Brian Barr, 21, chemical engineer student, works at Rice Bikes, the student-run bike shop at Rice University
Brian moved to Houston three years ago to start his freshman year at Rice University. He came from Atlanta where he was not able to ride his bike that often because his neighborhood there was not very bike friendly. Luckily he could sometimes borrow the family car. Now a student at Rice, Brian has lost access to the car and finds his way on his bike or by taking public transit like buses and the metro rail.
Houston is a 6:
“I cannot afford a car, being a student at Rice is expensive enough, so having a bicycle is an essential part of my means of transportation. I am glad that I can use my bike around campus and that the lightrail is close by. Houston has a lot of potential as a bike friendly city because it is so flat and it stays warm throughout the year. Some neighborhoods are already very bike friendly and have easy access to off-street facilities such as the bayou trails, but other parts of the city still have a ways to go. For example if I need to go to the Galleria area or Greenway Plaza, although it is not far, I never take my bike. I do consider myself a strong and fearless cyclist. You have to be if you depend heavily on riding your bike for transportation. Overall right now I would give the city a 6 out of 10 but with the potential to be an 8 or a 9.”
Houston Bike Plan:
“I think the Houston Bike Plan will really connect existing bike infrastructure in the city. When the city implements this plan it will be a great tool to get people who live close enough to work and already possess a bike to make the leap and start using their bike to get to work. The last Rice Kinder Institute Urban Survey found that residents view traffic as the number one concern in their city. If we can take some cars off the road and replace them with bicycles everyone will be happier.“
“BikeHouston is a great tool to voice the concern of the community, I don’t think the Houston Bike Plan would have been possible without BikeHouston. Having some sort of central organizing group that can do the lobbying and bring all the different neighborhoods and communities together is really essential.”