That’s exactly what they did in Austin about 13 years ago. Austin and San Antonio rank in the top 25 most ridable cities in the country. I think Houston is in the top 30.
Ha! My best friend, when he was on the Austin City Council, was partly responsible for most of the bike lanes being added in the last 15 years. He is very bike-centric, doesn’t own a car, rides most places or uses a ride share.
Personally, I would not let you use the bike lane unless your vehicle is 100% Limey powered.
Well, his mentality hasn’t left. Every usable road is eyed by the City as another chance to slow down cars and make rooms for bikes, bikes which have barely increased in my 40+ years here. I wouldn’t be so irritated if the grand plan had worked and 20+% of the trips were by bike, but they simply are not.
And Limey, where did you get that stat for I 10? As someone who comes into town half a dozen times per year from the West, it’s far better after the expansion than before, but that’s just my limited experience.
We extracted these data from Transtar (Houston’s official traffic tracking data source) for two segments of the Katy Freeway for the years 2011 through 2014. They show that the morning commute has increased by 25 minutes (or 30 percent) and the afternoon commute has increased by 23 minutes (or 55 percent).
I just got an update that my bike will be delivered by Monday, so this shit better be fixed by then or there’ll be hell to pay!
A couple of things related to your graph and that video:
- I need a better measure than trip time. For example, it’s an easy argument for a freeway expansionist if after expansion, the freeway handles 50% more traffic with the same trip times. In that case, the freeway has done its job. A corollary is that one person’s negative view of “induced demand” is another person’s new found transportation choice; and
- I was going to mention how the Vox video didn’t have any examples of taking the typical American car City and transforming it into something better by certain strategies, then the video mentioned that idea in Boston. I’d like to hear from the Boston commuters how much better things are for them post Highway reduction.
As an aside, I share your sentiment, I just think it’s pie in the sky for most American cities, and as someone who has a bit of urban planning background, a lot of ideas that reside in the minds of planners don’t reside in the minds/habits of the citizenry, and therefore fail badly.
What bike did you end up getting? I’m still waiting for my teardrop camper to be ready for pickup — 3 days late but I haven’t paid any money yet so I can’t raise too much hell.
You don’t really need to look to research to know that congestion just gets worse and worse, regardless of how much money or concrete is thrown at it. I linked the article from which that graph was taken, so there’s a start for you.
It has taken a century to get where we are, so it’s not anything that’s solvable within the lifecycle of a politician…hence there is no impetus to solve it. As to the minds/habits of the citizenry, this cannot be judged by looking at Houstonians or Austinites who are frogs in a pot of ever-warming car-centric water. If we had a workable alternative (and bike gutters painted inches from 40mph+ traffic is not one), then the citizenry could vote with its feet; but we don’t.
But you only have to look at other cities in the US and around the world to see how they move millions more people at much faster speeds using public transportation. There are also studies that retail businesses do far better in bike/pedestrian friendly areas because people will browse and “pop in” to stores they weren’t planning on visiting.
Contrast this to a “pretty nice little Saturday” which involves driving in traffic to a store, parking, walking across the ginormous parking lot to the building, dodging cars along the way. Once that’s done, you head back to your car - dodging other cars again - and drive in traffic to the next store and do the same thing all over again.
I went with the Evelo Omega.
The fact that it has a throttle and an automatic shifter were the decision-makers.
One last post before I climb down off my high horse soapbox: car-centric cities are not sustainable.