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On Thursday September 17th, the Hutto City Council voted and approved the Strategic Guide 2035. The Strategic Guide serves as a long-range, comprehensive planning document aimed at guiding the growth and development of the City to the year 2035. There are Policies, Goals, and Activities that are outlined to make this planning a reality. Under the Mobility Policy is the goal to “Maintain and Follow Pedestrian Mobility Plan”. For FY16 one of the activities to reach that goal is as follows:
“Pursue Bike Friendly Community Designation”
With the approval of the Strategic Guide 2035 document, Hutto can officially pursue a Bike Friendly Community Designation from the League of American Bicyclists! This has been an important goal for Bike Hutto and we are very excited to be able to move forward on this!
So what is a “Bike Friendly Community Designation”? Per the League of American Bicyclists,
“The Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC℠) program provides a roadmap to improve conditions for bicycling and the guidance to make your distinct vision for a better, bikeable community a reality. A BFC welcomes bicyclists by providing safe accommodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life.”
This is done by targeting the 5 E’s — Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation/Planning. There are levels of designation within the program that include Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. In Texas there are currently five communities that are certified. Austin has Silver status. Houston, Richardson, San Antonio, and The Woodlands Township have Bronze status. The following Texas communities have received Honorable Mention through their applications: El Paso, Frisco, Hollywood Park, and Plano.
What happens now?
The City will be creating an employee team to help pursue the designation. Bike Hutto will continue to be involved in the process and will work with the City of Hutto on helping to make this designation a reality. There are two application cycles each year. There is one in February and one in August. Once there is a team put in place and planning has begun, it will be determined which cycle the application will be submitted to.
Learn more about the Bicycle Friendly Community Program through the League of American Bicyclists by visiting: http://bikeleague.org/community
Bike Hutto is launching the ‘Community of Cyclists Campaign’ in January 2015. The campaign was inspired by similar campaigns launched by People For Bikes and Bike Pittsburgh, which emphasize the humanization of bicyclists to promote bike safety.
The Community of Cyclists Campaign is an effort by Bike Hutto to show the wide variety of people in Hutto that bike. The term, “Cyclist” can sometimes give off a certain type of image. The campaign will promote the fact that there is no one “type” of person who rides a bicycle. They are our friends, our neighbors, our students, and our colleagues.
Profiles will be done on a variety of Hutto bicyclists. Each profile will include the “Hello My Name Is….And I Ride” logo, a picture of the cyclist, 3 descriptive words that the person being profiled feels represents them, and answers to a brief interview. The process will take part via email and will not take up much of the individual’s time. The Community of Cyclists profiles will be promoted both on the Bike Hutto website, as well as on all social media channels.
It is always best to put a face to the name, whether you’re talking about bike safety, future bike infrastructure, or social events. Hutto is about community. If you are a bicyclist, it is important to know your fellow riders. If you don’t ride, it is an important to remember that the needs and safety of the person you see bicycling could be your neighbor.