ride impaired or distracted, and always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear. Motorcyclists can increase their safety by:
· Wearing a DOT-compliant helmet;
· Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it;
· Signaling intentions by combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves;
· Wearing brightly colored protective gear, and using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity;
· Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers; and
· Never riding while impaired.
To help celebrate National Bike Month the Bicycle Mobility Advisory Committee (BMAC) holds its May meeting during the evening. This is an opportunity for cyclists who may not be able to make morning meetings to attend a BMAC meeting. I am sure committee members agree when I say “thank you” to the cyclists who take time out of their busy riding schedule and come to the meetings.
BMAC is comprised of partner agency staff and citizens dedicated to making the region safer for all cyclists. It is wonderful when cyclists come to the meetings to support the committee’s work. May 8th’s Bike Night Meeting brought over thirty enthusiastic cyclists to VIA Metropolitan Transit’s Community Room. Participants reviewed a draft of the 4th edition Bike Map the MPO and City of San Antonio are collaborating on. Public input is always a vital piece of the puzzle to produce a truly great map. It is wonderful to see returning cyclists as well as cyclists who have just learned of the committee.
Agency staff members provided updates on future funding availability, the latest information on the Howard Peak Greenways, Mission Trails, VIA Metropolitan Transit and the City of San Antonio bicycle initiatives. Additionally, a legislative update was provided on bills of interest to cyclists. Of particular interest to parents is a program Bike Texas is initiating called Jenny’s Neighborhood. It has something for kids and adults alike. You may want to “play the game” with your children before the summer vacation. You may find it at www.BikeTexas.org/Game.
BMAC has three evening meetings a year. If you missed our May meeting, consider joining us either July 10th or October 9th. There will be more information in future issues of FastTrack, so please stay tuned.
Editor’s note: Lydia Kelly is retiring on May 31st after 8 years as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Planner for the MPO. We appreciate her years of dedication in making our community a better place to live, work and play. Please feel free to thank her for her service at 230-6911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.