Cool stuff going on this month! What are you doing with your bike this month?
The Dinner and Bikes Traveling Roadshow!
A 7-Course Vegan Meal + Bicycling + Films + Authors
Here’s what happens at Dinner and Bikes Denton:
As you arrive at Trinity Presbyterian Church-Denton, serve yourself from chef and cookbook author Joshua Ploeg’s gourmet vegan and (typically) gluten-free buffet spread. While eating, author and filmmaker Joe Biel plays a series of his short films about bicycle activism and culture—his newest shorts focus on the family bicycling movement. Then local advocates and sponsors have a chance to get up and talk about their work promoting cycling. Author Elly Blue takes the stage and gives a presentation about Bikenomics, showing the audience how to make a compelling economic case for bicycling, equity, and transportation activism. At the end there is a chance for questions, discussion, and browsing the Microcosm Publishing pop-up book and t-shirt store.
Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church of Denton, 2200 N. Bell Ave., Denton, TX 76209
Co-presented by BikeTexas and the Denton Bicycling Coalition
Proceeds benefit Querencia Community Bike Shop
Ride your bike to the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival! More bike racks have been provided so you don’t have to worry about where you’ll park your bike! Take advantage of the 54 extra spaces to park your bike, with event racks stationed at City Hall and the Civic Center. Ride on!
Attention all Denton cyclists!
On Tuesday, May 5 at the beginning of the City Council meeting, Mayor Chris Watts will proclaim May as Bike Month for the City of Denton.
Let’s pack City Hall with as many cyclists, bicycle riders, and lovers of bikes as possible to show Denton just how many of us there are and show our city leaders how civic-minded we are.
When: Tuesday, May 5, 6:30-7:00PM
Where: City Hall, 215 E. McKinney Street
Some of you will be participating in Bike the Vote, https://www.facebook.com/events/883290738396880/, so after voting at the Civic Center, come to City Hall for the Bike Month Proclamation. Afterward, we can all do the victory lap, starting at the Civic Center, and ending at Oak St. Drafthouse.
This will be great night of cycling civic engagement, one for the history books!
Here is a great FREE opportunity to improve your bicycling skills led by two Denton Police Department officers and Justin Stewart!
Have you wanted to ride your bike around town, but don’t know where to start or how to ride in traffic? Learn everything you need to know in this FREE class!
Taught by local certified instructors, the class will cover all of the basics, including parts, maintenance, and safety.
For lunch, the class will ride to a Denton restaurant that the group chooses. Bring your bike and helmet, as well as a lunch or money.
To participate, you must be age 16 or older and provide your own bike and helmet. Registration is limited to 16 participants, so register today!
Main Police Building, Training Room
601 E. Hickory St.
Denton, TX 76201
Saturday May 9, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CDT
City of Denton
Dear Denton Bicyclists and Bike Supporters,
I think and feel that the time is right to organize and grow a unified voice for bicyclists of all kinds to encourage more bike ridership and make the streets of Denton more bike-friendly. I am interested in getting the wheels turning to organize the Denton Bicycle Coalition (DBC) for the purpose of engaging in advocacy, education, and community building in the City of Denton. There are many bicycle-friendly businesses, groups, and individuals, but no all-encompassing advocacy organization to amplify the voices of these businesses, groups, and individuals to city council, DCTA, businesses, schools, etc.
Denton is in a good position to support a bicycle coalition with these established groups and businesses:
Some action items for a Denton bicycle coalition might include:
– Encourage more child, female, family, and minority ridership
– Attend all city council meetings and encourage city leaders to move forward in the implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan – Work closely with and support the work of the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
– Educate citizens about bicycle safety, skills, and maintenance through classes and workshops (Denton has at least one League Cycling Instructor)
– Support and partner with Querencia and other non-profit bike organizations on local, state, and national levels
– Encourage businesses to welcome bike-riding customers
– Recognize bike-friendly businesses
– Identify safe routes in Denton with online maps – Assess streets and routes for safety and repair
– Endorse bike-friendly candidates and legislation on local, state, and national levels
– Provide information resources and referrals (insurance, legal help, travel ideas)
– Sponsor bike art contest and short bike film contest
– Organize or sponsor group rides, bike camping, bikepacking, and races for charity, non-profits, or Denton Public Library
– Partner with DISD for bike safety/skills educational outreach
– Collaborate with TWU and UNT during orientations, welcome week, and other events for outreach and education
– Have outreach booths at Community Market, Jazz Fest, Blues Fest, Cinco de Mayo, Redbud Fest, 35Denton, etc.
