Bike lanes for the Red Line

I approve.

The belief that Northside Houston residents will bike to buses and trains if it is safer to do so is bringing more curb work to Cavalcade, paid for out the same pot of federal money that brought the neighborhood trains.

Metropolitan Transit Authority on Nov. 19 approved the use of nearly $1.3 million left over from building the Red Line light rail extension — which opened nearly seven years ago — to add protected bike lanes to Cavalcade from Irvington to Elysian.

The upcoming work will extend bike lanes along Cavalcade from Airline to Irvington, adding about a half mile of protected lanes. Tikon Group won the contract with Metro, which includes altering the road where needed and striping for bike lanes in each direction, installing rubberized bumps — often called armadillos — to separate cyclists and motorists, and building new curbs at major bus stops.

The curbs and intentional curves force bicyclists to slow at spots where people will be standing for the bus, while making sure biking through “will not have a conflict with the buses,” said Bridgette Towns, vice president of project management and engineering at Metro.

The extension will connect bike lanes already in use along Cavalcade between Irvington and Airline to bike lanes along Hardy and Elysian that act as a major spine for cycling through Northside.

I’m a longtime proponent of combining bike capacity with transit capacity, so this makes a lot of sense to me. Fixing sidewalks is also a good way to make transit more attractive, as well as just being a general boon to the area. This work is being funded by some leftover money from the original Red Line expansion – it’s a bit of a story, read the article for the details. As we know, there’s more work coming from the 2019 bond referendum, but for obvious reasons things are taking their time getting started. There’s still other stuff in the meantime.

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3 Responses to Bike lanes for the Red Line

  1. Alex Bunin says:

    I use the bike lanes already constructed between Irvington and Airline on my daily commute. They are not great. Cyclists are “protected” by rubberized “armadillos.” Trucks run over them and dislodge them, making them another obstacle. Debris gathers between them and the curb. The ones on Elysian and Hardy are particularly troubling because there are many residential driveways between them. I have come up on lawn furniture, small children, cars and even chickens, coming out the driveways.

  2. Jules says:

    Bike lanes seem inherently dangerous to me. You have bike traffic going straight beside auto traffic turning right. How are more cyclists not killed by this?

  3. David Fagan says:

    $1.3 million for 40 city blocks of bike lane? Consisting of these armadillos? Sounds a bit expensive, throw on top of that the city’s cost of maintaining cavalcade and there’s got to be a better way.

    But who cares, right? It’s federal money.

    Looking up Tikon group and besides their website, it is difficult to find information like CEO, manager, anything. But, they have bid on metro contracts before.

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