Monthly Planner
Updates from your City of Houston

April 2018
Bike Plan Anniversary & Accomplishments
The one-year anniversary of the passage of the Bicycle Master Plan was March 22 . This is the first comprehensive update of the Plan since 1993 and was led by the Planning and Development Department (P&D) with assistance from Houston Public Works, Houston Parks & Recreation, and a host of other partners. The Plan's vision is to transform Houston into a safer, more accessible, gold level bicycle-friendly city by 2027 and is supported by four goals: Improved Safety, Increased Ridership, Increased Access, and Improved Development and Maintenance of Facilities.
The Plan provides recommendations for bike connections and seeks to make it easier for Houstonians to safely connect to jobs, parks, and services as well as off-street trails along our bayou greenways and will add over 600 miles to the current 290-mile bikeway network. That is over triple the existing mileage and will put over 80 percent of people and jobs within half a mile of a comfort bikeway!
 Bike Plan & Bikeway Program Accomplishments:
- 14 linear miles of new/restriped on-street bicycle facilities
- 23 linear miles of on-street bicycle facilities programmed for 1st year CIP bikeway fund
- White Oak Bayou Greenway C40 benefits study of the positive impacts a bike trail
     -Health benefit of 20% reduction in heart disease and stroke risk
    - Environmental benefit of 117,000 in avoided car trips offsetting the release of emissions
    - Economic benefit of 400 jobs created for construction and maintenance of the greenway
- Creation of a 20-member Bicycle Advisory Committee
- Installation of the Lamar Cycle Track connector to East End
- Grant funding of $3.5 million for 71 more Houston BCycle stations
Council Members, city staff, and partners were on hand to receive the 2017 Our Great Region Connection Award from H-GAC.
The Houston Bike Plan was awarded the 2017 Our Great Region Connection Award by Houston-Galveston Area Council for demonstrating how a unique partnership structure is helping achieve and surpass project goals. For more information, visit the Houston Bike Plan and Houston Bikeway Program  webpages.
C40 Grant Benefits Study

In March 2017, the Planning & Development Department, along with Houston Health Department, was awarded a direct technical assistance grant from C40 to evaluate the environmental and health benefits of the White Oak Bayou Greenway Hike and Bike Trail. C40 is a network of the world's megacities committed to addressing climate change, which supports cities ability to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change. Through the six-month process, C40 and the consultant team from Arup worked very closely with the Houston team to develop the evaluation methodology for the benefits analysis. The final report was completed in November 2017 which addresses the environmental, economic, and health benefits of the White Oak Bayou Greenway.
Source: Creating Healthy Liveable Cities: The Benefits of Urban Climate Action  
The report identified the ways in which a safer and more connected bike and pedestrian network encourages more people to engage in active transportation. An increase in active transportation can potentially reduce the rate of obesity, diabetes, and other health-related problems and costs, and help the city to achieve savings in transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about the report findings, see the P&D Transportation Planning website.
Division Highlight: Development Services Tower Program

The Tower Commission is made up of seven members that meet on the fourth Monday of each month (as needed) to consider protested tower applications and waivers to residential proximity requirements. Commission members volunteer their time and are appointed by the Mayor. The Commission Chair is currently Rob Todd and P&D Director Patrick Walsh serves as Secretary.

 Tower Commission members

The industry has changed in the past few years in that neighborhoods that used to protest the placements of cell towers in their communities now clamor for more services from these facilities. The Department's lead tower planner, Geoff Butler, oversees a team of planners who answer numerous national inquiries and process submitted tower applications. For details, visit the Tower Commission website.

Program Updates
Walkable Places: This Planning Commission committee is moving towards introducing some specific recommendations to encourage more pedestrian-friendly, walkable development. The next meeting is scheduled for April 4 and will be held at the City Hall Annex. Check the Walkable Places website for details. 

Complete Communities: The five initial target communities are moving forward towards concluding action plans, and community led teams are identifying the first projects for implementation. Each Complete Community page have a wealth of information available on the individual neighborhoods. The following Acres Home maps are an example of data available for each neighborhood:
Newly installed Montie Beach Park bike station
Transportation: The Major Thoroughfare & Freeway Plan's amendment application period recently concluded. Applicants will be given the opportunity to present their case to Planning Commission on May 10, prior to an open house that will be held for affected property owners on June 13. For more details on the meeting dates, visit the MTFP website.

Houston BCycle  stations continue to be added as part of the program's expansion. Four stations were installed in February at Montie Beach Park and Rice University and three more are due for install in April in Midtown and The Medical Center area. Visit Transportation Planning  for more information on our programs.

The bikeshare program expansion is funded by a federal grant award 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.

The Houston Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) will meet at City Hall Annex Council Chambers on Thursday April 5, from 2-4 pm. The public is welcome to attend and will be given a chance to make comments. This meeting will also be live-streamed by Houston Television (HTV), and for more specifics see the BAC website
Planning & Development

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