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Austin Bicycle News (old)

This page is no longer being maintained.  For current news:

Ghostbikes on KVUE

KVUE ran an excellent video story about ghost bike memorials in Austin on Nov. 19. November 2007

Safe Passing Bill dies in Texas Legislature

The Texas Bicycle Coalition has fought valiantly for several years to get a law passed that require motorists to give at least three feet of clearance to cyclists when passing. But, this is Texas we're talking about, and Texas legislators aren't exactly renowned for their competence. After being amended to the point that the bill was ultimately worthless, it died anyway. May 2007

How many cycle commuters in Austin?

City staff provided these numbers in January 2007 for the % of work commutes that are made by bicycle:


Central City (Oltorf/2222/Mopac/ Pleasant Valley)


Outside the Central City



not available

"No justice for cyclists" issue gets big story in the Chronicle

The Austin Chronicle ran a big story in about motorists not getting cited or charged for hitting cyclists, even when the motorist is clearly at fault. We've been banging the drum for years about this issue in our No Justice for Cyclists section, and it's good to see the media taking notice. It'll be a long time until this issue changes, but the first step is public awareness, so now we've taken that first step. November 2006

New helmet law probably dead

The City Council took no action on the proposed helmet law at the public hearing on August 24, 2006. It doesn't appear that the votes exist to get the law passed, so it's unlikely that the item will make its way back onto the Council's agenda.

We have more about the history of the Austin helmet law for those who want the details. August 2006

Driver who ran red light and hit two cyclists not ticketed

Yet another motorist who ran a red light and hit a cyclists (actually, two cyclists this time), was not ticketed by the police. Here's a link to Amy's blog entry about it. There's more about this common lack of justice in our No Justice for Cyclists section. April 2006

City Council allows cars to park in bicycle lanes on Shoal Creek

We lost. On Thursday, March 2, the City Council voted to keep cars in the bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd. Only Councilmember Alvarez and Mayor Wynn voted for car-free bike lanes, vs. the other five councilmembers who voted against us.

I had started exploring the feasibility of suing the City over violating national safety standards and failing to provide safe roadways, but decided to hold off since the City appointed a Bicycle Safety Task Force in August 2006 to come up with ways to improve cycling safety. I'm putting the car-free bike lanes for Shoal Creek issue on hold pending something coming out of the task force effort.

In the meantime, you might enjoy the movie of my presentation to the City Council (QuickTime, 2.2Mb). And there's more info on our Shoal Creek Blvd. page.

Thanks to everyone who showed up to speak to the City Council, who used the form on BicycleAustin to send them an email, and who donated money to fund my research and petition-gathering efforts. March 2006

Exploding stuff in the street at UT

Lauri Apple writes: "Some dunderheads around UT are putting explosive things - I believe beverage containers, but I'm not sure - on the streets. I was riding home from a friend's house tonight and just turned the corner from the alley east of the Dobie onto 21st, when a thing exploded right in front of me. It was in the middle of the lane. I called 911. This exploding thing totally scared the bejeezus out of me, and luckily it blew up before I was within 10 feet of it (missed it by seconds). It could also have been very dangerous for a motorist, too ... but I think the explosive was glass, so ... SHARDS on bare skin. Not a pretty picture." Feb. 2003

President Bush signs electric bike law
Electric bicycles used to be classified as motorcycles, requiring them to be licensed, have powerful (and heavy) safety lighting, etc. But now they're properly considered as just bicycles. (more) Nov. 2002

Monorail Survey Results

In our 2002 survey, 49% preferred Monorail, 37% Light Rail, 12% Neither, and 4% were Undecided. (more)

John Kelso pokes fun at cyclists, rides with them
Get the scoop on the Kelso columns and bike ride. July 2002
Courteous Mass Bike Parade
Riders wary of the sometimes confrontational nature of Critical Mass have started an alternate "Courteous Mass" bike parade, every 2nd Friday of the month. The ride starts at 5:30 in the middle of the Pfluger Bridge (Lamar & Riverside) with a rendezvous at Waterloo Cycles at 6:30.(more)
Urban Cycling Class.  Mike Librik & Amy Babich are teaching an Urban Cycling Class, to show riders how to cycle safely in the city. (more)
Critical Mass hysteria
Exclusive video of a motorist intentionally running over a cyclist in September 2001, and the aftermath. (more)

Lance Armstrong: Austin no good for cycling
According to Armstrong, "A city like Austin is growing so much cycling is ruined there." (more)

Texas law to limit biking FAILS. The moronic bill which would have banned cyclists from certain roads in certain conditions, failed in 2001, thankfully. (more)
Bike Safety bill passes. Governor Perry signed a bike safety bill into law in June 2001. Kudos to the Texas Bicycle Coalition for shepherding this legislation into place. (more info)
Citizens kill parking garage.

The Judge Hill Neighborhood Association successfully convinced the City Council on 8/9/01 to deny a rezoning application which would have allowed development of a private parking garage at MLK & West in Central Austin. It was a close call, since the issue had passed at two separate council meetings. (It required three separate votes to be approved).

Hyde Park activist killed by car. Ironically, Debra Prokop was killed by a car in May 2001, mere days before she was supposed to speak to the Planning Commission about improving traffic safety in her Hyde Park neighborhood. (more)
Ben Clough case is over. Perhaps not surprisingly, the motorist who killed Ben Clough was sentenced to only community service, on 4-30-01. (more info)

Bike Safety bill passes. Governor Perry signed a bike safety bill into law in June 2001. Kudos to the Texas Bicycle Coalition for shepherding this legislation into place. (more info)

Roadway Improvements. Projects will make it safer to cross 183 near the Arboretum by bike, will add bike lanes to Barton Springs Road, and more. Check it out.

More hit & runs. Why are such a high percentage of car-bike collisions hit & runs? Check out the latest cases. (more info) makes Chronicle's "Best of Austin" From the 9-15-00 Chronicle: "BEST PLACE TO SURF, ER, BIKE THE WEB: BICYCLING IN AUSTIN. Michael Bluejay is determined to save the world, one turn of the pedal at a time. He does so quite effectively on his very thorough Web site, covering every cycling issue imaginable. The highlight is an excellent manual on bicycling safety -- it IS possible to cycle in an urban environment and not get run over, you just have to know how to make it happen, both on the bike and at City Hall.


Read back issues of the newsletter.

Another site by Michael Bluejay...

Michael Bluejay explains slot machines.  I know about more stuff than just bikes.  My explanation about how slot machines work is probably the best you're gonna find anywhere.'