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Houston commuting? midtown to fondren?

Old 11-19-07, 09:28 PM
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Houston commuting? midtown to fondren?

I need to get from midtown to fondren everyday. Allen pkwy/45 to fondren and 59 specifically.

any bike roadies ride in this direction and know any good SAFE roads (houston can be full of crazies) for my morning and evening commutes?

I want to put the car away.
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Old 11-21-07, 03:05 PM
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All I can say is "good luck." I can't think of anyway to commute between those two that wouldn't have a 50/50 chance of getting you killed.
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Old 11-22-07, 04:53 PM
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Did you attempt to use the Houston Bikeways map?

https://www.gims.houstontx.gov/bikewa...74E7&zoom=0.25

SUPPOSEDLY, there is a bike lane on Fountain View. You might be able to go out along Allen Parkway to Memorial Park to Woodway, and then south on Fountain view. You could then pick up a road parallel to Richmond to continue west. I have no idea how safe that is in terms of neighborhoods and possible gunfire.

Alternatively, go south to the Rice U campus (mandell street is a good way to get through Montrose and over 59), then ride on the parallel streets along Bellaire. The issue there is the railroad tracks on the west end of W. University - I think only the main roads like Bellaire and Richmond cross them.

It would be very tough, but maybe not completely impossible? I've never ridden any further west than Rice Village, so I can't offer any real life advice.
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Old 11-24-07, 05:47 PM
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I commute to work once a week from 290 to downtown. It's rough, but it can be done without being robbed or run over. Riding bike from Fondren to Allen Parkway is not commuting, it's waiting to be a crime victim.
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Old 11-24-07, 08:04 PM
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Ride a Wallyworld special, wear jeans, plaid shirt, hiking boots, and a worn out ball cap. Basically look like an immigrant worker, ride on the sidewalk or in the grass, and you'll be a lot safer.
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Old 11-24-07, 11:12 PM
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Wait, since it's dalylight savings time, don't forget to ride on the wrong side of the street, with no lights, and make sure to wear black!
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Old 11-24-07, 11:14 PM
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And cpblue, just curious, how are you getting from 290 to downtown?
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Old 11-25-07, 12:24 AM
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I feel your pain, I live car free and that side of town (SW by Fondren) is pretty crazy when I was driving and lived in that area for a couple years about 10+ years ago I noticed allot of tension on the streets and aggressive driving, some of the worst in Houston in my opinion. I have a customer who commutes via bike on that side of town to Montrose I will ask him his route but most of his riding is done at afternoon and late night though. What about the brase bayou trail?
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Old 11-25-07, 03:24 AM
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West Dallas is a designated "share the road" bike route, which will get you from your location to South Shepherd, at which point you enter River Oaks, with its light traffic and speed humps, which slow the cars but have no effect on bikes. Willowick in River Oaks becomes Weslayan when it crosses Westheimer, and has a bike lane at least as far as Westpark, has bike lanes, and crosses over the railroad tracks via an overpass. I am not sure how far the bike lanes along Westpark extend west of Loop 610, though if I have time Sunday I will take a look. What I have described will get you most of the way to your destination. BTW, "share the road" bike routes do not have designated bike lanes, but are signed as bike routes, and West Dallas, at least, has fairly wide lanes and fairly good pavement. An alternative to West Dallas would be the bike path along Allen Parkway, though I am not sure if it is fully paved, or may be a compacted dirt path in some sections. West Clay runs between West Dallas and West Gray, through neighborhoods, though it ends before South Shepherd. Send me a PM if you want any more specifics.
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Old 11-25-07, 08:40 AM
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Metro....?
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Old 11-25-07, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dr. nate
Metro....?
I rode metro for years and is ok, if the bus is on time and you don't have to transfer. The park and ride system is really good though, express lines are ok, local line is not so great. If you ride metro I suggest leaving at least one bus early and a bus earlier for every transfer. There were days that ever transfer was late or a no show. Bring a book and get ready to meet some of Houston's most interesting characters, epically on the local routes. It can be done I did it for years just give yourself plenty of time. I pretty much gave up on metro when I starting looking at a bike for transportation. Though I havenít tried their new rack system seems like you could get away without transfers depending on your route.
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Old 11-26-07, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex G
An alternative to West Dallas would be the bike path along Allen Parkway, though I am not sure if it is fully paved, or may be a compacted dirt path in some sections.
Allen Parkway passes through Bat/Bum Country coming up to Shepherd from midtown (the various bridges and overpasses) and then turns into a cyclocross trail - sand, dirt, humps. It sucks in dry weather, and it's probably partially submerged after rain. It's probably easier to take your chances on Allen parkway itself, which has a 40mph posted limit (read 65mph actual traffic speed).

Post back here if you find a route the works. I live and work in SW Houston and cars rule the road here
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Old 11-26-07, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by scattered73
I rode metro for years and is ok, if the bus is on time and you don't have to transfer. The park and ride system is really good though, express lines are ok, local line is not so great. If you ride metro I suggest leaving at least one bus early and a bus earlier for every transfer. There were days that ever transfer was late or a no show. Bring a book and get ready to meet some of Houston's most interesting characters, epically on the local routes. It can be done I did it for years just give yourself plenty of time. I pretty much gave up on metro when I starting looking at a bike for transportation. Though I havenít tried their new rack system seems like you could get away without transfers depending on your route.
Yeah, I commute twice a week via METRO to St. Thomas. The bus that services my P&R route isn't equipped to handle bicycles (the really long according buses).

