Navigating Houston’s Roads

So, it’s a busy month for bikes.

May is Bike to Work Month and this week is Bike to Work Week and Friday is Bike to Work Day. Local biking clubs are hosting various bike-y events, and the City’s doing some stuff too.

When I first saw the article about Bike to Work Day, I contemplated taking my trusty Novara hybrid to work. Sure, it would be fun and a good workout – but do I really want to brave these Houston streets? It’s just 8 miles from my house to the office, but I doubt the roads between the Med Center to the Galleria are cycle friendly. Even if I took side streets, I’d still be scared about getting hit. Houston just doesn’t seem very bicycle-friendly to me – we’re such a car centered city.

There are, actually, lots of bike lanes around town – 300 miles of bikeway to be exact. They’re painted in white with a bike symbol or the words “BIKE LANE” in big letters. But, I’ll admit I don’t always notice or pay attention to them. For example, there’s a bike lane here in the Med Center that cuts diagnoally across Cambridge Street just before it reaches Old Spanish Trail. It’s positioned awkwardly, but still, I forget it’s there. I know I’m not the only one.

I’m all for increasing bike awareness and supporting more fitness-related events in Houston. But biking to work seems to be unrealistic for most Houstonians…even for those who live and work inside the loop. I know there must be Houstonians that bike to work every day, so maybe I’m wrong?

On a somewhat related note, Mapquest names Houston as the hardest city to navigate.

1 Comment so far

  1. shawn (unregistered) on May 18th, 2006 @ 9:18 am

    I would love to bike to work and their might be more people willing to do so under better conditions:

    1. Increase awareness of existing bike lanes and make plans for expansion!
    2. Make Houston not-so-hot!!! I saw an article somewhere about alternative methods for lowering the temperature. It was about putting more gardens on the roofs of buildings. Here’s an article.
    3. Develop incentives, programs and contests that encourage employers to condone alternative transportation(shower at work, contest: “This company offered the least polution for the month…”)

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