By Aspen Pflanz, Staff Planner
In 1980, the City of College Station developed its first bicycle plan, establishing a foundation for future planning efforts to address the high volume of bicyclists commuting to the Texas A&M campus.
Today, College Station has more than 105 miles of bicycle facilities and boasts the highest percentage of bicycle commuters in Texas (2.2%). The League of American Bicyclists has even designated College Station as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.
National Bike Month is an ideal time to reflect on how bicycling became essential in our community. Although we’ve only celebrated the observance since 2011, the city’s dedication began decades ago.
In 1975, the Brazos Valley League of Women Voters, the Environmental Action Council, and the A&M Wheelman Club tallied 10,000 daily bicycle trips to and from the A&M campus when student enrollment was 24,876. That statistic prompted city officials to develop bicycle routes in the Southside and Eastgate neighborhoods, with official route signage installed the following year.
The 1980 bicycle plan evolved to incorporate pedestrian facilities, greenways, subdivision regulations, boards and committees, facility operations and maintenance, educational programs, and strategic partnerships. Those components, whether large or small, have each contributed to the success and growth of local bicycling.
These days, the city remains firmly committed to evaluating and improving bicycling conditions through policies, infrastructure, and programs.
National Bike Month was established in 1956 to highlight the benefits of bicycling for community and individual well-being. Each May, communities nationwide celebrate bicycling and encourage folks to get out and ride for fun, fitness, or essential trips. National Bike Month also helps highlight community safety, connectivity, economic development, health, sustainability, and happiness.
We encourage you to get out and ride this month because, in the immortal words of President John F. Kennedy, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”
These handy resources can help you plan your next ride:
Local Bike Month Events
Remember: Safety First!
Regardless of when, where, or how often you ride, safety is the responsibility of every road user. Keep these tips in mind to make your journeys safe and comfortable:
- Perform a basic bike check to ensure your bike and gear work properly.
- Obey traffic signs and rules.
- Use hand signals for turns and stops.
- Make yourself visible by riding in front of or far behind vehicles, and use a headlight and taillight, or a rear reflector, at night.
- When operating a motor vehicle, be a Bicycle Friendly Driver.
- Stay hydrated and have fun!
For more information about bicycling in College Station, contact me at email@example.com or 979-764-3570.
About the Blogger
Aspen Pflanz is in her first year as a transportation and mobility planner for the city. She previously worked as an associate planner at the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and transportation planner at the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Right of Way Bureau. A native of Wayne, Neb., Pflanz earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science (2017) and a master’s in community and regional planning preservation with a cultural heritage graduate certificate (2020) from Iowa State.
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