Finding bicycling routes in and around west Houston just got a little easier with a new route map produced by The Energy Corridor District in partnership with BikeHouston, the local nonprofit bicycling advocacy organization in Houston. The map distinguishes different types of bikeways available in west Houston and inside the area bounded by Grand Parkway, Clay Road, Beltway 8, and Westpark Tollway. Bikeways identified include off-street paved paths such as the Terry Hershey Hike and Bike trail, unpaved trails such as the popular Terry Hershey Anthills trail, as well as both low and high-comfort on-street bikeways, which were determined by evaluating traffic speeds and volumes, and road and lane widths. The map also identifies high-comfort street crossings such as the new 'Dutch Junction' protected intersections project along IH-10 to be completed later this spring.
The District staff worked to identify and label each of the bikeways by conducting on-site visits, reviewing existing bike maps – including the draft Houston Bike Plan – and consulting with several regular Energy Corridor cyclists. The map also highlights several key destinations including parks, libraries, transit facilities, and public restrooms.
“We created this map as a guide so that cyclists of all ages and abilities – whether they are working, living or visiting the Energy Corridor – can easily access the bicycle network and experience the lush parks and trails we have nestled alongside IH-10,” says Kelly Rector, TDM Manager. “We also want people to be able to quickly glance at the map and determine how to get where they want to go on a bicycle, and via a route that matches their comfort level.”
An electronic version of the map is hosted on the District site, and staff will provide printed maps at various community and employer outreach events throughout the year. As the number of bikeways in west Houston expand and increase over the next several years, the map will be updated accordingly.
The Energy Corridor Bikeways Map is one of the several services BikeHouston is providing as part of an ongoing management district partnership. “BikeHouston is proud to partner with the Energy Corridor to help people explore Houston by bicycle,” says John Long, BikeHouston’s Executive Director, “if you haven't checked out the trails in the Energy Corridor you are missing a Houston gem.” In addition to a district specific bicycle map, BikeHouston offers consultation services, social rides, educational training sessions, and bike valet service at events such as the annual Bike to Work Day celebration.
For more information on biking in the Energy Corridor go to http://www.energycorridor.org/commuter-solutions/bike-walk