Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Houston Bike Museum Grand Opening

The Houston Bike Museum is finally opening with a grand opening celebration tomorrow February 26th. They will have a silent auction, door prizes, etc.  This is a temporary location at 1313 Binz St in the Museum District so fundraising is still going on for a permanent location.  Houston Matters radio show did a 5 minute segment on the museum.  Some of Houston's best bike shops Daniel Boone Bikes, The Bike Route in Sugarland, and West End Bikes have contributed to making the museum a reality.

Penny farthing anyone?  I just love saying that name.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What happened to the Barker Store & Post Office?

So an incredible Saturday found me hung over on Sunday and in no condition to challenge personal records on Strava.  I still needed to get out and get some time on the bike.  So I rode through George Bush Park, around the reservoir, to where Highway 6 and Terry Hershey Park meet.  I decided I would make frequent stops and enjoy the park.  Usually my rides on this route are a hurried commute or a test of how fast I can ride.  It had been two years since I actually rode through the park to appreciate the park. Damn if I didn't miss a major change. 

On Barker-Clodine Rd as you exit the park to the North there is an old church.  Next to the church stood the Barker General Store and Post Office established in 1898.  I loved that this old building was still standing.  Clearly it has moved from its original location on Barker St but that was great.  Someone in Houston gave a shit.  Someone cared enough to preserve this old piece of history.  Well it’s gone now.  I have been banging away at Google but can’t seem to find anything about a planned relocation.  Good god don’t tell me this building became firewood.  Between this building disappearing and no-one seeming to give a shit that TXDOT has a plan to destroy the bike path through the park, I don’t think I can take much more.  

A coworker said he saw the building being put on a truck for moving.  Can anyone confirm this or where it went?  Here is an article about Barker, TX and some pictures I took of the building a couple years ago.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Houston Bike Master Plan Funded By City

The Houston City Council has voted to fund a Bike Master Plan. A consultant will be hired to develop a master plan to help make Houston easier to navigate by bike.  The city has budgeted $125,00 and Bike Houston has promised $100,000  You can read about it in this Houston Press Article

Interesting to me is the Houston-Galveston Area Council is supposed to kick in $100,000 for the study.  That is the group that came up with West Houston Mobility Plan that cuts off the bike path through George Bush Park and shows streets that don't exist.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Proposed Road To Cut Through George Bush Park

Last night another cyclist told me that the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT)  has approved a road connecting Highland Knolls Dr. with Briar Forrest Dr.  This new major thoroughfare would cut right through the North section of George Bush Park and effectively kill off a green space area and a multi-use path used by thousands of joggers, walkers, and cyclist every month.

I'm still trying to get more details but this article gives some info.  The proposal is part of the West Houston Mobility Plan (link to plan) from the Galveston-Houston Area Council (whatever the hell that is).  This plan was finalized December 18th with the expectation that TXDOT will approve it this month.  What that means for actually getting built, I have no idea.  This is a terrible plan.  There are already 4 East-West thoroughfares through the area: 1-10, I-10 frontage road, Westheimer Pkwy, West Park Tollway.  I believe this new route would cut through a reservoir, mess up the regional flood protection, and kill of a major cycling route.

Here is a map of the recommended changes.  If my color blind eyes are reading this right, it shows existing streets connecting Kingsland Blvd with Memorial and Barker Cypress running through the park.  Hard to have faith in this study with such major errors.

My best hope right now is that this is some study that gets approved and then sits on a shelf for years without ever getting implemented.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Scoping New Work Commute Routes

So I have a new job that will have me working at Enclave Parkway near Briar Forrest in the Energy Corridor for the next 2 months.  I decided to try out possible routes from Katy on a Sunday afternoon.

Scoping Out New Work Commute Routes

With the multi-use path through George Bush Park and Terry Hershey Park I can ride most of the roughly 16 miles car free.  I was hoping there would be an exit from Terry Hershey right next to my new office but there wasn't.  If I exit at Enclave Parkway it is a fairly short ride to Briar Forrest Rd and there is a bike lane.  Always a welcome sight to see a bike lane

Bike Lane on Enclave Parkway

The shortest and quickest route is to skip Terry Hershey and instead take Briar Forrest from the end of George Bush park.  Unfortunately the bike lane on Briar Forrest has a lot of debris and sections where construction has blocked the path.  As nice as it is to see a bike lane, sometimes in Houston they can be pretty impractical.  So my choices are the winding , and in the early evening crowded with joggers, dog walkers, families, etc Terry Hershey path, and Briar Forrest with its less than stellar bike path and rush hour cars.  Guess that will be a game time decision.  Either way I am looking forward to commuting via bike again.