Comment of the Day: Getting Other Folks To Bike

COMMENT OF THE DAY: GETTING OTHER FOLKS TO BIKE ” . . . In all honesty, I only ride my bike for fun with the family on the weekends. However, after a couple of very frustrating attempts to park around White Oak to go out to dinner, I recently rode my bike down there with the family for dinner at BBs. While there is a dearth of bike racks, it was so easy to just hop on the bike path, lock up the bikes and go to dinner than weaving in and out of parking lots and side streets trying to find a space for parking. And that is why cycling will eventually become an essential for Houston. We are piling people inside the loop at an unprecedented rate. There is not enough parking in a number of hot spots (Montrose, White Oak, Washington Ave, etc.). People now live close enough to ride their bikes to go out to eat in these areas but don’t because bike amenities are woefully lacking. Or, to put it another way, if you love your car, you should support cycling so there are more parking spaces available for you.” [Old School, commenting on Comment of the Day: Scrambling Through Traffic]

16 Comment

  • Except for the sweaty humidity factor.

  • That’s how you do it!
    I just wish everybody could try it once to see what it’s like. You feel connected to the whole city at the ground level instead of tethered to the highway system. It’s not for everybody but I think it’s for most people if they’d try.

  • Love it when the comment of the day is a comment on a comment of the day. So meta…

  • Living along the Washington Corridor and being a daily bike commuter to work downtown, let me just say that if you’re going to ride your bike to get to somewhere along Washington, it’s far safer—though less conspicuous, ahem most cyclists on Washington—to take Center Street instead.

  • Love it when the comment of the day is a comment on a comment of the day. So meta…

    Seriously, someone needs to leave a stellar comment here and we can take this baby to the next level.

  • @colleen, if you don’t push to break land-speed records on a bike, it will take a few miles to break a sweat. if you live in midtown/montrose area that gets you to quite a few different places without sweat.

  • When my office was downtown I rather enjoyed taking the Columbia Tap trail into work from my Medical Center area house when the weather was nice. Though given the neighborhood I passed through and the time of the day I was always (legally) packing.

    If only they finished that little stretch on the old RR right of way between the bridge over 288 and South MacGregor.

    Now that I work in the Galleria area, I’m screwed because there’s really no realistic and safe route to get to my office on bike.

  • once you bike, you never go back

  • @ Jason C – Same can be said for many streets that run parallel to major roads, that is great thing about the layout of the streets here. BUT, the condition of Center Street SUCKS big time.

    I wish they would utilize the center turn lane for bicycles on Washington Ave somehow, like turning it into a median style boulevard with bike lanes and dedicated turning lanes for cars. It could be one of the best East/West stretches in the loop.

  • I think cyclists should take the Pink Pistols approach to acceptance on the road.

  • I live in Montrose and I ride my bike to a lot of bars, cafes and shops. One of my favorite spots is Hay Merchant. They have cheaper Karbach beer prices if you ride your bike there and they have a great deal of bike parking. Unfortunately its not always that easy to find bike parking at some places that I frequent BUT it is much easier than finding a place to park my car. Over all I find the biking experience wonderful. With the amount of people riding round Montrose, Heights, and Midtown I find that MOST cars are very aware of cyclist. People who bash others for cycling ought to try it. Go to the b-cycle station downtown (and soon other locations) and rent a bike. Its fun and its an easy way to explore your city. As for sweating, I sweat more walking to my car in the summer. We dont have any hills in houston so you don’t have to worry about pumping too hard.

  • Colleen: It’s been months since we had “sweat humidity” in Houston, and we have a couple more months before it becomes an issue. Why is that any time walking or biking or riding the Metro or doing anything is this town that doesn’t rely on a car; someone chimes in about hot and humid weather? Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the temp has been averaging around 60F for months. Today was another beautiful day; meanwhile much of the country is under several feet of snow. The weather here is great for outdoor activity for at least six months of the year, tolerable for at least three more, and only typically miserable for three – that’s about the same as most of the country, unless you consider sub-freezing temps and feet of snow to be pleasant. How about keeping it real, and getting out of your car for a change? You might like it.

  • Everyone who says sweaty or humid or hot obviously doesn’t ride a bike. Yeah, ok it gets a bit hot sometimes. But it’s FUN. It is fun to ride a bike + you get places. Bikes.

  • Mike – Well, it depends on what *part* of the medical center you’re leaving, but you could take the Braes Bayou trail until you get almost to the southwest corner of the loop. Then, instead of turning onto the access road, turn a block early, not far after the railroad tracks. There’s actually a little spur of the trail that leads upwards and out, running by the giant storage facility before becoming the parking lot of the public works/police substation. You’ll exit the north side at North Braeswood and the terminus of Newcastle. Take Newcastle all the way north to either 59 or Westpark, whichever suits you. You can ride a hike’n’bike trail along much of that road.

    If you’re coming from somewhere further north in the med center and you don’t want to drop down to the bayou, then I’d say your best bet is to take University Blvd. until Academy, take Academy north to Bissonnet, then take Bissonnet west to Newcastle and finish up at 59 or Westpark again. I’ve seen a few suit-and-tie guys who take University for quite a distance, so I figure they must be on to something.

  • What I think a lot of people miss about biking is that it’s not an all-or-nothing affair.
    Bike when it’s nice and don’t when it’s not. Some of the most bike friendly cities in the North America are in the northern US and Canada. They stop biking for 3 months of winter like we’d stop for 3 months of summer.
    Most people also aren’t suggesting doing everything by bike, either. Some trips necessitate a car, or taxi or bus or jetpack, etc. You won’t catch me biking to pick up a load of bricks to renovate a house, but for a quick trip to a neighborhood pub, biking is perfect.

  • Most of the constraints of bicycles are easily (and also somewhat inexpensively) resolved by attaching a small internal combustion engine to them. That problem about being sweaty goes away real quick when you don’t have to pedal and the wind is whipping through your clothing at 25-30mph.

    You also get where you’re going faster, and I’d wager that mile-for-mile, it’s safer because there’s less of a difference in speed between yourself and the auto traffic that’s sharing the road with you.