A Third Chateau Ten for Houston; Drafting a New Bike Plan


Photo of the new Houston Chronicle building: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

12 Comment

  • As an expert level cyclist, I would never, and have never rode my bike in a designated bike lane. They are death traps and make novices over confident.

    Anyone with a bike and a functioning brain can take a little time to find a safe way to bike in Houston.

    The idea that a bike lane should be the most expeditious route aligned with vehicular traffic will only lead to more frustration and deaths.

    And while I am on my soapbox, here’s a poke in the eye with a sharp stick to all you Critical Mass freaks. You are a curse on all things bicycle.

  • agreed. critical mass – ruining bicycling for the rest of us, week after week.

  • @Roanoker

    I find it’s usually possible to find a good bike route inside the loop, but things quickly deteriorate outside of it. Because the roads are not a grid, the only option is often the route aligned with vehicular traffic. Occasionally, you can pick your way through neighborhood streets, but the route tends to be very circuitous. A few routes along major right of ways could be a God-send if they are true segregated bike paths and not merely a paint stripe. The plan also includes use of many utility right of ways, which is an excellent solution for off-street paths.

  • Can’t stand Critical Mass. They are a menace and a bunch of law breaking jerks and our Police force makes no attempts to corral them or cite them for turning left from the right hand lane or a bunch of other various and sundry traffic violations.

  • @The Roanoker – I partially disagree. My bicycle commute to my downtown office consists of:
    1. The dedicated, off-street Columbia Tap bike trail. Never had any issues with car traffic. I consider this one very SAFE.
    2. The designated bike lane on Polk. I have had a few problems here, mostly with people turning right and not seeing me, and people parking vehicles in the bike lane, forcing me out of the lane and into the car traffic lanes. I think of this segment as MODERATELY SAFE.
    3. The two-way, signaled and protected dedicated bike lane on Lamar downtown. Every time I use this lane I am almost killed. EVERY SINGLE TIME. It is almost always by someone turning left across the lane. Even when I have the green bike signal and traffic is stopped at the red light, because left turns on red are allowed, people turn across the lane. Also, the construction that has kept 1 block closed for at least 9 months now forces me into an already tight lane-squeezing situation with heavy vehicle traffic. This is by far the most dangerous bike segment I have travelled in Houston, and even outranks Waugh in my book (Waugh has had more collisions, but it has been around longer and is used by more cyclists – give Lamar some time and it will rival the death/collision rate of Waugh).

  • As a driver, I nominate as dangerous the Columbia Tap Rail Trail where it crosses S. MacGregor near Ardmore. Just this morning I nearly killed a heedless old gentlemen cyclist who was more focused on his bottle than on the traffic. The crossing is on the other side of a nearly blind curve. Must…….slow………down.

  • “strong and fearless”…”enthused and confident”….where did they come up with that?

  • I’m a novice biker at best and once I rode with the Critical Mass group with a friend and half way through the ride we had enough of riding with those crazies and bolted out of there fast!

  • the novelty of critical mass wears off quickly for some. unfortunately, others not so much.
    they need to change things up and start riding out of the galleria area. Not just riding out there once a year. Starting point needs to be the galleria, in perpetuity.

  • Yep, definitely some Critical Massholes in Critical Mass. I don’t even mind it that much when they hold traffic up at lights to keep the pack together. What bothers me is when they ride against on coming traffic taking up all lanes on the street while flashing their headlights to blind drivers … almost as if they are trying to provoke an accident.

  • There’s always good in giving bicycles a fair share of the tax-supported roadway. So I feel any trend toward bike-lanes is a good thing.
    That cars are in those lanes at times is cool.
    Trouble is, there are different types of cyclists – leisure and commuter (and by commuter I mean any ride with a purpose – ie. errand-running.)
    The same flexibility should apply: Of course there are cyclists in the car lanes sometimes.

  • $540 per square foot for a condo in Houston is a bargain? You would have to be either 1) a fool or 2) wealthy enough to not care about losing money to buy one of these new Houston area condos. I was out shopping downtown with a buyer this past fall. He decided (wisely) not to buy a condo and rent. The math was simple. You could find a similarly appointed rental for far less than the cost of buying.
    Latest MLS data show the average price of a new condo in Houston (price per square foot) down 10 percent -year-over-year with the days on market (DOM) up 50 percent! New listings are up 40 percent year-over-year. There is more than TWO YEARS of supply for new luxury condos in Houston priced $700k or above. But hey, I’m sure the view is nice. You can probably look out from your balcony and see some of your equity falling to the streets below.