It’s not often that planners have an opportunity to work on a project that hits so close to home. As those who know me well know, biking and transit play a major place in my life. I haven’t owned a car since 2001, and have been using transit and cycling as my main modes of transportation for all the years in between across a whole bunch of cities: Berlin, Minneapolis, Boston and Houston long term, as well as shorter stints in Ho Chi Minh City, Oakland and Madison. Each of these cities varies widely in its transit systems and bike friendliness, but between the two modes of getting around, I’ve been able to cobble together a reasonable degree of mobility in each. Indeed, for a sprawling city like Houston without a great degree of frequent transit, it’s using bikes and transit in tandem that really makes life without a car work.
We were recently selected by H-GAC and METRO to carry out a study titled the METRO Bike & Ride Access and Implementation Plan. We’ll be looking at all methods of making access to transit easier, whether bus, rail, transit centers, or park and ride locations. In many cases, as the image to the left shows, our bike facilities, especially our off-road trails, pass very close by existing transit facilities. Part of our job will be to make sure that those final connections can be made.
As always, we will seek to take a comprehensive approach to planning, looking at physical infrastructure, programs, and operational issues. Our team includes Traffic Engineers and Nancy Edmondson Consulting. Over the next year, we’ll be posting more about our findings and recommendations.