The Director of the Planning and Development Department (P&D) recommends that City Council adopt the Houston Bike Plan (the Plan). The Plan identifies recommendations to support bicycling as a mode of transportation in Houston, consistent with Plan Houston, the Complete Streets Executive Order (E.O. 1-15) and other applicable City plans, policies, and regulations. The Plan replaces the 1993 Houston Comprehensive Bikeway Network Plan.
The Plan’s vision is that within ten years, Houston will be a safer, more accessible, gold level bike-friendly city. The vision is supported by four goals: improve safety, increase ridership, increase access, and develop and maintain facilities. The Plan includes a bicycle toolbox with recommendations for projects, policies, and programs to help achieve the vision and goals. It also includes key recommendations, implementation guidance, and maps of the proposed bikeway network.
The Plan proposes to add 568 miles of high-comfort bikeways in the next ten years, creating a citywide network that ensures more than 80% of Houston’s residents and jobs are within a half-mile of a “high-comfort” bicycle facility. A high-comfort facility is a bicycle facility on which most adult riders would feel comfortable and safe riding. Currently, the City’s existing bicycle network includes 270 miles of high-comfort bicycle facilities and consists primarily of off-street paths. The long term vision, beyond 10 years, adds an additional 872 miles to the high-comfort bicycle network, resulting in 95% of Houston’s population and employment being within a half-mile of a high-comfort facility.
The Plan was developed through a partnership of City departments, including P&D, Public Works and Engineering, and Parks and Recreation, with support from funding partners including BikeHouston, Houston Parks Board, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Texas Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, and Federal Highway Administration. The project was guided by a 25-member Bicycle Advisory Committee. Traffic Engineers, Inc. provided consultancy services through a contract approved by City Council on February 18, 2015.
The project team, which included external partners such as BikeHouston, extensively engaged the community to ensure that the Plan reflects community interests. The team attended over 100 meeting and events in all Council Districts, including five public meetings at locations across the City. The community engagement included CitizensNet notifications, online and social media campaigns, and distribution of over 75,000 bilingual informational postcards and brochures. Community feedback included over 1,000 written comments, 632 comments received on interactive online maps, over 4,000 online survey responses, and over 550 letters of support.
P&D published the draft Plan on February 29, 2016 and invited public comment through April 11, 2016. The project team revised the Plan and P&D presented the revised Plan to the City Council Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Committee on June 20, 2016. Since late 2016, P&D conducted numerous additional meetings with organizations including the Super Neighborhood Alliance, BikeHouston and the Coalition for Complete Streets to identify further Plan refinements. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the revised draft on January 19, 2017 and forwarded the Plan to City Council for adoption on February 2nd subject to completing a package of revisions to address recent comments. The project team has incorporated these revisions into the Plan. The final Houston Bike Plan and additional information about the project are available at http://houstonbikeplan.org/final-report-and-maps.
Patrick Walsh, P.E.
Planning and Development Department
cc: Ronald Lewis, City Attorney
Dale A. Rudick, P.E., Director, Public Works and Engineering
Joe Turner, Director, Parks and Recreation