Austin Cycling Association and Bike Austin leadership forming unified organization, propelling the city’s ambitious bicycling vision forward
AUSTIN – Two of the city’s non-profit bicycling organizations, Austin Cycling Association (ACA) and Bike Austin, are combining leadership to form a unified organization dedicated to promoting cycling for transportation and recreation in Austin. The groups have decided that a focused, effective cycling advocacy organization is key to helping Austin achieve its ambitions to become one of the country’s top bike cities and improve quality of life for people living in Central Texas.
The newly combined organization will be known as Bike Austin, a 501(c)(4), and will have an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization.
A task force of members from each organization’s board of directors and staff met for several months to work out the details of creating a new organization and to develop a new, draft, five-year strategic plan. The combined group will conduct a range of activities and programs, including advocacy, organized rides, events and education.
“Our aim is to make cycling a common part of daily life for more and more Central Texans,” said Tom Wald, Executive Director. “We know that bicycling for transportation, recreation and exercise alleviates congestion, strengthens the economy, and promotes an active, healthy lifestyle that, whether one rides or not, supports the community as a whole.”
The two groups are working with the Washington, DC-based consulting firm S & G Endeavors (www.SGEndeavors.com
) to guide them through the strategic planning process. The firm has extensive experience in the bicycling and transportation field, as well as guiding strategic planning processes that engage the community, including BikeCleveland, Cycle Toronto, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and recently formed WalkAustin.
The organizations believe that combining their resources and memberships will greatly enhance their efforts to educate and advocate for a better environment for all cyclists in Central Texas. The new Bike Austin will benefit from the combined strengths and focus of each group.
The task force will engage the community in the strategic planning process. Bike Austin is holding a summit meeting of bicycling advocates across Central Texas on May 3-4 to seek feedback on its new strategic plan with the aim of galvanizing even greater public support behind the newly strengthened organization.
The final integration should be completed by late 2014, resulting in a strong, community-driven organization to work with the city, local regional planners, and others to transform cycling for all people in Austin.
Since it was founded in 1975, the Austin Cycling Association, a 501(c)(3) organization, has focused primarily on educating people about safe cycling skills, and promotes cycling through numerous weekly recreational rides for riders of all ages and abilities.
“A city that is well-suited for cycling benefits all of its citizens, even those who choose not to ride a bike, by providing more choice in transportation options,” said Stanton Truxillo, ACA Board President. “Cycling is an ideal means for people of all ages and abilities to have fun and stay healthy, and we believe that combining forces can help us achieve greater progress through a shared vision.”
Bike Austin, a 501(c)(4) organization originally founded in 1996 as the League of Bicycling Voters, advocates for cycling laws, policies, and the creation of a comprehensive regional cycling infrastructure, in addition to outreach education to help Austinites fit bicycling into their everyday lives.
“The visions of these two organizations have always been substantially the same: to get more people riding bicycles more often,” said Lane Wimberley, Bike Austin Board President. “I believe that combining our strengths will produce a world-class cycling organization right here in Austin, better able to realize that vision.”
For more information, please contact:
Stanton Truxillo, ACA Board President 512-450-8118
Lane Wimberley, Bike Austin Board President 512-743-9818
bikeaustin.org | austincycling.org