UPDATE: In the original post, I mistakenly said that the vote was 13-4. Councilmembers Brenda Stardig (District A) and Ellen Cohen (District C) did not vote.
Take a look at this text from the Council's agenda, describing the goals of the Plan.
Kudos also to the Chronicle's transportation beat writer Dug Begley, with additional points for resisting the temptation to use "Houston, we have a bike plan" as a lead. He has covered the story even-handedly, addressing concerns such as the lack of a solid plan to pay for the Plan's implementation. Here are Begley's posts from Wednesday, after the vote, and from Tuesday before. Tuesday's article has the profusely illustrated Bike Plan PDF embedded within it. (You may need a digital subscription to get through the paywall.)
But I reserve the blue-ribbon kudos for Bike Houston and other citizen groups, along with the consultants they enlisted. It's always heartening to see activists' hard work rewarded with legislation of this sort, with the goal of improving overall quality of life, not just for cyclists, but for all users of streets—indeed, for everyone who breathes.
Conservative members Jack Christie (At-Large 5) and Dave Martin (District E), to their credit, saw through or around the cost argument. Christie, quoted in Begley's Wednesday article, seems to understand that cities benefit from investment in amenities like cycling infrastructure:
"We have to look to the future," At-Large Councilman Jack Christie said. "Bayou Greenways started 10 years ago with a plan to finish in 20 years...People came together with a plan and now it'll be completed four years from now."
Giving in to morbid curiosity, I scrolled down to the Comments section of Begley's Tuesday article. Sure enough, the usual crowd of right-wing cranks offered nothing but negativity, but at least there were some comments in favor of the Plan. I took pains to remind the cranks of the ways better, safer cycling infrastructure benefits everyone, not just those of us who currently get around on bikes. For one, more cycling leads to a healthier, happier populace. I knew better than to mention Cuba, because anything good that happens in a Communist nation doesn't really happen, amiright?