Moving forward for 2014

Houston Mayor embraces BikeHouston’s Goal Zero Fatalities and a Bicycle Master Plan by Gerry van Bakel The first quarter of 2014 contained too many tragic stories concerning cyclists. Fortunately the last week brought real progress as Houston Mayor Anisse Parker endorsed BikeHouston’s Goal Zero Fatalities Campaign. It is absolutely possible to make Houston a more cycle friendly city and the Goal Zero Fatalities lays out the first steps. The latest string of fatal collisions has been a wake up call for the the policy makers at City Hall. The plan can be summarized in three words that tell it all: engineer, educate and enforce. The campaign lays out suggestions for the City, motorists and cyclists which summarize the basic actions for these various parties. “Engineer” is about planning for and constructing a set of bikeways which will allow cyclists to move safely across the city. “Education” emphasizes the need for us to all to keep learning. It is vital for Planning Department, Police Department, Public Works as well as motorists and cyclists to develop a learning culture when it comes to cycling. How car drivers and cyclists can safely share the available roads will be a journey not a decision. The City has also launched a public service announcement as part of the effort to encourage motorists and cyclists to share the road. Last of all, but no less important, is “enforcement”. The Houston Police Department should hold all road users accountable for their actions in traffic. Motorists as well as cyclists have to obey the law and rules. The HPD has recently designated one person to be the...

BikeHouston ♥︎ OKRA!

You don’t have to eat okra to love OKRA. The Original OKRA Charity Saloon, famous for its philanthropic mission, has selected BikeHouston as one of the candidate non-profits for the month of April. And we at BikeHouston cannot think of a more enjoyable way to support your favorite bike advocacy group than to hop on your bike and cruise on over for a refreshing beverage. Whenever you visit during the month of April, you’ll receive one ticket to vote for each drink (or snack) purchased. At the end of the month the votes are tallied and the winning charity receives 100% of the profits for the following month. So come out and VOTE! The OKRA Charity Saloon is located at 924 Congress Street, just a few blocks from the Heights Bike Trail. For more information, take a look at their website...

Is It Open Season On Houston Cyclists?

Months before the death of Chelsea Norman, John Andrew Williams was hit by a truck. The driver was not so much as cited. Where’s that Safe Passage law? Excerpted from Houstonia Magazine, Published Dec 6, 2013, 10:17am By John Nova Lomax “Hey, you’re a normal person again.” That’s one of John Andrew Williams’s doctors told him only this week, more than three months after he was struck and nearly killed by a man driving a Toyota Tacoma while Williams was riding his bike on the night of August 28. The accident occurred in the 100 block of Waugh Drive and when paramedics arrived to the scene just north of the bridge (a mile due north along the same street from the hit-and-run that killed 24-year-old Whole Foods employee Chelsea Norman Sunday night), Williams was covered in lacerations and abrasions from his knees to his face. Several of his thoracic and lumbar vertebrae were fractured and a six-inch section of his skull had been crushed. “I think my helmet saved my life,” Williams says. Thanks to amnesia, he doesn’t remember the first eight days of his hospitalization. Doctors performed a lifesaving craniotomy to remove the shattered fragments of his skull, shards they later told him looked like Corn Flakes. They then installled a titanium plate to protect his damaged brain. Read the entire article online at Houstonia...

Houston's roads may be bicycle-friendly, but they're not always bicycle-safe.

Last Thursday, after the tragic accident that took the life of a young cyclist on her way home from work, the Houston Chronicle published an Op/Ed titled, “Houston’s deadly streets“. Houston’s deadly streets Houston’s roads may be bicycle-friendly, but they’re not always bicycle-safe. Copyright 2013: Houston Chronicle | December 5, 2013 | Updated: December 5, 2013 7:53pm Before the ambulance arrived at Waugh and West Gray on Sunday night, Chelsea Norman, 24, was found lying face up in the narrow bicycle lane, her bike in the middle of the road. She died at Memorial Hermann Hospital on Wednesday, suffering from broken bones and head trauma. The driver who killed Chelsea has yet to be found, and Houston counts another victim of a hit-and-run. A memorial bike ride is being held on Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m. outside the Whole Foods on Waugh where Chelsea worked. The deadly reality of unsafe streets once again tarnishes a year of bicycle achievements. It is a sad story, one that we hear all too often. But this single tragedy on Waugh is a greater symbol of public policy failure. To the uninitiated Houstonian on a bike, Waugh is exactly where the city wants you to ride. There is a B-Cycle station at Waugh and Westheimer; designated bicycle lanes from Waugh to West Gray; a bicycle-friendly road up to West Dallas; and Waugh is one of the few ways to safely access the Buffalo Bayou hike-and-bike trail across Allen Parkway. Even the Whole Foods along Waugh has plentiful bicycle parking. (read the entire article online at the Houston Chronicle...

Houston embraces multi-modal transportation solution

America’s 4th largest city invests in its bicyclists and pedestrians What does it mean to be multi-modal? For Houston, it means economic opportunity and new construction now…and 7 miles of paths, 10 miles of on-street bikeways, 11 miles of sidewalks, and 6 miles of pedestrian enhancements in the future. That’s thanks to the city’s “Regional Bike/Pedestrian Connections to Transit” project, which broke ground today. I was in Houston for the event and had the pleasure of joining U.S. Representatives Gene Green and Sheila Jackson Lee, Mayor Annise Parker, and other local officials to celebrate this terrific step forward. Photo of the groundbreaking event for Houston’s bike-ped project Once it’s finished in January 2015, Houston’s “Connections” project will improve mobility and provide residents, workers, and college students in the downtown area with safer shared-use paths, sidewalks, and walkways. Together, they will eliminate major gaps on primary off-street bicycle/pedestrian transportation routes; connect residential areas and employment centers to bus and rail transportation; and complete a portion of Houston’s planned inner-city bikeway. Read the entire story on the US Department of Transportation website. Photo: US Department of...

Mayor Parker announces Complete Streets program for City

Executive Order coming Jay Blazek Crossley, Houston Tomorrow, Oct 09, 13. City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced today that she will issue an Executive Order making Complete Streets the basis for a new, more urban and inclusive approach to the City’s streets as they are rebuilt over the next 20 years. UPDATE: The City of Houston Planning and Development Department has published the draft Executive Order (pdf). To read the entire original article, follow this link to Houston Tomorrow’s...

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