In Houston, Harris County, and Texas, the number of cyclists killed each year in collisions with motor vehicles is dinky compared to the number of drivers and passengers killed in wrecks. But it is still too many.
People who ride bicycles for transportation, and not just recreation, are providing a public service. Collectively they represent fewer cars crowding our streets, less toxic effluent from automobile exhaust pipes, and better physical health. Too many drivers don't see it that way and perceive us cyclists as a major inconvenience keeping them from reaching their destinations as quickly as possible. Every regular rider has a tale to tell motorists honking angrily, yelling at them to get on the sidewalk, or passing them within inches.
Houston last implemented a city-wide bike plan in the mid-1990s. The city has changed quite a bit since then, but the bike plan has not changed with it. With increasing population density inside the Loop, there are now more automobiles on streets like Montrose, Bissonnet, and 11th. Our bike lanes may as well be called "bike tire hazard lanes." Our rails-to-trails and bayou-trail network is not a network, because several of them do not interconnect.
Our City Council and municipal bureaucrats know better than to revise the bike plan without input from stakeholders, so they are working with organizations like Bike Houston to work out how best to spend city money on improve bicycle access and safety. This work includes conducting hearings and forums, as well as an interactive Bike Plan website.