Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid
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Some Additional thoughts on commuting/car free in Houston
Originally Posted by texasdiver
That looks like a pretty good haul from Spring Branch to TX Southern
Yeah...I haven't really sat down with a map and tried to figure out where the bike paths go in places like Cinco. But it did seem like they weren't transportation-oriented like the bike paths one might find in places like say Portland or Denver.
Fortunately or unfortunately my wife will be driving our choice of location should we decide to move your direction. She is a physician and earns MUCH more money than me. And she'll want to be very close to whatever clinic group/hospital she decides to work at. Especially because she does a lot of OB work and can be on hospital call at all hours. If she decides to take a position in Katy or Sugarland then we'd want to move close to her work for her sake. We also have 3 young daughters ages 3, 6, and 11 so easy access to good local schools would be a huge factor. Especially schools they can walk to or take the bus.
My commuting situation is going to come in a distant 3rd to my wife's and my kids. Luckily science teaching jobs are pretty easy to find in TX so I'm guessing it will be possible to find teaching opportunities close enough to any of those communities.
Right now I only bike once in a while even though I'm set up pretty well for it. The reason being that I generally have to pick up all 3 girls from 3 different schools each afternoon and can't do that by bike. Once they are a touch older I'm hoping to bike all the time.
One thing you have to keep in mind is the climate. Winters are mild compared to other parts of the country; however, summers are scorching. This does impact shopping activities as perishable items will have to be iced down in a cooler which means either a trailer for a conventional bike or a trike like a Worksman or a Schwinn Meridian/Town & Countr.y
If you plan to be completely car free plan to have more than one bike. Groceries for a small family is going to take more than a full set of panniers to carry home (Unless you make grocery shopping a family activity and have everyone carry part of the load.. Not a bad concept, but once you have teenagers it would be like herding cats.) So you may need a cargo bike or trike. I'd also look for neighborhoods close to schools (for the kids) and have at least one grocery store within 5 miles and be fairly close to a hospital with an emergency center.
The Spring Branch/Memorial area around Memorial City (including North of I-10) works well due to it's proximity to Memorial Herman Memorial City and the Spring Branch Medical Center. Plus a fair number of grocery stores within a 5 mile radius. Kroger at 2400 Gessner, HEB at 10251 Kempwood and at I-10W Feeder and Bunker Hill.
Also ensure there is a route to you intended workplace. Westview which runs the length of Spring Branch is residential with intermittent bikelanes that runs East-west that puts your right at the 610 loop and a short distance from downtown (via run south on N. Post Oak and then east through Memorial and Tinsley parks) or even to the Med Center via Shepherd drive .