Board of Directors THURS Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 05/18/2017  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon a Bicycle Safety presentation; 
FISCAL IMPACT:
The Woodlands Township allocates $5,000 in direct support of Bike The Woodlands Month for marketing and program materials. Additional programs and/or enhanced program options have been identified for consideration whose direct expenses range from free to $3,000.
BACKGROUND:
The Woodlands Township has been a Bike Friendly Community, as designated by the American League of Bicyclist since 2011.  One of the major components of the program is cycling education for the cycling and non-cycling public.  The goal with an education program is to provide a safe environment for cyclists, pedestrians and motorist.
 
In the last Bike Friendly Community review, (2015), the program rated the overall public education outreach as “Good”.  Since 2015, The Woodlands Township and the Bike The Woodlands Coalition have worked together to greatly expand the education and safety program. Furthermore, in meetings with the Bike The Woodlands Coalition it was encouraged to foster a cycling culture and creating awareness that cycling is a critical component of the community.This can be fostered through a number of different programs, education materials and services- many of which already exist. Overall, the more cyclists out on the pathways and roads, the more awareness there will be about cycling in the community. Direct education (i.e. classes) while a part of the current program through the Recreation Division are seen as aiding the education effort, there may however be more prudent programs to foster the overall awareness and culture of cycling in the community.
 
The month of May is key in terms of creating a culture and awareness of cycling in the community. The year's Bike The Woodlands Month will have a number of different events including but not limited to:
  • Adult rides – a variety of rides, mostly within the Woodlands, for individuals over 16 yrs. of age.
  • Mountain bike rides and clinic–rides in the George Mitchell Nature Preserve. Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association (GHORBA) will be holding a skills clinic on May 13th.
  • Women’s rides – rides within The Woodlands for women only.
  • Kids’ events – a bike rodeo, and short rides for kids from 5 years to 14 years old.
  • Workshops – Bicycle maintenance workshops and a cycling nutrition workshop.
  • Bike Swap Meet – Opportunity to buy, sell, barter for parts and bicycles on May 13.
  • Bike to Work Day – morning event on May 19 to encourage cycling to work.
  • Bike the Woodlands Day – large morning event on May 20 in Hughes Landing, with refreshments, exhibitors, and fun activities.
(Please see the Attachment A- Bike the Woodlands 2017 Event Guide for more information on these programs)
 
There are a myriad of other programs and ideas that can facilitate the development of a positive culture towards safety and cycling, many of which are low cost; however they do take staff time to develop:
  • Walk/Bike to School- Each October the Environmental Services Division coordinates and promotes walking and biking to school.  An program “ad” could be developed in the Parks and Recreation Department Action Guide to further make people aware of this initiative- Limited cost
  • Bike Safety Tips- Similar to cards handled out to park users on Park Rules, Dog Park Rules, a Bike Safety Tip Card could be developed to promote how to safely ride on the parks and the roads. These tip cards would serve as a reminder to seasoned cyclist and new information to young riders and could be passed out at a number of Township events- Limited cost
  • Facebook Campaign- The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department has approximately 2,000 Facebook followers after approximately one month of going live.  A bi-weekly post about bike safety could be developed and pushed out to remind people about proper cycling. Limited cost
  • Event Bike Parking- Within Township Events encourage commuting to the event via cycling and provide a cycling corral at selected events. The notion of a cycling corral would be identified in marketing materials to promote this effort. Limited cost
  • Pathway Signs-The community has 150- “Kindly respect the environment: Please pick up after your pet” located throughout the pathway system.  A similar sign could be developed to remind people to “share the pathway”- Estimated cost-$3,000 (150 x $20)
  • Bike Map- Similar to The Woodlands Township Park and Pathway Map a “Bike The Woodlands Map” could be developed that identifies the roads in the community which have shoulders and no shoulders. Maps would be distributed through normal channels and through local cycling shops.  (Please see Attachment B for a mockup of the “Shoulder Map” Estimated cost-$3,000 (150 x $20).)
RECOMMENDATION:
Receive the presentation.
Attachments
Attachment A - Bike The Woodlands Month Calendar
Attachment B - Woodlands Road Shoulder Bicycle Map


    

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