A Word From Our Director

A Word From Our Director

What is BikeHouston doing today to make Houston more bike-friendly tomorrow? We’re working through the final details with the City of Houston to close the deal on the Bike Plan — aiming for approval of the plan by City Council as early as February 14th…and certainly by the Houston Bike Summit on February 27th.  Mayor Turner will speak at the Bike Summit and it is our hope that we can all celebrate with him the Plan’s passage. To build momentum behind this effort, and to counter the claims of the naysayers, we have been conducting a social media campaign on Instagram; using the hashtag #realpeopleridingbikes. We hope this shows it is not just “cyclists” who ride bikes. There are many kinds of people who ride for many different purposes.  That is what we are documenting with photos. You can help. Use your Instagram app to take a photo of you, your friends and your bikes. Tag it #realpeopleridingbikes and tag the mayor @sylvesterturner. I mentioned the Bike Summit above. Join us at St. Arnold’s Brewery February 27th (5:00 – 8:00 pm) for the first-ever Bike Summit. Mayor Turner and HPD Chief Art Acevedo will speak. Both of these leaders are in a position to influence cycling in Houston in very real ways. Pick up your tickets on the BikeHouston web page and come out to hear what they have to...
NEW Holman On-street Bikeway, Hawthorne Connection?

NEW Holman On-street Bikeway, Hawthorne Connection?

Introducing our newest on-street bikeway: Holman through midtown. In the spirit of remaining positive and celebrating small victories we want to introduce you to the Holman project. Holman runs through Midtown passing light rail stops and HCC to just under Spur 527. There it stops and has a little sidewalk connection to Hawthorne and Montrose. Midtown has done a good job with Holman street improvements so go check it out, it will officially open later in Spring! Of course, we have noticed how Holman street could be more comfortable, this signs on Holman should read ‘bikes may use a full lane’ not ‘share the road’ and it would be great to have big sharrows in the roadway making it more like a true high comfort bicycle boulevard/neighborhood route. But it is a clear improvement and our disconnected pieces of bikeways are becoming a network bit by bit. BikeHouston is pushing for and celebrating each little improvement, while continually asking for better. Now we are advocating to make the final, critical 100 foot connection to Montrose neighborhood and all western destinations safe. Currently there is a very poorly marked, little hole in the wall connection. Update – Meeting Feb. 16th attended by Montrose District, Midtown District, City of Houston and Tx-DOT to discuss improving this intersection to make connection onto Hawthorne. Next steps are determine who will be able to work on which part of the improvements (intersection paint, signage, tree cutting etc.), who will pay for it, and how quickly can we get it done? BikeHouston will continue to birddog this project till we get the intersection improvements we need to...
Brian Barr, 21, Chemical Engineer Student

Brian Barr, 21, Chemical Engineer Student

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...
How Much Will The Bike Plan Cost?

How Much Will The Bike Plan Cost?

You hear us talk about the Houston Bike Plan a lot. The plan provides a comprehensive guide to making Houston a safer and more accessible city for road users over the next 10 years. It has four pillars: improved safety, increased ridership, increased access and improved development and maintenance of facilities. If you’re thinking this ambitious plan must come with a price tag, you’re right. We talked to Mary Blitzer, Bike Houston’s advocacy director, about some of the questions and concerns she gets on the plan’s cost and funding, and how all this will affect Houston’s bottom line. How much will the bike plan cost? The 10-year cost is $150 million. That can be divided into three buckets, or phases. Programmed projects: These projects are already in the pipeline and are expected to be completed by 2021. Money for these projects has already been allocated. 130 more miles of bikeways are on the way! Potential short-term projects: $27 million – $51 million. This mainly covers  re-striping and signage. Examples include turning  extra space in a car or parking lane into a bike lane,, or posting signs that state “neighborhood bike route”  and “bikes may use a full lane.”. This may also include speed bumps, stop signs and traffic signals. Key connections: $73 million – $119 million. These are higher-cost projects that will connect neighborhoods to create a true network. Examples include building trails along bayous and utility corridors. The longer-term master plan is expected to cost between $235 million and $382 million for additional bikeways. This brings the total cost to around $500 million. What does the money buy, and...
2016 Staff Recap

2016 Staff Recap

2016 was a very exciting year for BikeHouston. So many wonderful events, so many exciting changes, and so many steps forward towards making Houston a more safe and bike friendly city! We asked our staff to let us know what their favorite memory or event was in 2016 (which was not easy). And here they are: “Distributing lights after dark to people riding in the dark was my favorite BikeHouston happening from the past year. Its impact was simple and direct; people-to-people. I loved seeing the real sense of mission from the twenty-five volunteers who came out to help, a wonderful cross-section of BikeHouston supporters. But really, how important could it be to randomly ride around the streets of Houston searching out people riding without lights? Remember this: two deaths in the past year were people riding bikes late at night with no lights. We distributed lights to fifty people in one night. That could have been fifty lives saved.” -John Long   “Bike Plan Pep Rally – seeing so many people from all different places — from downtown corporate employees to bike shop employees to social ride leaders to students — turn out in the middle of the day to ask for action from our Council and Mayor was very empowering and inspiring. It affirmed to me as the advocacy director that people will respond to calls for action and that this action makes a difference. Our 100 person Pep Rally has led to meetings with the Mayor’s office and we are now on track to pass the bike plan ordinance in January and the bike plan in...

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