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Bigger in Texas? Yes. How about Bikier?

Houston, TX, is not known for its bicycle-friendliness, at least not yet. A group of nearly 60 advocates, agency staff, and elected officials are aiming to change that. A full room of people interested in dedicating more transportation funds to bicycling and walking met in Houston on Friday for an Advocacy Advance Action 2020 workshop.

Action 2020 workshop participants in Houston, including members of BikeHouston, discuss transportation funding.

Participants representing 41 different organizations, departments, and jurisdictions came together to get to know each other, learn about federal funding sources, get tips for integrating biking and walking into transportation planning, hear from a key note panel, and set goals to increase active transportation funding in the Houston region.

“The Action 2020 Workshop delivered in many ways,” said BikeHouston board member Paul SoRelle. “Not only did participants learn about the multiple areas of federal funding, but also learned ways to make bicycles an integral part of planning and maintenance as well as a major input into all decision-making.”

Participants, including H-GAC Pedestrian and Bicyclist Coordinator Chelsea Young (second from left), set funding goals.

Getting the right people in the room is critical for a constructive and successful session. That included a keynote panel discussion with Houston City Council Member Brenda Stardig, Rice University political science professor Dr. Robert Stein, and Patrick Walsh,  the director of transportation and long-range planning for Sugar Land, TX, who shared their varied perspectives with the audience.

“The diverse mix of local elected officials, agency representatives, and general advocates really gave this workshop a realistic perspective as to how we can increase and promote biking and walking in our localities and region,” said Chelsea Young, the new Pedestrian-Bicyclist Coordinator at Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC).

Guest speaker Pete Lagerwey of Toole Design walks the groups through an exercise.

Action 2020 workshops are part of the Advocacy Advance program, a partnership between the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and was made possible by the SRAM Cycling Fund. The Houston workshop was hosted by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and BikeHouston. More information on Action 2020 and a list of upcoming workshops can be found here.

We look forward to seeing where Houston goes from here.

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