Austin's streets should be safe, comfortable, and convenient for all users, not just those in motor vehicles. As Austin has grown, city staff has acknowledged a serious need for better infrastructure. But sidewalks and bike lanes are not the only need. Pedestrians and cyclists need their voices to be heard and their concerns addressed: Negligent and aggressive driving make roads, sidewalks, and crosswalks dangerous to traverse. After publishing "Justice for Pedestrians," May 13, we heard from several readers requesting more info about how to get involved in creating a safer city for all residents. Here's our initial list; if you have additional suggestions, contact the news department at email@example.com.
Bike Austin encourages all Central Texans to "recognize and embrace the benefits of cycling." Memberships are $5/month or $35/year, with discounts for households, students, and cycling teams. Neighborhood Bike Advocacy Committee meetings take place the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm. 1000 Brazos #100, www.bikeaustin.org.
BikeTexas represents cyclists' interests before state and federal legislatures. Memberships range from $5 to $200 per month. 3301-B E. Fifth, 512/476-RIDE. www.biketexas.org.
Please BE KIND to Cyclists raises awareness, promotes education, and offers assistance to injured cyclists. Volunteer and internship opportunities are available, and donations are accepted. 805 W. 10th #300, 512/716-8955. www.bekindtocyclists.org.
Vision Zero ATX works to reduce the number of traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero. Volunteer opportunities are available. www.visionzeroatx.org.
WalkAustin is a pedestrian advocacy coalition that aims to promote walking as a mode of transportation in policy and design, and provide a community forum to discuss initiatives and opportunities promoting "people-first environments." www.iwalkaustin.org.
Ghisallo Cycling Initiative provides safe cycling education to youth. Volunteer opportunities are available. www.ghisallo.org.
Social Cycling Austin lists weekly group rides for all skill levels. www.fb.com/groups/socialcyclingaustin.
Imagine Austin The city's 30-year plan, adopted by City Council in 2012, "lays out a vision for how the city can grow in a compact and connected way." Learn more about the details of the plan and how to get involved by visiting www.austintexas.gov/department/about-imagine-austin.
Smart Trips Austin helps Austin residents "maximize their mobility" by providing toolkits with resources such as maps and other info about transportation options. www.smarttripsaustin.org.
Austin's Bicycle Master Plan and Sidewalk Master Plan, once fully funded, would provide a safe and connected alternative transportation network and would complete all high-priority sidewalks. Bike Austin is hoping to get 20,000 petition signatures to influence City Council as it considers putting forth a bond proposal. Add your name at www.bikeaustin.org/ourstreets.
Report inadequate or dangerous infrastructure (potholes, glass in bike lanes, overgrown foliage, etc.) by calling 3-1-1.
Contact your elected leaders to let them know you support these issues. Find City Council contact info at www.austintexas.gov/government.
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