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new bike paths around town


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57 minutes ago, Amlaham said:

I get sooo jealous of you guys that live in the Heights and have these awesome biking trails. You guys could legit bike all the way downtown without even being on the street. I feel like almost every area in town is seeing new trail construction except for my area lol.... Galleria area... not a single biking trail for miles. 

Putting in the silver line drew all sorts of criticism and some lawsuits from the surrounding businesses due to the construction and perceived/real effect the construction had on their revenue. I wonder if that is in the back of the mind of the Uptown peeps when considering more pedestrian construction.

Tbh, there are alot of roads that could be utilized for a lane given the lack of traffic outside of peak rush hour. Plus, y'all have schools and actually incredible number of pocket parks that could really be given a boost by having bike connectivity with Memorial Park. I work in and around the Galleria area and it always amazes me that for an area with such high property values (condos are viable assets here!) getting from Tanglewood/West Oaks/Upper Post Oak/San Filipe to the park seems like such a treacherous proposition. Any real protected pathway would instantly be a huge boost, to both life quality and property values. I see so many people with strollers navigating shitty sidewalks, cyclists riding front roads, and joggers in the street that I'm just like "whats going on."

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23 hours ago, sapo2367 said:

Woot! I think the long term plan is for this to continue and cross over I10 to get all the way to Memorial Park. I recall seeing some mockups somewhere on HAIF a while ago.

Here they are:

image.png.8d9180156fb8f0ca96e60a4ea67aaa00.png

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Per the July Board Agenda, TIRZ 5 has added a project per to the '23-'27 CIP:

"Mill and overlay with the addition of bike lanes and improvement of pedestrian facilities: Dallas to Allen Parkway on
Waugh Drive. This project will be completed in partnership with Precinct 1 and TIRZ 27"

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On 7/12/2022 at 3:18 PM, skooljunkie said:

Per the July Board Agenda, TIRZ 5 has added a project per to the '23-'27 CIP:

"Mill and overlay with the addition of bike lanes and improvement of pedestrian facilities: Dallas to Allen Parkway on
Waugh Drive. This project will be completed in partnership with Precinct 1 and TIRZ 27"

Woah I missed this. That fantastic news!

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On 6/8/2022 at 12:39 PM, sapo2367 said:

The problems with the layout in the Galleria are the real issue. The only solution is sturdily built protected lanes, because there are literally zero side streets that run all the way through east-west. And I don't see Uptown drivers giving up their dominion easily.

 

It's a huge pain for me. I bike from work on Dunvale/Westpark to my home in Midtown. Should be ten straight miles on Richmond, but instead it's sixteen miles that take me through Memorial Park and Rice Military, and not because I want it that way.

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On 9/24/2022 at 1:53 PM, 004n063 said:

The problems with the layout in the Galleria are the real issue. The only solution is sturdily built protected lanes, because there are literally zero side streets that run all the way through east-west. And I don't see Uptown drivers giving up their dominion easily.

 

It's a huge pain for me. I bike from work on Dunvale/Westpark to my home in Midtown. Should be ten straight miles on Richmond, but instead it's sixteen miles that take me through Memorial Park and Rice Military, and not because I want it that way.

I live in the uptown area and it truly sucks how we have absolutely no bike lanes....like at all...zero. I feel like one going down Richmond from beltway 8 all the way to midtown makes sense in my opinion. Traffic on Richmond isn't anywhere near as bad as other streets, so creating a bike lane and connecting Westchase district to Uptown to Greenway to Midtown seems like it would be the obvious answer :/ 

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1 hour ago, Amlaham said:

I live in the uptown area and it truly sucks how we have absolutely no bike lanes....like at all...zero. I feel like one going down Richmond from beltway 8 all the way to midtown makes sense in my opinion. Traffic on Richmond isn't anywhere near as bad as other streets, so creating a bike lane and connecting Westchase district to Uptown to Greenway to Midtown seems like it would be the obvious answer :/ 

I would think that the proposed westpark off-street path would be a better fit for that corridor.

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1 hour ago, august948 said:

I would think that the proposed westpark off-street path would be a better fit for that corridor.

Both would be worthwhile, but Richmond more so. I work on Westpark, so I'd be very happy with  either, but a Richmond lane would serve more destinations than Westpark, with a lot more shade.

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4 hours ago, 004n063 said:

Both would be worthwhile, but Richmond more so. I work on Westpark, so I'd be very happy with  either, but a Richmond lane would serve more destinations than Westpark, with a lot more shade.

Point about shade well taken.  Further west Richmond does have bike lanes, though I don't trust those at all since they just narrowed the existing lanes.  Is that what we are talking about or something a bit more protected?

