Comment of the Day: Mixing Media to Draw Bike Routes Outside 610

COMMENT OF THE DAY: MIXING MEDIA TO DRAW BIKE ROUTES OUTSIDE 610 Hand Drawing Houston“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.” [Heightsresident, commenting on A Third Chateau Ten for Houston; Drafting a New Bike Plan] Illustration: Lulu

16 Comment

  • I’m glad we’re spending so much time worrying about bike lanes for all of the 200 in the city that use bikes as their primary transportation. Apparently they are all swamplot commentors.

  • @I love Heights Walmart: You need to look around. Houston is full of people commuting on bikes. If you can’t be bothered to glance up from texting, just google the obituaries.

  • Back when Swamplot went dark, there was a pretty good article in the Houston Chronicle about how many low income/working class folks rely on bicycles to get to work, but have no voice in the planning for bike accessibility in Houston. The new hike and bike trails on the bayous primarily serve recreational users, but there are thousands of people who are using their bikes to get to jobs all over town and no one really has any sense where to put bike lanes to make their commutes safer.

  • We worry about it in order to save lives, and expand the number of people that feel safe and would then start biking. We built your Grand Parkway for the 200 people that live in the middle of nowhere, it’s our turn

  • My Grand Parkway? I walk to work…

  • DavRic1, you don’t really man to start building bike trails that will be toll trails, do you? Imaginative, but probably not feasible.

  • @ I love Heights Walmart

    Imagine how many people would drive to work if the roads were all dirt wagon tracks and the alternative was an extensive high-speed rail network. You won’t get many people using a mode of transportation when there is no infrastructure for it and where the infrastructure for an alternative mode of transportation is far-superior. I’m lucky enough that I have an off-street bike path for 2/3 of my commute and marked bike lanes for all but a small portion of the rest. This infrastructure allows me to ride to work 3-5 days a week, weather permitting without fearing for my life. If I was commuting the same distance within Katy, commuting the same distance would likely fall somewhere between dangerous and suicidal. And, whether they are used for commuting or not, all of the paths I use to get to work are also used extensively for recreation. The $billion+ used for a single complex highway overpass (such as the new 610/290 interchange) could fund cycle infrastructure to rival Amsterdam’s for a big portion of the city.

  • I enjoy riding, ride everyday for recreation/errands for the most part, and ride to work on occasion but even my brief commute will leave me drenched in sweat 7/8 of the year. I guess its fine when you have a job that its not a big deal if you show up dripping in sweat. I just don’t see realistically that we are going to be getting a significantly higher percentage of people to ride to work. I like the idea of increased infrastructure, especially the energy corridor right of ways which would dramatically change things if the westpark corridor and the corridor that runs north to memorial park and south the westberry/meyerland had a mult-use trail. If we could get people to spend a lot more time on bikes outside of work I’d be happy and maybe that’ll eventually shift to riding to work but I think its unlikely.

  • I have an electric skateboard that I’d ride around when I was in Houston. Living in Montrose, I had almost no need for a car. Other than getting groceries. That’s where the wifes car came in handy :)
    Bottom line: Don’t make assumptions about no car being some low class option. I think cars suck and want to drive one as little as possible (which is why I tend to live close to places I’d like to be)

  • @Turningbasin

    Part of the infrastructure that is needed may be showers at work. I’m lucky in that my office has an on-site gym I can use to shower after my ride in.

  • @Heightsresident Yeah shower at my work too; They’re now included on the checklist for LEED certification points, so they should start showing up more often

  • turning_basin, do you sweat a lot? It is very possible to bike and not sweat 2/3 of the year. Adjust your pace.

  • Most of the people I see commuting to work on bikes look like their job involves sweating. It’s easy (and comforting?) to imagine that everyone else works in an air conditioned office, but it isn’t true.

  • Are bike lanes so you can ride to work, general transportation, or weekend warriors? I don’t even think the “Bike Lane Czars” know.

  • I sweat like a P.I.G. Hog and none of the buildings I have ever worked in downtown (One Allen Center; Enterprise Plaza; Two Houston Center) provided showers.

  • Elevated bike roller coaster highway to work day!