Monthly Planner
Updates from your City of Houston
 

 
May 2018
Our Annual Report is Available!
 
Our 2017 Annual Report is now available on the web. In it, we review our accomplishments and priorities from the past year. We have done a lot of exciting work this year and we are proud to share our annual report with you.
May is National Bike Month
 
May is National Bike Month and is celebrated in communities from coast to coast. It was established in 1956 as a way to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to bike. Why is biking great? Biking to work or school can save you time and money. It's a great way to stay fit, and has a positive air quality impacts on the environment. It's also a fun way to explore your community! Learn more about the health, environmental and economic benefits of biking in the White Oak Bayou Greenway in the recent C40 benefits report.
Bike to Work Day

The City of Houston will celebrate Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18, 2018 with a 20-minute, 3-4 mile bike ride beginning and ending at Hermann Square in front of City Hall, 901 Bagby St. The ride will head east, utilizing the Columbia Tap's off-street paved pathway then west, utilizing the Lamar Cycle Track. The ride starts at 7:20am. Sponsor booths and activities will take place in Hermann Square during and after the ride. 

Bike to Work Day is an opportunity to celebrate the bicycle as a mode of transportation. With 40% of all trips in the U.S. being less than two miles, bicycle commuting offers a healthy and sustainable way to get from one destination to the next. Add in Houston's continued expansion of bicycle infrastructure and you have many great reasons to hop on two wheels to get to where you need to go.  Please click here to register for the 2018 Bike to Work Day ride. If you want to volunteer, please contact the Houston Bikeways Program at 832-395-2700 or bikeways@houstontx.gov.

 
Houston Bike Plan gets a 1-Year Funding Boost

As you may have heard already, the Houston Bike Plan got a huge boost in funding for the implementation of bike projects. Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and  Mayor Sylvester Turner  announced on April 16 that  Precinct One will commit $10 million to build 50 miles of bike lanes in and around the Precinct One area. Mayor Turner said the funding, along with $1.1 million the City has committed to spend in each of the next five years will also be used to develop safer intersections and other improvements to make biking easier and safer in Houston. The City has one year to spend the county funds. To learn more about the bike plan, visit the Houston Bike Plan webpage.
P&D Speaks to TAMU Graduate Students
 
P&D representatives spoke to graduate students at Texas A&M University (TAMU), to educate future planners about different careers within the Planning field. While the TAMU Corp of Cadets was gearing up for university activities, hardworking students in Professor Kimberley Mickelson's Master Planning class were preparing for graduation and a mock "Aggie Planning Commission." Professor Mickelson, a certified professional planner, serves as the staff attorney for various P&D Departmental Commissions and Boards and she invited a few Department Planners to teach her soon-to-be graduates for a day.
 
"Real life experiences are a component of my goals in the university classroom, to best equip the next generation of Planners. Educating our future planners is a wonderful professional adjunct to my work as a City Attorney" said Mickelson.
 
After P&D staff highlighted history and practices of planning in Houston, the students were given the chance to analyze and present a platting case study, based on an actual proposal considered by the Houston Planning Commission.
 
With graduation in sight, the students were particularly interested in hearing job search tips and "lessons learned" from employees of the department. Learning to effectively network, identifying their unique strengths, and "marching to their own drummer" were tips of the day.
 
Texas A&M Planning students were educated on various fields within the Planning profession.
Program Updates
    
Walkable Places:  At the April 4 meeting, the Walkable Places Committee considered proposed amendments to reduce building line performance standards, recapped the rule applicability grace period and the proposed amendments to transit corridor performance standards, and took public comment. See details on the Walkable Places website.

Complete Communities: With the April 2017 kickoff in the rear-view mirror, months of planning for Complete Communities will soon be moving into implementation of action items designated by the community. The proposed action plans will be presented to the City Council Economic Development Committee on May 10. For details visit Complete Communities website.

Bicycle Advisory Committee: The Bicycle Advisory Committee  held their first meeting on April 5th in City Hall Annex. The 20-member body is charged with providing recommendations on bicycling-related issues including implementation of the Bike Plan, bicycle safety and education, and promoting public participation in bicycling. The next meeting will be held on July 17 from 2:30 - 4:30 pm in City Hall Annex Council Chambers at 900 Bagby. The public is welcome to attend. You can also send comments to the committee at bac@houstontx.gov .

Bike Share Expansion: Houston BCycle  stations continue to be added as part of the program's ongoing expansion. Three stations were installed in April - 2222 Smith, Ben Taub, and Duncan Hall at Rice University (pictured below). The program's Operation Team also received two brand new vans to help keep the expanding fleet of stations and bikes balanced and in top-notch mechanical shape. Ride a BCycle today!
 
The bikeshare program expansion is funded by a federal grant awarded to the City of Houston's Planning & Development Department. Houston Bike Share, operator of Houston BCycle, is responsible for the 20% local match and implementation of the stations.
 
Historic Preservation: On May 17, 2018, the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission (HAHC) will hold a second public hearing regarding the Houston Heights Historic Districts design guidelines. The public is invited to attend to offer public comments. The hearing will be on Thursday May 17, 2018 at 3pm in the City Hall Annex City Council Chambers, Public Level, 900 Bagby Street, Houston, TX. Please see the Design Guidelines website for more information.
Fast Facts
    
NextDoor: Nextdoor.com is being promoted by the Mayor's office as a communication tool to reach communities. For more information on the Mayor's partnership with Nextdoor please read the Mayor's Office press release from December 2017. 
Planning & Development

611 Walker Street, 6th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 832.393.6600