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3 hours ago, august948 said:

Point about shade well taken.  Further west Richmond does have bike lanes, though I don't trust those at all since they just narrowed the existing lanes.  Is that what we are talking about or something a bit more protected?

Definitely more protected. Cars go 35mph or more on Richmond, and there are a lot of them. It can be pretty terrifying to bike there in the afternoon (which is why I go 6 miles out of my way to avoid it).

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13 hours ago, Amlaham said:

I live in the uptown area and it truly sucks how we have absolutely no bike lanes....like at all...zero. I feel like one going down Richmond from beltway 8 all the way to midtown makes sense in my opinion. Traffic on Richmond isn't anywhere near as bad as other streets, so creating a bike lane and connecting Westchase district to Uptown to Greenway to Midtown seems like it would be the obvious answer :/ 

Is cycling on the sidewalks prohibited? Sidewalks overthere are nice and wide. 

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1 hour ago, chempku said:

Is cycling on the sidewalks prohibited? Sidewalks overthere are nice and wide. 

it depends, but in Houston pretty much yes.

if I remember correctly, sidewalks and bikes is a no-no near commercial areas. I think this is a CoH ordinance.

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I believe @Texasotais correct.  I bike on the sidewalks all the time, including going right past the westside police station on a regular basis.  The main problem I've found with sidewalks is that sometimes they're in poor repair.  West of the beltway they've been rebuilding the sidewalks along Richmond.  I don't think I've seen that work going on east of the beltway, though.

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5 hours ago, august948 said:

I believe @Texasotais correct.  I bike on the sidewalks all the time, including going right past the westside police station on a regular basis.  The main problem I've found with sidewalks is that sometimes they're in poor repair.  West of the beltway they've been rebuilding the sidewalks along Richmond.  I don't think I've seen that work going on east of the beltway, though.

Biking on the sidewalk and biking unprotected in the street are both perfectly fine...except when they aren't.

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Bicycling on sidewalks is prohibited in Houston in any area considered to be a "commercial area", which basically means an area with a lot of businesses around.  So not just Downtown, but also much of Uptown, the TMC, Greenway Plaza, most of Westheimer, and any other street with a block or so of continuous businesses.  So cyclists are forced onto major roads in these areas where motorists often are none-too-happy to see a cyclist taking "their road".


In Houston, outside of residential neighborhoods, cyclists are generally required to be in the street, and when the lane is under 14 feet wide (which is most places, as standard lanes are 10 to 12 feet wide), they may (and honestly, for safety's sake, *should*) take the entire lane.

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7 hours ago, rechlin said:

Bicycling on sidewalks is prohibited in Houston in any area considered to be a "commercial area", which basically means an area with a lot of businesses around.  So not just Downtown, but also much of Uptown, the TMC, Greenway Plaza, most of Westheimer, and any other street with a block or so of continuous businesses.  So cyclists are forced onto major roads in these areas where motorists often are none-too-happy to see a cyclist taking "their road".


In Houston, outside of residential neighborhoods, cyclists are generally required to be in the street, and when the lane is under 14 feet wide (which is most places, as standard lanes are 10 to 12 feet wide), they may (and honestly, for safety's sake, *should*) take the entire lane.

Actually, the city code says "No person shall ride a bicycle or motor assisted scooter upon a sidewalk within a business district. "

The only reference I've found so far to a business district is the Central Business District, otherwise known as downtown.

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20 hours ago, rechlin said:

Bicycling on sidewalks is prohibited in Houston in any area considered to be a "commercial area", which basically means an area with a lot of businesses around.  So not just Downtown, but also much of Uptown, the TMC, Greenway Plaza, most of Westheimer, and any other street with a block or so of continuous businesses.  So cyclists are forced onto major roads in these areas where motorists often are none-too-happy to see a cyclist taking "their road".


In Houston, outside of residential neighborhoods, cyclists are generally required to be in the street, and when the lane is under 14 feet wide (which is most places, as standard lanes are 10 to 12 feet wide), they may (and honestly, for safety's sake, *should*) take the entire lane.

actually, I thought you were right too (and you and I may have been right once upon a time, the ordinance was updated in 2021 specific for bicycles).

 
Quote

 

(a)

As used in this section, the term motor assisted scooter shall have the same meaning as defined in section 26-2 of this Code.

(b)

No person shall ride a bicycle or motor assisted scooter upon a sidewalk within a business district.

(c)

The traffic engineer is authorized to erect signs on any sidewalk outside a business district prohibiting the riding of bicycles and motor assisted scooters thereon by any person and, when such signs are in place, no person shall disobey the same.

