Thanks to Mayor Annise Parker, Houston will be opening up streets to cyclists and pedestrians on the first Sunday of every month, joining hundreds of other cities across the globe as part of the Open Streets program.
The program, which originated in Bogota, Colombia, more than 30 years ago, has spread rapidly, particularly in the United States. According to a press release from the mayor's office, it is estimated that there are at least 200 large-scale Open Streets initiatives worldwide, with 90 in the United States. Major cities like San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles have all long been on board.
In a city with 2 million cars, walking isn't the easiest task.
"SundayStreetsHTX is an opportunity for families and neighbors to be outside and celebrate the streets of Houston," Parker says. "This pilot initiative meets many of the goals of my Go Healthy Houston program, encouraging more recreation and physical activity in Houston, in a family friendly environment."
In a city with almost two million cars, getting Houstonians walking isn't the easiest task, but the new initiative should help encourage more physical activity. "SundayStreetsHTX will help people see the city at a different speed and from a different perspective," Mayor Parker tells KHOU 11 News.
With 29 B-Cycle "bike-sharing" stations introduced since last March, you don't even need your own bike to take advantage of the new initiative, and you can always just use your feet.
The program will begin on April 6 with the closure of a 2.5 mile stretch of White Oak Drive from Heights Boulevard to Fulton between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
On May 4, nearly a mile of Westheimer Road will be closed between Yoakum Boulevard and Hazard, and on June 1, about two miles of Washington Avenue will be closed between Studemont and Milam.
So take advantage of the new program — especially while the weather is still under 90 degrees — and bring out your family to enjoy Houston's streets like never before.