- Cycling here is dangerous, with far more collisions and deaths per capita than other cities in Texas and the US.
- Motorists too frequently strike and kill cyclists with impunity, either by fleeing the scene unidentified or offering an excuse such as "I didn't see the bicycle."
- Houston may soon enact its comprehensive Bike Plan, with the goal of achieving zero fatalities.
- The cycling community here is large and active, if rather diffuse, and can be credited with taking action to get the city's attention on issues pertaining to cycling.
As a longtime cyclist, bicycle commuter, and facilitator for World Naked Bike Ride, you betcha this article caught my eye.
Within the city of Houston, in recent years, we have averaged just over seven cycling fatalities per year, plus dozens of injuries. This figure may seem minuscule compared to fatalities involving motor-on-motor crashes, but it still points to a glaring problem that notoriously car-dependent Houston could have and should have fixed decades ago. An appallingly high percentage of the collisions, including fatal collisions, are of the hit-and-run variety. (This one that happened Monday night, thankfully, wasn't; the driver stopped and called 911. Despite that, the cyclist is still dead.)
So why does any sane or rational person ride a bicycle on the streets of Houston? This is one of many questions that I would ask if I were, say, someone who commutes into town from Cy-Fair and often gets stuck behind a two-wheeler (or a pack of two-wheelers) pedaling along at 15 miles per hour.
In a comment for the online edition of the article, I pointed out that Meagan Flynn's feature could benefit from a sidebar with frequently asked questions about cycling in Greater Houston. Perhaps Ms. Flynn will take my advice and post a follow-up FAQ online in the coming days.
Meanwhile, I have a blog, and I can post my own. Here is Part I of my own FAQ, which here stands for "Floridly Answered Questions." I apologize in advance if I have omitted any questions you might have asked or heard, or if the answers reflect my own biases. Wait, no, I actually don't.