Attention cyclists, the first protected bike trail in Houston is finally here. Mayor Annise Parker and a slew of bike enthusiasts opened what they are calling the city's "first protected two-way cycle track" Thursday as she discussed plans to make Houston a bike-friendly place.
The park connector is located in a busy part of downtown Houston, linking Sam Houston Park to Discovery Green over a three-quarter mile route. The two-way track, on a portion of the street painted bright green, spans 10 blocks on Lamar, offering bike riders a safer and convenient way to get across downtown.
The two-way track, on a portion of the street painted bright green, spans 10 blocks on Lamar, offering bike riders a safer and convenient way to get across downtown.
With the new connection cyclists can access the Buffalo Bayou Trails, connecting into the greater Heights and Northside neighborhoods, and the Colombia Tap Trail, which provides a direct connection into the historic Third Ward and Texas Southern University.
(A description of the project explains that "two-way cycle tracks are separated bicycle lanes that allow bicycle travel in both directions on one side of the road. They are frequently used on one-way streets and provide dedicated, protected space for bicyclists.")
The mayor said she plans to soon unveil a new bike plan that will “analyze and identify the best routes for additional new on-street connections to our off street system, close gaps and create a connected and robust system for residents to enjoy the city, get exercise and stay healthy,” according to prepared remarks.
A number of Houston cyclists attended the press conference and took a ride on the track along with the mayor and her supporters. Also on hand were Bob Eury, executive director of Downtown District, Houston City Council member Robert Gallegos and Michael Payne of BikeHouston, a nonprofit dedicated to making Houston a better city for cyclists. Current and former NFL stars Brandon Brooks, Chester Pitts, and Wade Smith also came out to support the launch.