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...
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...
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...

George Bush Trail Closure – Suggested Detour Options

January 3rd, 2017 George Bush Park, Noble Trail the main north-south trail in the park, is officially closed and may stay closed till 2019. The bridge in the middle of Noble Trail is now complete. We are working with the City of Houston and Harris County to come up with alternatives and asking if this long a closure is necessary. More details on this trail closure can be found on the Precinct 3 webpage here.  Detour Options: A suggested detour is provided below. From the South Follow George Bush trail towards Highland Knolls / Fry Exit the trail and enter the residential neighborhood on Alana Springs Dr. Navigate the neighborhood to pick-up the bayou trail next to Haxel Pattison Elementary School There is a new bridge that now crosses Mason Creek and allows continuation on Gary & Bonnie Trietsch Hike & Bike Trail. Follow that trail to Baker & Allview (there is a traffic light that allows for safe crossing of Kingsland Left on Allview (a 4-way stop allows safe crossing of Baker @ Allview) Right on Ember Trails and follow it around to Park Cypress (this is a quiet residential street) Right on Park Cypress to Barker-Cypress (again, this is a quiet street) Left on Baker-Cypress (this can be a challenging crossing on the way to the office as there are no signals; however, on the return, I cross at Barker-Cypress & Barker-Cypress Access which has lights) Follow Barker-Cypress to access the George Bush Park Hike & Bike...
A Word From Our Director

A Word From Our Director

December is the season of lights:  Christmas candles, Hannukah menorah, Diwali lamps, Kwanzaa candles — all holidays of light celebrated near the winter solstice, the darkest days of the year in the northern hemisphere. In this season BikeHouston will stage an annual give-away of bicycle lights for people riding in the dark darkly. On Wednesday, December 7th, BikeHouston staff and volunteers will disperse across the city to give away blinking headlights and tail lights to people riding in the dark.  We hope we are giving a gift of visibility and safety. Come join us. BikeHouston members are also invited to join a holiday lights ride — otherwise known as the December BikeHouston Christmas Party & Ride  We’ll tour Houston’s festively decorated holiday streets — and be sure your bike is decked out in lights for the occasion. And finally, come look for the BikeHouston tent at the Cigna Sunday Streets event in Garden Oaks this weekend.  These are always fun events — and a great way to demonstrate what can happen when streets are made safe for people. If you can’t make it to Sunday Streets but still want to interact with us — join our FaceBook Live event Dec. 2nd, 2016 at 12:30pm. May you be merry…and safe....

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