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More bike parking needed at Capitol

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 11, 2014

What’s up with the lack of bike racks at the Texas Capitol?

I pedaled to the big pink granite dome this morning to speak to the Capitol Rotary Club about fitness. I assumed I’d find a handy place to park my bicycle.

Not so.

I finally did track down a small rack, but it wasn’t actually on the Capitol grounds - it was at the nearby Sam Houston Building east of the Capitol. And even that rack was pitifully small. (There’s a second rack on the north side of the same building.) What happens when the Legislature is in session?

I called Robin Stallings, executive director of BikeTexas, a non-profit group that advocates for bicycle access, safety and education. Stallings rides his bike to the Capitol a lot, especially when the legislature is in session. I could almost see his eyes roll when I asked him about the lack of bike parking in the area.

“The Capitol really badly needs (a bike rack),” Stallings told me.

He parks in the same rack I used, but said it’s often overflowing during the session. That’s why BikeTexas offered to donate a $1,200 bike parking facility. Unfortunately, that idea ultimately got panned by the State Preservation Board and the Texas Facilities Commission.

And that’s a bummer. We need more bike parking down there. How else can I convince the governor to ride a bike to work?