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COH deveoping a Bicycle Master Plan


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from Ellen Cohen enewsetter

Bicycle Master Plan in the Works

Mayor Parker announced that Houston will develop a Bicycle Management Plan to guide infrastructure policy decisions that make our city safer for bicyclists. The plan aligns with the "Goal: Zero Fatalities" initiative, designed by BikeHouston, which was presented to the Council Committee on Public Safety & Homeland Security this week. In addition to increasing quality cyclist infrastructure, an important component of "Goal: Zero Fatalities" includes the directive for the Houston Police Department to bolster enforcement of existing cycling laws, by cracking down on drivers who hit cyclists or ignore bicycle safety laws.

 

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Woo!

 

Here's hoping for protected bike lanes on Waugh and Memorial west of Shepherd!

 

And traffic lights on Allen Parkway at Dunlavy and Taft.

 

And a bridge over Allen Parkway at Stanford.

 

And protected bike lanes on Alabama all the way from UH to ...wherever Alabama ends on the west side.

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From Houston Tomorrow enewsletter

COH’s first protected bike lane to be installed Downtown

On Lamar Street

Kevin McNally, Aug 26, 14.

The City of Houston will install the City’s first on-street protected bike lane along Lamar Street in Downtown, possibly as early as October, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Mike Morris. The two-way protected bike lane will help to connect Downtown to both the Buffalo Bayou trails and the Columbia Tap Trail. More from the Chronicle:

The nearly three-quarter-mile path, from the edge of Sam Houston Park to the edge of Discovery Green, will be painted green and separated from the remaining three lanes of traffic by a barrier of striped plastic humps sometimes called “armadillos” or “zebras,” said Laura Spanjian, the city’s sustainability director.

Signals will be added at intersections for cyclists headed east on one-way westbound Lamar.

Based on the description from the article, the bike lane should look similar to the above photo of a two-way protected bike lane in Seattle, with the exception being that the white plastic bollards will be replaced by plastic “armadillos” or “zebras” (see examples of those here).

Bike Houston Executive Director Michael Payne - a 2014 Houston Tomorrow Catalyst Awards finalist - describes the need for barrier protected bike lanes like the one to be installed on Lamar Street:

“The key here is that physical separation, which makes cyclists feel more comfortable, that their space is defined,” Payne said. “When you’re on a bike route you’re right out there with the traffic. The whole objective here for Houston is to develop infrastructure that makes people feel comfortable, safe and encourages them to get out of their houses and out of their cars and use their bicycles both for recreation and for transportation.”

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And protected bike lanes on Alabama all the way from UH to ...wherever Alabama ends on the west side.

 

That would be in a neighborhood just past Weslayan where the railroad track are.  If they could work out a tunnel or bridge across the railroad tracks you could continue on to the loop.

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The City of Houston will install the City’s first on-street protected bike lane along Lamar Street in Downtown, possibly as early as October, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Mike Morris. The two-way protected bike lane will help to connect Downtown to both the Buffalo Bayou trails and the Columbia Tap Trail. More from the Chronicle:

The nearly three-quarter-mile path, from the edge of Sam Houston Park to the edge of Discovery Green, will be painted green and separated from the remaining three lanes of traffic by a barrier of striped plastic humps sometimes called “armadillos” or “zebras,” said Laura Spanjian, the city’s sustainability director.

 

I can't wait to use it!

 

I read on chron that it was supposed to somehow connect into the columbia tap trail that just kind of ends on Dowling. 

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DOH! i thought the new Discovery Green connector bike path was going to be going down La Branch, connecting DiscoGreen into the Heights Bike Trail to the north, for some reason. i was just looking at a map of downtown thinking i was so clever, wondering why doesnt the city take away a lane of traffic on Lamar and McKinney (like i thought they were doing on LaBranch) and have bike lanes from Discovery Green to Sam Houston Park and Buffalo Bayou. lmao. well at least we are on the same page. thats great they plan to link it east to the Columbia Tap Rail Trail. but how? getting it around GRB CC seems pretty messy.

i sort of wonder why they dont do something similar to bike lanes by eliminating a lane of traffic in other pedestrian areas and have a large greenway landscaped trail running along the street for pedestrians, instead of just a concrete sidewalk. sort of like the plan to eliminate a lane on Dallas for the retail district and sidewalk cafes, but have more landscaping/greenery.

maybe a greenway lane down Crawford on the short stretch between DiscoveryGreen and Toyota Center, and another down ADLA between Discovery Green and MMP, and then another down Texas (this one is more controversial and may not be needed, as the rail line takes up two lanes of traffic already, and people could just take the train vs walk) to BBVA Compass Stadium. that gets all the bases covered for connecting to sporting events from potential pre game festivities at DG.

a greenway lane down Milam from Preston (Market Square Park) to Capital (East End/Southeast light rail lines and the Theater District), and then depending on where the southern downtown park gets put, maybe a greenway lane from the SkyHouses, Houston House, and Alliance residential cluster over to the park if its not on a property next door to that cluster. with all the residential in the southern segment of downtown and a lack of tunnel connection, skywalk, or rail for the most part (and lack of vehicular traffic in the southeast quadrant), greenway lanes could be very beneficial to connecting the residential populations with other amenities and creating a pedestrian friendly experience.

