This is a continuation from Part I, and there may be more parts to come. Eventually, these FAQ will graduate to a single page on dbcgreentx.net.
What are some of the laws related to cycling in Houston? In particular, does the law require cyclists to ride on the street?
Most of the city's bicycle-related ordinances are in Chapter 45: Traffic. There are some others regarding bike racks in Chapter 26: Parking. Some of the important ordinances are discussed below.
(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district.
Is it dangerous to ride a bike in Houston?
Well, yes. And sometimes it's deadly. The number of riders killed on the streets and roads of Greater Houston is far lower than the number of motor vehicle drivers and passengers killed in wrecks. (That 22% increase in fatalities from 2013 to 2014 is pretty chilling, but 2013 represents a low ebb in fatalities per 100,000 population.) Deaths per miles traveled, a more meaningful statistic, is a little harder to measure. But one death or life-changing injury is one too many.
What are activists doing to make Houston safer for cyclists and other VRU's (Vulnerable Road Users)?
For several years, Houston Tomorrow has been pushing the City of Houston to adopt a Complete Streets policy as part of its Vision Zero initiative. Bike Houston has also had a hand in advocating for Vision Zero. The concept of Complete Streets includes making thoroughfares safe and comfortable for all users: motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and wheelchair users. Complete Street principles have already been applied to reconstruction on Bagby and Caroline Streets in Midtown.
Complete Streets designs include:
The "wherever possible" must not have included the recently rebuilt portions of South Shepherd Drive, Westheimer between Shepherd and Weslayan, or the current mess on Bissonnet Street west of Kirby Drive. However, Almeda Road between Brays Bayou and Old Spanish Trail is having its huge median repurposed, and I hope that will bring the addition of a more bike-friendly Almeda.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.