Guest Post: Midtown Houston is Committed to Pedestrian Enhancements and Mobility
We’re excited to introduce a new series featuring local bloggers, influencers, and community leaders as they share their projects and experiences in Midtown Houston. This month’s sponsored guest blog post is by Midtown Management District’s Urban Planning Committee Chair, James Llamas.
May is Bike Month and Midtown Houston is celebrating another year of progress toward safer and more intrinsic bicycling. Midtown residents have shared that they want more designated bike lanes, bike parking, and curb extensions. Additionally, residents want more trails, sidewalks, and pedestrian/bicycle linkages between neighborhoods.
As Houstonians turned to walking and biking for safely distanced exercise and fresh air in 2020, these priorities became even more vital. Midtown Houston is taking action to deliver the improvements our community has asked for and in response, the Urban Planning Committee partnered with the City of Houston and Harris County Precinct One to create new bikeways on Gray Street and Austin Street. And they provided funding for the Austin Street at Gray Street BCycle station in 2020 and the La Branch Street at Alabama Street station in 2021.
Not only did new BCycle stations expand access to bike sharing in the neighborhood, but two stations became canvasses for local artists. La Branch Street at Alabama Street and Brazos Street at McGowen Street, painted by Magdalena Esparza and Kate Vance, now provide vibrant splashes of color to their street corners.
There is even more to look forward to in the year ahead. The Caroline Street project will wrap up construction and feature a bike lane in addition to wide sidewalks and rain gardens. The second phase of the City of Houston water line project will break ground along Tuam Street; when finished it will include new bike lanes and better sidewalks. Bike racks will join the new bike lanes in improving the neighborhood’s ranking as one of the most bikeable in the city.