Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 — Houston, TX 79°

New bikeway to ease navigation around Houston

Courtesy Charlene Pan

By Saniya Gayake     1/29/19 10:53pm

A new bikeway is being constructed around Houston as a part of a massive transportation project, according to the Houston Bike Plan website. 

The website states that the bikeway will start from Buffalo Bayou in the North, go through downtown, midtown, the Museum District, and end at Hermann Park and Brays Bayou. 

The network of bike lanes as a part of the Houston Bike Plan published in 2017, according to the website. The Houston Bike Plan calls for attractive, protected bikeways to achieve the vision of making Houston a safer, more accessible gold-level bike-friendly city, a distinction given by the American League of Bicyclists for accessibility and safety, within 10 years. 

According to the Houston Bike Plan website, the bikeway is being largely being funded by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who pledged $10 million in precinct funds for 50 miles of new bikeways.

Luke Howe-Kerr, Rice Bikes general manager, said creating additional bikeways gives cyclists a safe path to ride on instead of within the lanes of traffic.

“Increased bikeways will provide a huge benefit for Rice students by encouraging more off campus students to commute to and from campus by bike rather than by car as well as giving students access to a larger network of safe paths to ride on,” Howe-Kerr, a Lovett College junior, said. “Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou are favorites in the cycling community, but there is currently no way to access that network of paths without riding through downtown or Montrose.”

According to Margaret Wallace Brown, the Interim Director of the Planning & Development Department, revising current street plans can be a difficult task.

“Changing the layout of streets in metropolitan areas is always a contentious issues due to the various users of the same space,” Brown said. 

Brown said that the plan aims to ameliorate the issues of the varying needs of different street users including drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and emergency vehicles.

“[The Houston Planning and Development Department] has built relationships and connections with neighborhoods and advocacy groups that represent all the different users to strike a balance between all of those different communities,” Brown said. “Public transit works. Cars work. But not any one thing works entirely.” 

As Houston continues to grow in terms of population and area size, the need for alternative ways of transportation becomes more pressing, according to Brown. 

The announcement of the new bikeway follows calls to increase biker safety by members of the Rice community, as reported by the Thresher. After the deaths of two Rice community members who were biking near campus, Rice administration consulted with the city of Houston to discuss changes to infrastructure surrounding the campus, including the building of a roundabout.

More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 7/3/19 1:46pm
Paul Otremba, assistant professor in creative writing and widely published poet, passes at 40

 “He loved to cook, was an excellent chef and often invited whole gaggles of us over to his apartment, working in the kitchen and talking poetry to whoever was nearby while others lounged by the pool,” Johnson wrote. “When I joined the faculty at Rice, he showed me the way, provided an atlas, a compass through the morass of elite academia, and after the presidential election that first semester, often talked me off the proverbial ledge of rage or despair.” 

NEWS 7/1/19 10:23am
McNair Hall to open new coffee shop in the fall

A new coffee shop on the first floor of McNair Hall is projected to open for business this September, according to Peter Rodriguez, dean of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. According to Rodriguez, several external vendors are currently competing for a contract. Whichever vendor is selected will choose the baristas who will staff the coffee shop and the types of coffee and food offered, Rodriguez said.

NEWS 6/14/19 12:15pm
Administration calls for task force to address racial justice, university history

A task force on slavery, segregation and racial injustice has been established by the university, according to an email sent by President David Leebron and Provost Marie Lynn Miranda. In the email, sent out on Tuesday, Leebron said that the task force was created to learn about instances of racial injustice in Rice’s past and examine ways to promote diversity and inclusion in its future.


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.