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One thing anyone should know is that parking lanes use less space than driving lanes. It's the same concept that makes driving down that one section of Westheimer east of Montrose so harrowing. A full driving lane could be converted to a parking lane and still leave enough space for a bike lane. I've seen it happen. As nice as it is, bikers don't need a full lane.

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One thing anyone should know is that parking lanes use less space than driving lanes. It's the same concept that makes driving down that one section of Westheimer east of Montrose so harrowing. A full driving lane could be converted to a parking lane and still leave enough space for a bike lane. I've seen it happen. As nice as it is, bikers don't need a full lane.

Good point.. It wouldn't really work for my pedestrian greenway lanes but at the same time I'm not sure all the streets in downtown need to be 4 lanes wide.

Put hedges/shrubbery, flowers, and grass along the pathways, maybe with some pergolas or those triangle fabric sail type shade devices, as shown, in the less shaded parts of downtown like the south side where there aren't any tall buildings. There would probably even be rnough space if you build over the existing sidewalk (as well as a lane of traffic or parking) for bike lanes beside the greenway paths.

704914BB-E6D0-4F0C-B663-645B4C3F8AB3_zps

i just googled some existing pedestrian greenways for real life examples. i didnt even think about these pedestrian lanes basically being like a Highline style greenway (minus the fact the Highline is elevated on an abandoned rail bridge).. but yeah imagine a Highline going along a lane of traffic and/or expanded sidewalk, with bike lanes along side it.

272px-High_Line_20th_Street_looking_down

granville-greenway.jpg?w=618&h=408&crop=

Edited by cloud713
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One thing anyone should know is that parking lanes use less space than driving lanes. It's the same concept that makes driving down that one section of Westheimer east of Montrose so harrowing. A full driving lane could be converted to a parking lane and still leave enough space for a bike lane. I've seen it happen. As nice as it is, bikers don't need a full lane.

 

Not usually. Taking a typical 12 foot traffic lane to a 9 foot parking lane frees up 3 feet - entirely in the door zone of the parked cars, a very unsafe place to ride.

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From Cohen's enewsletter

Chair Cohen will convene a meeting of the Council Committee on Quality of Life on Wednesday, December 17th at 2:00PM in Council Chambers at City Hall. The City Planning and Development Department will discuss updating our city's Bicycle Master Plan,

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Mayor Parker reiterated again at her Bike to Work Day announcement today that they are working on it, but she didn't give any details so I guess it's not ready for public comment yet.

 

She did say that they are eliminating the peak-hour restrictions on bikes on the METRORail, though, so now you can bring your bike on the trains any time.

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From Cohen enewsletter

In order to make Houston a safer, healthier, more bike-friendly city, the Planning and Development Department and the Public Works and Engineering Department are leading an effort to create a Bike Plan for Houston. The endeavor seeks to clarify a vision and goals for biking in Houston and identify future projects to create a citywide bicycle network. Two additional open house events will take place in June, at which the project team will present information on existing conditions and solicit input from the public on their vision for biking in Houston. The meetings will take place Tuesday, June 16th from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at the HCC Memorial City Performing Arts Center and on Tuesday, June 23rd from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at the Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center. Those unable to attend the events may participate online at HoustonBikePlan.org.

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from Costello's enewsletter

 

Houston Bike Plan
Get Engaged

The City of Houston is looking for feedback to incorporate into the new Bike Plan. In an effort to create a comprehensive, sustainable plan, stakeholder input is crucial.

Ways you can get involved:

1.) Take the on-line survey  and help define the issues important to you.  The survey takes about 15-20 minutes, but will affect bike planning in Houston for years to come.  (Survey is also available in Spanish.)

2.) Use the interactive maps to identify gaps within the existing network, discuss where you want to bike or help locate key trail connection locations, and more.

3.) Visit the discussion forum  to review daily posts and provide feedback, or post your own question and start a discussion.

4.) Use the meeting-in-a-box  to download materials and start a discussion in your neighborhood, homeowners association, civic club, church or any other group. 

For more information and to sign up, visit www.houstonbikeplan.org or contact at 832- 395-2700.

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Story in the Chron today:

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/heights/news/article/City-updates-plan-for-bicycling-network-6480438.php?t=d3100c86f7438d9cbb&cmpid=email-premium

 

Also, June 2015 presentation:

 

http://houstonbikeplan.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/HoustonBikePlan-COH-BAC-Kickoff-052915.pdf

 

 

Personally, I want to see continuous east-west walk/bike paths connecting George Bush Park, Terry Hershey Park, Memorial Park, and Buffalo Bayou Park. We're already so close, only lacking connection along the bayou through the Memorial Villages and Rice Military/Camp Logan.

Edited by The Ozone Files
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