– Seek grants and awards to support activities of DBC
– Work with Denton Police Department and help in recovery of stolen bikes and encourage online bike registration
One mid-range goal would be to apply for Bicycle Friendly Community status as recognized by the Bicycle League of America. There are only four BFCs in Texas (Austin, Houston, San Antonio, The Woodlands).
Some coalitions that DBC might model its work and mission after include:
I would like to meet to get your input, feedback, and ideas.
Bikes welcome! Cars, too. Adult beverages will be provided.
I hope to see you there!
Tomorrow starts the League of American Bicyclists’ yearly National Bike Challenge, in which participants and teams compete under friendly terms to pedal the most miles between the months of May through September.
The goals this year are to include 50,000 riders going for 30,000,000 miles. The stats are tracked via the usual apps such as Endomondo, Moves, and MapyMyRide and logged into a linked profile you make for yourself.
This year, the Shawnee Trail Cycling Club of Frisco is the designated local challenge group for Collin and Denton counties and have reached out to us gather involvement in their challenge. According to coordinator Joel Hoback, STCC will be getting local sponsors to offer small prizes each month for their local challenge. The local goal is to have 1000 participants attain 600,000 miles – something we think can be attained over 5 months of the year. Joel also encourages participants to post media regarding their rides to the local challenge page and for those social media-savvy types, official hashtag is #NBC2014 (eat your heart out, TV peacock).
You can additionally join or create teams based upon your school or workplace and see how you stack up against other local participants.
We’re going to be making monthly updates and check in to monitor progress on this challenge and we hope you’ll join us!
For a few years now, BikeDenton has authored City Council candidate questionnaires with a slightly hands-off approach; just let the candidates answer. This year however, we initially debated on doing the same, but with the lack of progress on badly needed and desired livability/mobility infrastructure -significantly so in the recent years since the Bicycle & Pedestrian Mobility Plan’s approval- we decided hands-off wasn’t going to cut it this year.
So we went to the candidate forums, catalogued their relevant platforms, and took into consideration their past actions and direction to provide the following:
Glen, proprietor of the ever-popular Denton culture blog We Denton Do It, is seeking his first term for District 2. This term will only serve the remaining year of seat being vacated by Dalton Gregory in favor of Place 5 and will be up for election again next year. Farris has served on a few boards and commissions within the City but most notably formed the Downtown Denton Neighborhood Association and currently serves as its President.
There’s a noticeable lack of platform across both his official site and Facebook page, but in our estimation, Glen has continually championed the compact growth models that demand better active mobility and interconnectivity – and not just of his own district, but towards SE Denton and other more traditionally neglected portions of Denton. Specifically, he has stated that a shake-up in City development code is required to meet the desires of Denton citizens.
Glen recently saw to fruition a Neighborhood Empowerment Grant that has brought the above stylized lil ‘d’ bike racks to soon proliferate the Square and beyond. These racks came under collaboration with Denton Parks & Recreation and Starr Studios. We’d like to especially thank Glen and P&R for seeking us out for input regarding the racks’ design and functionality, and then actually heeding our comments.
What we hope to see from Glen Farris in the future is not only an enthusiasm for these individual projects, but a dedication to mobility in office.
Dalton, the current District 2 Council Member and retired DISD principal, has been the primary champion of active mobility efforts on the City Council for the last few years. There have certainly been others on Council who share our values, but Dalton has always been the most ardent, vocal supporter and policy-maker in these regards.
A speedy bicyclist himself, Dalton has been Denton’s primary City official attuned to BikeTexas, NAACTO, and the progressive efforts both in-state and abroad.
