Bicycle progress report: Trails in Houston, parking in Nevada City

New bike funding in Houston will soon provide a better transportation connection along this bayou.

While on tour for the last three years, we’ve had the pleasure of visiting many communities that are in the middle of big changes for bicycling. It’s a heady time right now. A lot of the people we met in the south and midwest this spring said that the bicycling movement in their city had just started taking off in the last three years.

Here are a couple of recent updates from places we’ve visited.

I wrote in April about the grand plan to make Houston the next big bike city, using Minneapolis’s model of developing a city-wide network of off-road trails. Tom McCasland just got in touch to say that a major goal has been achieved in his plan to fund that trail system. Houston will receive $15 million in federal funds from the TIGER grant pool (here’s a pdf of their application), which comes with a $10 million local match, and will go towards creating and connecting 18 miles of on- and off-street bikeways and sidewalks. Bonus: This money will create more jobs than the same amount spent on car-oriented projects.

Other cities that won TIGER funding for bike projects in this round include Memphis (I still owe y’all a write-up of what we found there on tour) and DC.

nevada city boardwalk
This photo taken from the future location of Nevada City’s new bike corral

Meanwhile, tiny Nevada City, CA, one of the smallest *and* most bike-loving towns we visited on tour last year, has gained its first bike corral, replacing a former car parking space on its main commercial street with what looks to be about ten spots for bikes. The corral is located at one end of the city’s innovative “pocket park,” an attractive seating area that has replaced several more car parking spots..

It always makes my day to hear good news about bikes from places we’ve visited (and anywhere else, for that matter). If you’ve got any more to share, please get in touch directly or leave a comment.

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3 Responses to “Bicycle progress report: Trails in Houston, parking in Nevada City”

  1. Steve July 25, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Wow, you just don’t give up preaching the gospel of Tom McCasland, do you! While it sound nice that Houston pulled in a $15-million TIGER grant (and matched it with $13 million plus, for a total of $28), the sad fact is that all those dollars will go to a tiny fraction of the city that is already better-served by city services than the other 550 square miles of the town.

    No, Houston still sucks as a place to ride a bike if you don’t live in one of the cool places.

    • rob November 15, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Steve is right. Cycling in Houston is a dangerous endeavor if you don’t live in the 15 or so square miles of downtown and surrounding areas.

      I have hopes that this will change though with projects like this. And hopefully small cycling trails will develop in the burbs that will connect with the bigger trails closer to the city.


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