(d)

Whenever any person is riding a bicycle or motor assisted scooter upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.

 

 

I could swear when I last saw the ordinance (again, years ago, maybe 10 or more at this point) it said only commercial area. this clarification to be more specific opens up a lot more sidewalks.

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14 hours ago, august948 said:

Actually, the city code says "No person shall ride a bicycle or motor assisted scooter upon a sidewalk within a business district. "

The only reference I've found so far to a business district is the Central Business District, otherwise known as downtown.

From § 45-2:

Quote

Business district means the territory contiguous to and including a roadway when, within any 600 feet along such roadway, there are buildings in use for business or industrial purposes which occupy 300 feet of frontage on one side or 300 feet collectively on both sides of the roadway.

So unfortunately the law is still what I described.

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

actually, I thought you were right too (and you and I may have been right once upon a time, the ordinance was updated in 2021 specific for bicycles).

I think the ordinance update was only to reference motorized scooters as well.  I don't think anything changed for cyclists.  See my previous comment with details showing the law is still indeed what we thought it was.

That said, the law makes sense at a high level, because traditionally, riding a bike on a sidewalk is far more dangerous than riding on the street, because cars entering/exiting driveways are not expecting cyclists on the sidewalk.  Unfortunately, Houston drivers are so reckless that cycling on the street might actually be even more dangerous in our unusually awful situation -- we need the extra barrier of the curb to protect ourselves (and even that may not protect us from speeding cops who lose control and drive on the sidewalk).

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Real talk, has anyone here ever been ticketed for cycling on the sidewalks? 🤨

If I had to choose between cycling in mixed traffic or cycling on sidewalks…it’s sidewalks for me, laws be damned. I’m sure a sympathetic HAIFer would be so kind as to help bail me out hahaha 😁

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1 hour ago, BEES?! said:

Real talk, has anyone here ever been ticketed for cycling on the sidewalks? 🤨

If I had to choose between cycling in mixed traffic or cycling on sidewalks…it’s sidewalks for me, laws be damned. I’m sure a sympathetic HAIFer would be so kind as to help bail me out hahaha 😁

Never.  And I cycle on the sidewalks down Richmond near the westside police station all the time.  Cops pass me coming and going from the station.  I've only ever heard of tickets being given out downtown, and that was some time ago when bicycle messengers were all over there.

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6 hours ago, BEES?! said:

Real talk, has anyone here ever been ticketed for cycling on the sidewalks? 🤨

If I had to choose between cycling in mixed traffic or cycling on sidewalks…it’s sidewalks for me, laws be damned. I’m sure a sympathetic HAIFer would be so kind as to help bail me out hahaha 😁

About 7-8 years ago, I was (slowly) riding my bike for about 300 feet on the sidewalk downtown, just trying to get from the front door of my office to the parking garage entrance so I could park my bike (taking the street would mean either going the wrong way on a one-way or going all the way around the block), and a bicycle cop, who amusingly was also riding on the sidewalk, told me I was not allowed to ride on the sidewalk.  At another time, maybe a couple years before that, I was riding my bike on Edloe Street through Greenway Plaza and a cop told me I should ride on the sidewalk instead, even though that would have been illegal since it was a business district.  So no, I haven't been ticketed, but I've experienced both hypocrisy and incompetence from HPD on the matter.  In my more than 2 decades of living as an adult in Houston, both HPD, and HFD as well for that matter, have both disappointed me immensely.

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6 minutes ago, rechlin said:

About 7-8 years ago, I was (slowly) riding my bike for about 300 feet on the sidewalk downtown, just trying to get from the front door of my office to the parking garage entrance so I could park my bike (taking the street would mean either going the wrong way on a one-way or going all the way around the block), and a bicycle cop, who amusingly was also riding on the sidewalk, told me I was not allowed to ride on the sidewalk.  At another time, maybe a couple years before that, I was riding my bike on Edloe Street through Greenway Plaza and a cop told me I should ride on the sidewalk instead, even though that would have been illegal since it was a business district.  So no, I haven't been ticketed, but I've experienced both hypocrisy and incompetence from HPD on the matter.  In my more than 2 decades of living as an adult in Houston, both HPD, and HFD as well for that matter, have both disappointed me immensely.

I honestly think that you only experienced hypocrisy.  Regardless of the exact wording of the city code, I suspect HPD takes a pragmatic approach outside downtown.  Even then, the crackdown that I recall was sparked by messenger bikes riding recklessly in downtown because they had to do their jobs quickly.  I don't think HPD will stop you unless there have been complaints in the area or you are obviously doing something stupid and dangerous in front of them.  The cop that told you to ride on the sidewalk was most likely looking out for your safety.

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