This is an exciting time for people who bicycle in Houston or want to bicycle in Houston:
More people are riding, and local governments are starting to build more bicycle
infrastructure. BikeHouston, the area’s only non-profit bicycle advocacy group, is at the
forefront of this evolution, with a mission to create a network of streets that are safe and
accessible for bicycle riders and increase the quality of life of all Houstonians.
Bike Houston began as an all-volunteer organization and employed its first full-time staff in
2014–with the support of Houston Endowment–to advocate building an environment where
people feel safe getting out of their houses and cars and on their bikes to move around the
In 2014, BikeHouston partnered with the Mayor’s Office and City of Houston departments to
set Houston on the course of becoming a safe and healthy city with mobility options for all
people. With the city, we launched the Goal Zero Fatalities Campaign, and soon we will kick
off development of Houston’s first Bicycle Master Plan in over 20 years. These are crucial
first steps in increasing Houston’s ability to improve the health of our citizens and reduce
congestion and its associated pollution.
Creating a safe environment for bicycle riders is not limited to bike paths and bike lanes; it
also includes community education programs to teach motorists about the rights of people
who bicycle and inform riders about their rights and responsibilities. BikeHouston works with
law enforcement agencies to encourage them to use safe-riding laws already on the books
and advocates for implementation of successful regulations from other cities. We also host
events designed to empower everyone to start riding a bike.
The Bicycle Master Plan will be developed in 2015 and provide the foundation upon which
future progress will be built. After developing an inventory of the current bicycle
infrastructure, the master plan will identify missing links in our bicycle network and set us on
the path towards building these links. We must unify all people who support bicycle riding in
order to have the power and diversity needed to be successful. Without our unified voice,
people riding bikes will continue to be relegated to back roads, pushed to the gutter, and
given only signs or paint when designated, protected space is the right solution.
When the Houston area builds new protected spaces in crucial areas and fills in the missing
links to create a complete bicycle network, current bicyclists will ride more and new people
will start riding. Cities around the nation who have put the infrastructure in place to make
bicycling safer have seen huge jumps in the number of riders, sometimes exceeding 400
percent. BikeHouston has seen a huge response to the building of safe places for bicylists,
including more than 55,000 views on our Facebook posts about the start of construction of
Houston’s first protected bike lane on Lamar Street in Downtown.
Although Houston has a well-deserved reputation for the primacy of cars and trucks on our
streets and thoroughfares, people ride bikes for many reasons, from the thousands who ride
because they have no other mode of transportation (8% of households in our region don’t
have access to a car), to those choosing to ride for any number of reasons ranging from
enjoyment, to fitness, to convenience, to the environment. BikeHouston strives to be the
umbrella under which all people with bikes can unite, and we know there is lots of work to
do on this front.
In addition to advocacy, education and work on the Bicycle Master Plan, our focus in 2015
will be to develop better data on the numbers of bicycle riders and the different ways they
use their bikes, to attend as many community events as possible, and to launch a volunteer
BikeHouston Ambassador program to reach out to all different bicyclists.
Please support us in making Houston a safer, more fun place to ride a bike and live by
– Add your voice to our Houstonians For Bikes Campaign.
– Connect with us on Facebook.