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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

'Tour de Houston' skips bike lanes

The City likes to show how progressive it is by bragging about its extensive network of bike paths:
The Houston Bikeway Program provides a completed 290-mile bikeway network for urban cycling that spans across a 500 square-mile area of the city. This transportation network of designated bikeways is integrated into the overall transportation system and consists of a total of 345 miles of designated on-street and off-street bikeways.
Sweet. All those roads for bikes. So the Tour de Houston will probably make use of those lanes, freeing other streets for vehicular traffic, right? Nope. In fact, large portions of the Tour de Houston route fall on non-bike lanes, particularly the portions along 75th Street, Holcombe, Weslayan, Willowick, Kirby, Shepherd, 19th Street. Even portions of the race downtown will not be along designated bike routes, like the sections on Smith and Milam. Oh yeah, and it'll also be on Main Street. That's right. While the cyclists are taking up real roads, the bike lanes will lie empty. Thank you, Houston Parks & Recreation Department. Don't believe me? See for yourself. Take a look at the bikeway map and compare it to the Tour de Houston map.

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