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Houston Bike Paths (route to Greenway??)

Houston Bike Paths (route to Greenway??)

Old 04-18-18, 10:51 AM
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Houston Bike Paths (route to Greenway??)

Hi All,

New to the forums and (relatively) new to Houston. I have had a great time riding the great bike trails along the bayous and would love to ride to/from work each day, but am struggling to find a route...

I work in Greenway (69 and Buffalo Speedway) and live in Garden Oaks (essentially shephard and 610). It seems crazy that there is not a simple way for me to ride to work. I would really prefer not to ride on the road, other than for the beginning and/or end - for example, I ride from my place to White Oak Bayou and that is fine, and I would be fine riding from a trail down Richmond to the office, but it wouldn't be particularly safe on the road the whole way.

Am I missing something and is there a simpler way/path?

Thanks so much in advance.

Rob
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Old 04-18-18, 12:00 PM
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Short answer is...no. You aren't missing anything.

Bike infra here is almost non-existent. But, we're working on it. Inside the loop is very tricky. Lots of traffic and smaller roads, with no shoulders. You either take the full lane, or take the sidewalk. Which I wouldn't recommend anyway because of all the parking lots and road crossings - plus the whole "not in a business district" thing.

I bike commute almost daily but I live out west in the Energy Corridor, and can use some neighborhoods and parks.

I can't tell you a solution, only that you're going to have to be super careful. The majority of your main N/S roads - Durham/Sheperd, Kirby, Montrose Blvd, are all streets like I said above. In terrible shape, crammed with cars, multiple lanes, no shoulders.

perhaps someone who lives more in the area can explain more - but from what i've seen in the area there isn't much to go on.
But, people do it.
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Old 04-18-18, 04:39 PM
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I don't know the answer to your route but maybe the folks at BikeHouston.org can help you.
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Old 04-19-18, 05:55 AM
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There's a plan to add bike paths beneath the big power transmission lines. Until that happens, most of the bike infrastructure follows the bayous, and they tend to run east-west. If you need to go north-south then you will have to ride on the road with the angry cars.

Google maps has a bike option when you look up directions. It might suggest something you haven't thought about, but I just looked at the route it suggested and it puts you on a lot of busy streets.
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Old 04-19-18, 08:14 AM
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from N Shepherd & 610 North Loop: East, then south on Nicholson a few blocks, then east to Heights Blvd and continue south. There's a bike lane on Heights, but line up in traffic at the stoplights to lessen the chance of being right hooked. Just south of Washington Ave, cross east to Spotts Park. A little east from there is a bridge over Memorial Drive. Take the north side of the Buffalo Bayou trail and head west until you cross under Shepherd. Double back and take the lane on Shepherd heading south over Buffalo Bayou. Turn west on Kirby sidewalk and ride that until Lazy Lane, or immediately cross Kirby and get on Troon and ride in the neighborhood. Either way, turn west on Lazy Lane. Continue west on Inwood, then south on River Oaks Blvd. West on Chevy Chase, south on Claremont (or just stay on River Oaks Blvd a while longer and west on Ella Lee) which becomes Buffalo Speedway.
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Old 04-19-18, 08:29 AM
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oh, and welcome to Houston. I'll ride this route with you some weekend, just let me know and we'll meet up. After you ride it a few times you'll see there are other options, but the above will work.
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Old 04-27-18, 01:30 PM
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Hi - I live in the area and ride to the Greenway area quite often. Where is your office located exactly?

I'm also a former board member of BikeHouston, and used to answer these types of questions from people all the time. Currently I live in Montrose and commute 3x a week to Memorial City Mall (Cobalt Tower). Finding bike routes to places that people normally wouldn't bike to is kind of a hobby of mine.
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Old 07-23-18, 03:27 PM
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I could get you a safe route but you will still have to cross I10 at TC Jester. Ride through River Oaks and then down Edloe. Interested I can give you more details.
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Old 07-23-18, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tombaatar View Post
I could get you a safe route but you will still have to cross I10 at TC Jester. Ride through River Oaks and then down Edloe. Interested I can give you more details.
You don't have to cross I10 at TC Jester if you don't want to. There is a pedestrian bridge that crosses I10 at Cohn St just two blocks west of TC Jester. Right by Cottage Grove Park. There is almost never pedestrians using the bridge, but if you see one, just be cautious and courteous and everybody's happy. On the south side of I10, you end up winding back to TC Jester and you can ride about 150' on the road or sneak through on the sidewalk.

Personally, I don't have a problem riding on TC Jester in that area. It's a desgnated bike route and the lanes are big and wide and traffic is almost never very heavy. But, I occasionally ride with people who try to avoid anything resembling a busy street so the Cohn St bridge is nice to know about.
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Old 07-23-18, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RobM1984 View Post
Hi All,

New to the forums and (relatively) new to Houston. I have had a great time riding the great bike trails along the bayous and would love to ride to/from work each day, but am struggling to find a route...
There's a big crazy ride this Friday night called Critical Mass. We ride on the road inside the loop. Maybe it'll help you feel more comfortable in interaction with cars and suv.
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Old 07-23-18, 10:27 PM
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If you want to get used to riding in traffic Critical Mass is most definitely not the way to go about it.
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Old 07-26-18, 10:02 AM
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Little story: I was in a bicycle transportation planning meeting (not in Houston), gee, has it been almost 40 years ago? Anyway, one of the cats there was proposing - demanding - segregated cycling infrastructure. I suggested that maybe cyclists could use the roads that exist by learning how to ride them safely. This other attendee turned on me and yelled that I must be crazy. In the time since, he's campaigned at the local, state and national level and some 30 miles of segregated cycling infrastructure has been built in a city of 1 million population, and I've ridded tens of thousands of accident free mile on city streets.

