Thanks to Mary Blitzer. Bike Houston’s advocacy director is moving on. In Mary’s three years at BikeHouston she’s done so much to impact our city. Her most notable achievement is the Bike Plan — the first comprehensive bike plan adopted by the City of Houston in twenty-four years. Clearly she did not get that done single-handedly. Far from it. But Mary worked like a sheep dog to get it done, first helping to get the plan written and then helping to get it adopted by City Council. To do so, she connected with the planning department, city council members, traffic engineers, BikeHouston supporters, thirty non-profit organizations that belong to the Houston Coalition for Complete Streets, the members of the Bicycle Advisory Committee as well as assorted businesses and cultural and civic organizations that expressed support for the plan publicly. Mary has proven to be an irresistible force for cycling in Houston and we will miss her.
May was bike month. Wow! We saw hundreds of you at the various Bike-to-Work ride-alongs that culminated in the Downtown Bike-to-Work Day led by Mayor Sylvester Turner. BikeHouston also organized the local edition of the International Ride of Silence, a memorial for people who have died or been injured while riding their bikes and at the same time, a call for safer streets. We will achieve that by encouraging more people to ride. More riders = safer streets. We must also build more high comfort, high safety bike-ways. That’s the purpose of the Bike Plan. And finally, we must enforce laws that protect vulnerable road users. We were pleased to hear from Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg and HPD Sgt Ruben Pena (with the backing of Chief Art Acevedo) about their efforts to educate drivers, enforce laws and prosecute drivers who hit and injure people riding bikes.