A Word From Our Director……….. John Long

A Word From Our Director……….. John Long

Monday’s first-ever Houston Bike Summit was a sold-out success.  Speakers included Mayor Sylvester Turner, HPD Chief Art Acevedo, City Councilwoman Karla Cisneros, and METRO Executive Vice President Tim Kelly — as well as outgoing Board Chair Regina Garcia and incoming chair Dan Piette. Mayor Turner spoke to the crowd in the St. Arnold’s parking lot and presented a proclamation naming February 27th BikeHouston Day.  He also declared that it is time to pass the Houston Bike Plan and expressed confidence that City Council will endorse it when it comes to a vote this month. Echoing that message, Councilwoman Cisneros said she is solidly behind the Bike Plan. Chief Acevedo previewed the program he’s about to introduce to the general public:  police officers on bikes will be patrolling the streets to enforce the 3-ft safe-passing ordinance.  This was met with enthusiastic applause and generated several questions from the audience.  He also said that once officers begin enforcing laws that protect cyclists, there may also be times when cyclists are cited for violations, that ‘it cuts both ways.’ Mr. Kelly alluded to the recent deaths of two people who were struck and killed by METRO light rail trains while riding their bikes.  He said that METRO is looking for input from BikeHouston and individual bike riders in helping to make the streets safer for all people and that METRO is in the process of re-evaluating its entire operations with an eye toward safety.  He said that METRO wants to engage with BikeHouston as an active, ongoing partner. Three awards were presented at the end of the evening: BikeHouston “Volunteer of the...
Tom Murray, 31, Shares His Experience Commuting To MD Anderson

Tom Murray, 31, Shares His Experience Commuting To MD Anderson

MD Anderson won our Bike-Friendly Business award at the Houston Bike Summit. It was a perfect time to sit down with one of their employees who is a daily bike commuter. Tom Murray, 31, is a postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson’s Department of Biostatistics. Tom commutes to work by bike every day. He says he feels comfortable on his bike most of the time. “I ride on Caroline and through Hermann Park to get to the medical center. I am usually on my bike to get somewhere, but I do occasionally join some of Houston’s many social and exercise rides as well.  Once I was involved in a crash on Caroline when a driver blew a stop sign at a cross street and I hit the back end of their car. I rolled away okay; my front tire, not so much. ” “What is failing in Houston is the aggressive driving that is pervasive here. Enforcement of existing laws would help, but so would structural changes on street, which can get people to slow down. I hope the Bike Plan will bring more attention to the latter as a way to make the streets safer for everyone. The Houston Bike Plan will bring critical connections, provide better signage and more clarification about where drivers should expect people on bikes. To put it another way, I think and hope the Bike Plan will clarify for everyone (drivers and bikers) where the bike routes are in the city, and ensure these are connected and as comfortable as practical for people on bikes.” “The first thing the city should do is clearly mark low and slow...
Ever Get Buzzed by a Car While Riding Your Bike?

Ever Get Buzzed by a Car While Riding Your Bike?

Ever get buzzed by a car while riding your bike? Want to do something about it? Kinder Institute needs cyclists to record these near-misses. We want to see what routes are safer and which places are more dangerous. This information can be used to make Houston streets safer for all people riding bikes. We need bike riders to report their daily trips for one week between March 4 and 10. The trips — and near-misses — will be reported through an online travel diary (for iPhone users) or via a Safe Activity app (for Android users). Participants will also be asked to use the Love to Ride tracker app to record trips via GPS. Participation is simple. It will take 15 minutes per day. And to sweeten the deal, you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card — and will help Houston make its streets safer for all users. Interested? Here’s how you can learn more: Visit our homepage for more information. (Sign Up Here) Meet us at the Houston Bike Summit on February 27th Join us at a training event on March 2nd. The event will take place upstairs at Rudyard’s (2010 Waugh Dr.) between 5-7 pm. We need your help to make cycling better in Houston. Kyle Shelton Kinder Institute Rice...

John Long Email to City & Metro

We are reaching out regarding the two people who have died over the weekend to ask if there is any way we can help in a follow-up investigation and in communication with the public. I know we are all feeling these personal tragedies. We are mourning for the families and friends of these two Houston people. Each of us sees ourselves, our loved ones, in their place and our hearts ache. BikeHouston has been following up with media and people with bicycles on these deaths as people are reaching out and asking why? We now turn to you all as leads in these areas for follow-up on the question of why these deaths happened — beyond the immediate answer of “You should never cross in front of the train.” What does an engineering and planning holistic review reveal? How can we improve planning and design to reduce exposure to risk? We must keep working to improve behavior and compliance to the law and we must also ask how we can change design to result in the behaviors that will keep people safe. Tom, we know METRO cares deeply about the safety of your passengers. We saw your quote in the Chronicle where you asked for time to do a review of the incidents. Thank-you for this. BikeHouston is ready to assist however we can, including communicating follow-up investigations to the public, as well as with education campaigns. Below are some the questions we have been asking and hearing from the bicycling community: Regarding the 610 crash: Why was a person riding a bike on the 610 feeder road? Can we...

Feb. 6th, 2017 – Press Release

For Immediate Release Feb. 6th, 2017 BikeHouston Contact: Mary Blitzer, Advocacy Director, mblitzer@bikehouston.org, 281-940-6139 There have been two deaths in three days. Marjorie Corcoran, a physics and astronomy professor at Rice University, was killed by the train as she crossed the tracks at Sunset Blvd. Another man, whose identify is not yet know publicly, was killed by the train while crossing at the 610 feeder road. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of these two people. These are two tragic reminders of why the Houston Bike Plan is so important. No deaths on our streets are acceptable. City Council must vote Yes and adopt the Bike Plan to make the streets of Houston safe for all people riding bicycles. The Bike Plan provides a toolbox for designing streets and intersections to create a safe bike network across town and it includes education programs. Following each death, the City should start an investigation asking: “Why did the death happen?” A full investigation should be done that includes, how could the designs of these roads and intersections be improved? Does an alternative route need to be provided? What were the human mistakes and how do we change the road design to make it harder for these mistakes to happen? The Bike Plan, which was begun in response to earlier deaths, is going to City Council next week. We cannot afford to delay. We ask council vote yes on the Bike...

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