Originally Posted by RobM1984 View Post
Am I missing something?
Yep.

So anyway, different roadway designs are optimized for different types of transportation. Major thoroughfares are optimized to carry large volumes of traffic at higher speeds. The Katy Freeway has been optimized to sell psychotropic pharmaceuticals. And residential streets are optimized to carry small volumes of traffic at relatively low speeds.

Score: Inner-loop Houston has lots of residential streets that actually go somewhere other than dead ending into the closest thoroughfare. Add in a couple of bike bridges and recreational paths - and knowing how to ride - and Houston's your oyster.

Of course I don't know your exact starting and ending addresses, but take a look at this route and see what you think.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Of course I don't know your exact starting and ending addresses, but take a look at this route and see what you think.
This is a good route. I was going to propose the sidewalk on Kirby from Buffalo Bayou Park to Lazy Lane to River Oaks to Ella Lee. Otherwise the same.
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Old 08-01-18, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Tombaatar View Post
This is a good route. I was going to propose the sidewalk on Kirby from Buffalo Bayou Park to Lazy Lane to River Oaks to Ella Lee. Otherwise the same.
Yeah, that's probably an improvement. River Oaks is more pastoral that Hyde Park.

My suggested route heads a ways east in order to cross Buffalo Bayou on a pedestrian/cycle bridge rather than using a major motor vehicle thoroughfare. Here's something one might try out to see if it's a workable improvement or not: Go straight south on Sandman, sidewalk to low Shepherd, marsupial pedestrian/cycle bridge under high Shepherd across Buffalo Bayou, sidewalk to Troon or Lazy. I dunno, lotsa futzing around the Shepherd/Memorial & Shepherd/Kirby intersections. I'm not wild about riding on sidewalks, but hey, so long as you're not violating anyone else's rights, use the infrastructure that exists to your best benefit.

The ride would be shorter & more direct, more pleasant and have the rider kill way less time waiting at intersections with the addition of a paved pedestrian/cycle path through the southern part of Memorial Park, cross Buffalo Bayou on a path bridge to the power transmission lines right of way, link up with E Briar Hollow, joggle to Suffolk/Drexel/Las Palmas right to the heart of Greenway. Now, where's my magic wand?


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Old 08-01-18, 09:13 AM
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I rode that power line once on a steel mountain bike and mike bike was shocking me the entire time. Freaked me out so i got off as quickly as possible.
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Old 08-01-18, 12:27 PM
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Yeah, I've got a path under a transmission line near me and if you ride it on a hot summer day when the air conditioning loads are up, the hair will stand up on your arms! The power company guys said it's safe.
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Old 08-01-18, 01:06 PM
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Hmph. I hadn't considered thinking 'outside the loop'. This modification involves crossing IHOP and Chevron parking lots at Washington/Westcott to get into Memorial Park. In the context of recommendations for a traffic riding neophyte, I'm not crazy about offering the Post Oak/West Loop intersection...but perhaps one could cut through Uptown Park and pedestrian the intersection? And would somebody get their panties in a twist if you walked your bike across the tracks between Nolda and Allen? Possibly.
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Old 08-04-18, 01:17 PM
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Just to add two cents, the route planner over at komoot.com (not a link, I'm new) seems to make sense if you're exploring options. For additional data, there's also heat maps from Strava and other offerings (Movescount, ...). If you select "Bike Touring" in komoot, it will give preference to cycleways over roads, and will indicate distribution of way types and surfaces as you tweak the route. You can't beat local know-how, but this could be a supplement.
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Old 08-20-18, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
You don't have to cross I10 at TC Jester if you don't want to. There is a pedestrian bridge that crosses I10 at Cohn St just two blocks west of TC Jester. Right by Cottage Grove Park. There is almost never pedestrians using the bridge, but if you see one, just be cautious and courteous and everybody's happy. On the south side of I10, you end up winding back to TC Jester and you can ride about 150' on the road or sneak through on the sidewalk.

Personally, I don't have a problem riding on TC Jester in that area. It's a desgnated bike route and the lanes are big and wide and traffic is almost never very heavy. But, I occasionally ride with people who try to avoid anything resembling a busy street so the Cohn St bridge is nice to know about.
I have gone this route my last couple of Sundays. Can't say I like this better than TC Jester. Cars come up off of I10 in a big hurry too close to the entrance and exit to the pedestrian bridge for my liking. Thanks for the tip though.
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Old 08-20-18, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Tombaatar View Post
I have gone this route my last couple of Sundays. Can't say I like this better than TC Jester. Cars come up off of I10 in a big hurry too close to the entrance and exit to the pedestrian bridge for my liking. Thanks for the tip though.
Are you using the Cohn Street Bridge, which is WEST of TC Jester? The bridge to the east of TC Jester is to be avoided.
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Old 08-20-18, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bkj View Post
Are you using the Cohn Street Bridge, which is WEST of TC Jester? The bridge to the east of TC Jester is to be avoided.
The one east by Reinerman. I will give the other one a shot. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 11-21-18, 07:53 AM
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Sorry for not getting back to all your helpful responses to my own thread Things have been a bit crazy!

I actually found a route that is MUCH longer, but I feel comfortable riding and gives me a decent ride... It ends up being 16.5 miles just to get from the top of the loop to greenway, but as i said, I like it and feel comfortable doing it, so it is all good.

I take surface street to WhiteOak Bayou at TC Jester park and then along the bayou, through downtown, onto buffalo bayou, over the bayou and along Kirby, through river oaks and then down buffalo speedway... only takes about 30 mins more than in the care most days

Cheers

Rob
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