Bike Plan Passes! Now we need your help to build it.

Bike Plan Passes! Now we need your help to build it.

This is a historic moment, Mayor Turner and City Council have just passed our first bike plan in 24 years. This plan creates a vision for Houston to become a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly City. It identifies how to expand our network of safe & comfortable bikeways by 500 miles in 10 years.  (Check out the bike plan map and more details). BikeHouston convinced the City to create this plan, partially funded it, ensured a strong & community supported plan was created, and advocated for its passage. We will now work to implement it. Thanks are due to everyone who was a part of this victory for safe streets, healthy living, and economic opportunity in Houston. The entire bicycling community from bike shops to social rides to clubs, and many community organizations and people, made this happen. The plan passed with a 11 – 4 vote. Please see table below to see how your Council Members voted. Everyone votes for all 5 At Large Council Members and one district council member. The Mayor was a strong advocate for the plan. Now we can dig into the real work: building safe streets, encouraging people to ride, educating drivers and cyclists, and enforcing the law.  On the government side BikeHouston will: ask for the Bicycle Advisory Committee to be appointed ASAP; begin prioritizing projects with Council, BAC, and partners; seek funding sources; support and advocate for projects to be built across town; and advocate for continued education & enforcement programs. On the community side (this is where you come in):  Volunteer with BikeHouston. Volunteers helps us educate and unite cyclists, and advocate...
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...
Public Hearing on the Bike Plan Brings Many Supporters

Public Hearing on the Bike Plan Brings Many Supporters

Mary Blitzer, BikeHouston Advocacy Director, mblitzer@bikehouston.org A big thanks goes out to the many (we packed the house to standing room only) people who showed up on this bleak Thursday, 1/19 at 2:30 pm, to voice their support for the bike plan and tell decision makers why people on bicycles need safe places to ride and why Houston needs to develop better bikeways. Watch the full testimony here: http://houstontx.swagit.com/play/01192017-930 It looks like Planning Commission, at its next meeting, Feb. 2nd, will vote to forward the bike plan to City Council for a presentation to the Council Subcommittee on Transportation’s Feb. 13th meeting, and then a vote by the full City Council on Feb. 15th or 22nd. (Council vote dates are pending…) Public session on council agenda items is held the Tuesday before they vote, so please be tuned in and plan to join us on Feb. 14th at 2 pm for the public session at City Council. We will send out notice when the date is confirmed. There were 19 people who spoke today in favor of the Houston Bike Plan and many more who simply showed their support with their presence. A big shout out to the following people and organizations who took time to advocate for making streets safer: Council Members Robinson and Gallegos, The American Heart Association, AARP, Houston B-cycle, CYCLE Houston, Houston Parks Board, Neighborhoods to Trails SW, Rice students and Rice Bikes, as well as the following management districts: Downtown, Greater East End, Greater South West, Hobby Area, Montrose, Spring Branch, Aldine, Brays Oak and these individuals: Stacy from South Houston, Roger Moore, from...
Bike Plan Status Report, Vote delayed

Bike Plan Status Report, Vote delayed

Updated March 8th. What’s going on with the Houston Bike Plan? Here is a short rundown of what’s happened with the plan to date and what the next steps are:  March 22nd: Anticipating vote by City Council.  March 8th: Bike Plan at City Council for a vote: vote delayed for 2 weeks by Council Members Knox, Travis, Kubosh, Martin, Le. These Council Members all ‘tagged’ the bike plan and supporting ordinance, which means delay till the Mayor brings it to the agenda again. Council meets again to vote in 2 weeks on March 22nd, we anticipate and hope the plan is on the agenda then. We expect the plan to pass when voted on but each delay matters because there is a real human cost to not prioritizing safe streets. See the video of Council voting session and public session here. Help by: sending in your letter of support. These Council Members delayed the vote because they have outstanding questions – given that the plan has been underway since 2015, was presented to the transportation subcommittee twice – in June 2016 and then again on Feb. 13th, both the Mayor and BikeHouston think there has been plenty of time to get questions answered. The Mayor asked for Council Members to be sure to get their questions to the administration in advance of vote day. BikeHouston has reached out to all Council Members to answer questions and will continue to do this. Council Member questions were as follows: Knox did not provide a reason for his tag. Travis is primarily concerned about the Bike Plan being used as a hammer to force unwanted bikeways...
Bike Advocates @ Work: Bike Plan Pep Rally

Bike Advocates @ Work: Bike Plan Pep Rally

Over 90 people showed up in the middle of the day on a Tuesday for the Bike Plan Pep Rally. You are awesome.  Our goals with the Pep Rally were: to bring the Bike Plan to the Mayor and City Council’s attention to spur the Mayor to bring the Plan to Council for a ‘yes’ vote.  We needed a big group of supporters to make this point and we needed media coverage. The bicycling community responded in a big way and the event was successful. Here’s why this bike advocacy work matters: The Mayor and City Council noticed the crowd of supporters in the audience. Mayor Turner said ‘ I see you brought your lights and friends with you’ as we had pep rally attendees bring bike lights into the audience chamber. The Mayor thanked us for coming out. This is a big deal as bringing a big crowd into City Hall demonstrates that people support the bike plan..   The presentation of the bike plan as a treasure chest got the most laughs we have ever seen in Council. Mayor Turner took ownership of the bike plan. He said ‘you haven’t seen the plan till you have seen it from me.’ Watch the City Council Presentation.  Skip ahead to the public session section by clicking the fast forward butoon. At public session minute 27:30, see Tulu, BikeHouston board member and Mary, Advocacy Director, speak directly to the Mayor and Council with the crowd of bicycle supporters backing them up.  Key stakeholders from METRO to City Council staff have complimented us on a well organized event and were impressed by...
Houston Needs Safer Streets

Houston Needs Safer Streets

There have been two deaths in three days in Houston. 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 (we will update when we have more information on his identity). Our hearts go out to the families and friends of these two people. BikeHouston is asking for the following actions from the public and our City officials in response: Everyone should follow the law and be vigilant while on the streets. Following each death, the City and other officials 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? BikeHouston has reached out to officials asking how we can support them in this work for these two incidents. Beyond the direct answer of always stop for trains, what are the underlying and contributing factors in these cases? Regarding the 610 crash: Why was a person riding a bike on the 610 feeder road? Can we provide a safer route through this part of town? Regarding the Sunset crash: How can this complex intersection be simplified? How can the signals be improved to result in more compliance with the signalization? Pass the Bike Plan. These are...

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