In the frustrating years since the Denton Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan has passed and been adopted, Gregory has continually attacked to the root of stalled implementation: an apathetic and stubborn City Engineering staff. On account of staff continually failing his requested reports and policy-directed criteria, they will need to start being held accountable. We know Dalton will be at the head of that process.
You will know Greg Johnson at this point more for the development footprint of Verus Real Estate, of which he is CEO. Their recent and rapid foray into prime locations of Denton property has received mixed reviews and success, but there appears to be a willingness on his part to develop primarily where livability is easiest, and to perpetuate doing so.
He has vocally shared Dalton Gregory’s frustrations over City staff and more directly wants to see them replaced. (!) His grievances seem to lie more with the difficulty in getting right-of-way, sidewalks, and general pedestrian mobility to gel but have met hampering by the City code and staff to do so.
We say godspeed to you Greg in helping to clear such messes up.
In this case, we feel it important to note the cases of each candidate, and to highlight their varying degrees in prioritizing active mobility in Denton.
Most notably a community-access television show host, Donna has volunteered in various capacities in Denton for the last decade. While we have not heard a direct desire or discussion on active mobility, Woodfork is quick to champion a cause to expand access and availability to public transportation across and beyond Denton. Her desire for a more comprehensive and reliable transportation service is duly appreciated by us here at BikeDenton, but we would like to see a stronger commitment to mobility beyond the confines of four to six wheels.
A former District 4 Council Member and real-estate investor, Chris is re-entering the Denton political sphere for the Mayoral race. His mantra is one of balancing the City’s budget and taking a particular approach to economic development. From his website, Watts dedicates one single line to issues of bikes:
Continue to increase number of bike-lane miles.
This is fine and all, but we really wish to have seen more from Chris this election cycle in regards to our causes.
Schaake, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for UNT’s College of Arts & Sciences and current chair to the Denton Planning & Zoning board, has continually expressed a need for Denton development to highlight a walkable, urban culture. She champions Better Block initiatives and we have personally witnessed her advocacy for pedestrian- and bicycle-scalable (not vehicle-scalable) planning when it comes to block sizes and code. It’s again, not among the forefront of her campaign, but Jean exhibits a more active line of thinking that we of BikeDenton also subscribe to.
We were reminded recently that while any candidate can publicly include active mobility and complete streets, scaled livability, etc. to their official platforms, it’s how high of a priority those items are that tends to matter. For this reason, we endorse Dr. Jean Schaake for Mayor of the City of Denton.
Now, it’s very important to note that the issues of BikeDenton are one or two in a whole slew of important topics facing our fair City. So while we greatly encourage you to take our endorsements into consideration, we even more strongly encourage your own in-depth analysis of the candidates and how their ideas could impact your day-to-day lives and futures.
But do so quickly; Early Voting begins next week from April 28th – May 3rd (8 AM to 5 PM), resumes again May 5th & 6th (7 AM to 7 PM), and then election day will be upon us Saturday, May 10th (7 AM to 7 PM).
We greatly look forward to working with whomever is elected to serve and guide our beloved Denton this year, especially looking first to secure and affirm primary rather than supplemenatal budgetary funding for bicycle infrastructure.
Go get ’em, Dentonites.
November 16th proved to be an awesome day for Denton bicycling events with the 2nd Annual Bicycle to Recycle Tour and the Golden Triangle Alleycat Race.
Both events started on the Square and ended socially at East Side Social Club. Christopher went with the race and Devin the Recycle Ride. Here’s what we saw:
[*Most Recycle Ride photos courtesy of Alana Presley with the City of Denton]
Beyond the popular MLK Jr. Pedestrian bridge over Loop 288, the City has been keeping an eye on further ways of improving the look and amenities of the Rail Trail from the DCTA Transit Center down through Hickory Creek.
They currently have a vote taking place on EngageDenton to gather public input on benching and other resting amenities. My vote is for Benching option A, but my opinion is but one voice and vote. Hop on over and let Denton staff know what you like and what fits in for this environment.