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...
Bicycle Search – A Word from John Long

Bicycle Search – A Word from John Long

I just Googled “bicycle Houston” to see what pops up. Page one of the search included a number of the city’s great bike shops.  I also found Houston B-Cycle, the city’s bike share program.  And BikeHouston, too — I was really glad to see that. Page two included Critical Mass, the monthly casual bike ride with a message:  that the streets belong to bikes, too.  And Bayou City Bike Tours. Page three featured the Houston Bicycle Museum, the Houston Bicycle Club and the City of Houston Bikeways Program. I hope you’re beginning to get a feel for the richness of cycling resources available in the city for every kind of cyclist.  Page three also included a news story about Ghost Bikes, a chilling reminder of the dark side of riding a bike on Houston’s streets. On page four I encountered information about two of the more prominent organized rides that fill our annual calendar:  the Tour du Rouge and the BP MS150. (Let me add a note here about the BikeHouston Moonlight Ramble which is coming up on October 22nd.  You can sign up here.) It was not until page 5 of my Google search that I found an entry for the Houston Bike Plan. It has been 22 long years since the City of Houston adopted a comprehensive Bike Plan.  Anyone who has ridden in one of Houston’s painted bike lanes knows that an updated plan is long overdue.  So much has changed in 22 years.  Population in the city has grown 50%.  Cycling is exploding in popularity. And standards for bike lanes, intersection crossings, and other cycling...
Houston Bike Plan, FAQs

Houston Bike Plan, FAQs

This is for all you natural skeptics out there and everyone else who just needs a refresher. What’s with that crazy map? How did you make it? Is it going to make traffic worse? The Houston Bike Plan FAQs are here to help!  The City has created 3 FAQ sheets – general, on the map and on public engagement (& you thought we were wordy…) Find the full versions linked to the left or read the selected highlights BikeHouston pulled below. After you get re-inspired from reading this: remember, the plan is still not through City Council. Send in a letter of support now!  General FAQs  (full version) Excerpts with BH editorials in italics below: What is the Houston Bike Plan? The Houston Bike Plan is a guide for the City of Houston to achieve the vision of making Houston a safer, more accessible gold-level bike-friendly city within 10 years. The vision is supported by 4 goals: Improved Safety, Increased Ridership, Increased Access, and Improved Development and Maintenance of Facilities. The Plan provides recommendations on the general location and types of bicycle facilities, projects, policies and programs that support the goals and vision. The Plan includes maps showing how the bike network might develop over time.  What are the next steps to get the bike plan through Council (BH addition):  City Council needs to vote yes to approve the amended Ch. 33 ordinance on the bike plan. This yes vote then triggers… Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on the Houston Bike Plan. Look for updates, as having people attend commission on the appropriate date will be helpful! Two weeks following the public hearing,...
Ramblin’ Towards Houston Bike Plan Approval

Ramblin’ Towards Houston Bike Plan Approval

Coming soon: BikeHouston’s Moonlight Ramble.  Sign up now at bikehouston.org/ramble2016. When is soon? 11:59 pm, October 22 – a week before Halloween. Did I mention that many people ride the Ramble in costume? In fact, there’s a costume contest. What could be more fun than a midnight bike ride in costume?  And there’s a prize for “best lights.”   Since you’ll need lights anyway, why not go all out?  You could win a prize. And there’s a cause.  The 44th Annual BikeHouston Moonlight Ramble supports our mission to make our city safe and comfortable for all people on bicycles.  Your entry fee helps us continue this work.  And if you want to do more to help the cause, fundraise above and beyond that basic entry fee.  If you do, you could earn a special edition Moonlight Ramble jersey. Check our website for details. The Ramble is one way to celebrate the anticipated passage of The Houston Bike Plan by City Council. It was recently written as a draft city ordinance.  You can also support our mission and ability to implement the plan by volunteering at a fall event. With HTX Bike Fest, Outreach Pop Up Days, and Sunday Streets, fall is our busy season for outreach.  At events, we gain momentum by uniting people who support safe bicycling. Join the fun at an upcoming weekend event and learn how you can help at our upcoming volunteer party (details soon). Sign up to volunteer at bikehouston.org/volunteer   John Long Executive...
BikeHouston@Work, August 2016

BikeHouston@Work, August 2016

UPDATED – Bike Plan Ordinance moves to City Council. Highlights from this month include: the Bike Plan drafted into city ordinance with votes upcoming, completion and construction of new connections to Buffalo Bayou Park, and advocacy for safe bikeways on streets across Houston. Houston Bike Plan:  Houston’s first citywide master plan. It provides the vision to triple our high comfort bikeways in 10 years. Check out the map of proposed bike routes here. How well connected is your home?The Houston Bike Plan is currently moving through City Hall processes, which is a bit time consuming. You can help right now by sending in a letter of support. Houston Bike Plan next steps: The Planning Commission must vote on amended ordinance.  The Commission is a 26 person group appointed by the Mayor and approved by Council that makes decision on development and planning in Houston. They first need to approve an amended City of Houston ordinance Ch. 33 to require City Council to have a citywide bicycle master plan. Update – Planning Commission voted YES! Now… Then City Council needs to vote yes to approve the amended Ch. 33 ordinance on the bike plan. This yes vote then triggers… Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on the Houston Bike Plan. Look for updates, as having people attend commission on the appropriate date will be helpful!  Two weeks following the public hearing, Planning Commission will vote on the Houston Bike Plan. If approved by the Planning Commission… The Bike Plan gets sent to City Council for a final vote. Public hearing for this vote will take place on a Tuesday...
Let’s Get More Bike Parking in H-town

Let’s Get More Bike Parking in H-town

How many times have you tried biking somewhere only to find there is nowhere to leave your bike? Although the City of Houston is making great strides in becoming more bike friendly we are still missing a major component of every ride. A place to park your bike. BikeHouston has partnered with Dero, a premier bike rack company, to get secure, high-quality bike racks all over the city. We are asking the community to send us locations and businesses that are in need of high-quality bike parking. Many companies will not begin to install bike racks until they see a demand for them. Ask for better bike parking and we’ll help make it happen. We can even help get public repair stands installed if that’s your thing. See details and models here. Neighborhoods like Montrose have already taken this issue into their own hands and created a bike rack program that gives bike racks to qualifying businesses. Help educate local businesses about programs like this and let’s make Houston more bike-friendly together. Know of a place that needs bike racks? Let the business owner or property manager know and connect with us through an email to bikeparking@bikehouston.org. Check out our ongoing photo-inventory of Houston bike racks in this Flickr...

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