1. Where we want to go - as a start.
Create/maintain major East/West (I-45 to SH 2978) and North/South (SH 242 to Creekside) bicycle friendly corridors.
2. What we consider to be “bicycle friendly”?
AASHTO(1) approved safe bike lanes - as a start
“Protected” bike lanes(2) - better yet
Sidewalks (pathways) are NOT the answer - the mixture of strollers, skaters, runners and walkers creates a high risk of bike/bike and bike/pedestrian collisions and injuries.
3. Incorporate “Complete Street”(3) concepts in all new transit and transportation projects
Encourages bike commuting to work, and many employees reside within ten miles of the four major employment centers in The Woodlands.
• Medical • Pinecroft/Research Forest/242
• Tech • Technology Forest
• Retail/Office • Town Center and soon Hughes Landing – Lake Woodlands Drive
• Energy • Research Forest/Technology Forest
• More bicycle commuting lessens traffic congestion.
• Bicycling enhances wellness.
4. Bicycling is good for business/property values.
Savvy companies seeking to attract Millennials and Gen Xers locate in areas with bicycle friendly commuting options.
Workers who bike to work are healthier, leading to reduced health care/insurance costs.
Property values are increased by adjacent/nearby bike paths.(4)
Retailers and restaurants in bicycle friendly areas benefit from post-ride refreshment seekers. Establishes an “urban oasis” sense of community. Smaller retail purchases but more frequent return visits fosters merchant-customer loyalty. Reduced parking lot congestion.
5. Protect what we have left.
Stop widening roads at the expense of the shoulders. Major parts of Woodlands Parkway and Research Forest no longer have road shoulders. We fear the same treatment of Lake Woodlands Drive. Many areas with the highest employment/retail density are inaccessible by road shoulders.
(1) AASHTO – American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. If you have $144, their latest bicycle transportation guide standards can be downloaded from here: https://bookstore.transportation.org/collection_detail.aspx?ID=116
(2) Protected bike lanes – Generally speaking, more than a painted line. Posts/barriers to prevent straying motorized traffic. Check these out: http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/the-10-best-protected-bike-lanes-of-2013
(3) Complete Streets – provide safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, as contrasted with “incomplete streets” that are designed with only cars in mind. More info and ideas: http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets/complete-streets-fundamentals/complete-streets-faq