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Bikes in the Mayor’s race

Local bicycle activist Peter Wang contacted the four Mayoral campaigns to ask what their position is on getting METRO to install bike hangers in the light rail vehicles and allow bicycles in the vehicles during rush hours. Here’s how they responded:

Annise Parker‘s answer –

“The answer to your question is ‘yes.’ We must have a multi-modal transportation system in Houston, including bicycles and bike lanes.”

Roy Morales called me personally on the phone, which I appreciated, and said that he wants to chose a new METRO CEO who will be sensitive to the needs of cyclists.

Peter Brown sent me the following email –

“My comprehensive transportation blueprint, which you can view on my website, calls for making Houston a more bike-friendly city, along with expanding access to livable, walkable neighborhoods and effective, efficient mass transit. And it’s important that all these different transportation options function effectively together. My blueprint specifically calls for “a transit system that facilitates biking,” a commitment to find ways to make METRO more accessible for bicyclists. Peak-period access and bike hangers are two options that I would definitely take a close look at, as long as we can make sure that they are feasible and safe for commuters. But a bike friendly Houston doesn’t end there. I think it’s also important that we continue to expand our network of dedicated bike lanes, trails, and other routes. And we need to make sure our law enforcement officers are trained to acknowledge the rights of bicyclists, and protect them on the road. I’m committed to expanding transportation choices, and that includes promoting bicycling as one of those choices.”

Finally, Gene Locke had this to say:

“I believe we can work towards finding a way remove the peak hour ban on bicycles access to the light rail. We need to take a serious look at the feasibility of putting bike racks on light rail cars. We will balance the desire to carry bikes on light rail cars with the safety needs of a high used line such as the red line.”

So there you have it. I don’t know how many people will be influenced to vote one way or another on this, but if you’re one of those people, now you know. On a “not really related, but it was interesting and I had nowhere else to put it” note, Yglesias and Feministing discuss a study about how measuring the number of female bicyclists in a given metro area is a good shorthand way to tell how bicycle-friendly said metro area is. Check it out.

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  1. Peter Wang says:

    We have 0% female bicycle commuters. I’ve never seen one EVER in W. Harris County.

  2. Robin Holzer says:

    Thanks, Peter, for asking the mayoral hopefuls about getting bikes onto trains!

    Meanwhile, bike commuting in West Harris County takes an especially determined person, regardless of gender. 🙂

    There are more female bike commuters in parts of Houston where there are more bike commuters in general, like Montrose, the Texas Medical Center and Rice Village. My cousin Sharon has biked from Montrose to the Med Center every day since 2005, and my friend Regina has commuted by bike to the Village longer than that. I just wish more women in my ‘hood would realize that a cute messenger bag and a girly bike are no substitute for wearing a brain bucket.