-Nate
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Old 11-27-07, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dr. nate
Yeah, I commute twice a week via METRO to St. Thomas. The bus that services my P&R route isn't equipped to handle bicycles (the really long according buses).

-Nate
According to the website looks like they only plan to do the local lines with racks. In the video it says you may use the luggage bay if there is no room for your bike. Then contradicts itself by stating that if the rack is full you must wait for the next bus on the web page. In all my years in the past of ridding metro I have never seen or heard of a luggage storage bay on metro, is this new also?
https://www.ridemetro.org/Transportat...ikes_buses.asp
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Old 11-27-07, 12:36 PM
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I think the big tall P&R buses (the ones like a tour bus) have the special bike bin in the luggage area.

I didn't realize the articulated buses also ran on the P&R routes.

As for the local routes, all of them are now front rack-equipped. If the rack is full, ride on or wait for the next bus.
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Old 11-27-07, 12:42 PM
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Yeah, they still run those super long buses on some of the routs. I ride the 228 and everyone who rides that route can tell you how much those buses suck. They are worn out, they are hot in the summer, cold in the winter, loud, break down, and worst off all...they smell sometimes. The only good thing about them is that there are two exits. I actually caught one of the big tall buses today...it was nice.

I have yet to see anyone use the rack in the storage bin on those buses, but I've seen plenty of people use the racks on the front of the local bus.

-Nate
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Old 11-27-07, 12:45 PM
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So has anyone used the rack system much, I am curious how secure you feel about putting a decent bike on it, or is it for beaters only?
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Old 11-27-07, 01:46 PM
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Haven't used Houston's but the setup appears to be identical to that in Ann Arbor, which I used quite a bit. As long as you get the hook over the front wheel properly, the bike is going to stay put. I'd put a decent bike on there (maybe not a $2000 racing bike).
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Old 11-28-07, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by kmart
Allen Parkway passes through Bat/Bum Country coming up to Shepherd from midtown (the various bridges and overpasses) and then turns into a cyclocross trail - sand, dirt, humps. It sucks in dry weather, and it's probably partially submerged after rain. It's probably easier to take your chances on Allen parkway itself, which has a 40mph posted limit (read 65mph actual traffic speed).

Post back here if you find a route the works. I live and work in SW Houston and cars rule the road here
I ride Allen Pkwy all the time. I haven't had too terrible of an experience yet!

So far I have take Allen pkwy until it becomes kirby, then take new castle right past 59...then take beechnut all the way in until it hits fondren.

any good chances of being severely maimed on this plan?

My other way was to come in down to fondren/59 area from north so take something like post oak or san felipe. I'm gonna give it a shot tomorrow. I just don't have enough time to ride like I used to.
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Old 12-02-07, 04:09 PM
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There is a small Metro bus transit center on Bellaire Blvd just west of Rice Blvd in the City of Bellaire, which is most of the way to your job location, but before getting to the bad parts of southwest Houston. There are plenty of bike-friendly routes from your home into Bellaire; the City of Bellaire has a paved trail running beside Newcastle, and Newcastle itself has a strictly enforced 30 MPH speed limit, making it bike-friendly even without the trail. I ride Newcastle's main lanes, to avoid the strollers and dog walkers on the trail, but if I start leading a parade on Newcastle, will divert for a moment onto the trail. Bellaire and West University police vigorously enforce traffic laws against motorists, and the roads are better-repaired than Houston, making those small cities good choices for cycling routes.
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Old 12-05-07, 01:49 AM
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My 2 cents is get down to Braes Bayou and that gets you almost to Fondren.

Depending on where in "midtown" you are, Washington to Woodway to Post Oak to Sugar Hill to Fountain View/Renwick is pretty solid. That just seems out of the way to me, though. I'd think down through bellaire and on the bayou trail.

+1 on knowing what you actually do! Check out this loop around the city for some hints https://www.mapmytri.com/workout/unit...ston/576429362

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Old 12-16-07, 08:21 PM
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I ride from fairview/shepard to HBU (fondren and 59) from time to time. I usually take one of 3 routes
1. just take hazard down to bissonet and take that all the way to beechnut.
2. go south to braeswood and take the braes bayou trail untill braeswood splits into beechnut and take the street the rest of the way (Ive tried taking the bayou trail all the way to fondren and I thought it was more trouble than it was worth).
3. take westpark to s. rice and then a crapload of side streets.
So far just taking bissonet seems to work the best but I have only ridden that route midday so Im not sure how bad it is during rush hour.
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Old 12-22-07, 10:14 AM
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I ride daily from 59 and S. Shepherd to Montrose and W. Grey. My route goes through residential areas and the only time I am on a major street is for about 50 feet on Westheimer. Usually it takes about 20 minutes. My general rules of riding are as follows:
1. Stay off main streets if at all possible. Although I was able to ride down the middle of Westheimer between S. Shepherd and Montrose on Thanksgiving morning.
2. Stay off the road during peak traffic times.
3. Stick to secondary roads and residential areas.
4. Houston bike lanes on main road ways are a good way to get killed.
All that being said the best routes are probably the ones afpdl stated.
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Old 12-22-07, 10:22 AM
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Talking

Originally Posted by scattered73
So has anyone used the rack system much, I am curious how secure you feel about putting a decent bike on it, or is it for beaters only?
I've used the Metro bus rack for my bike several times. I've only had one bad experience. On one bus the arm that swings up and clamps down to hold the front tire was very loose. Bike wiggled back and forth too much so I had to take the bike off and wait for the next bus. Other than that no problems. Just make sure your ride is secured. Metro is not responsible for any damage if it falls off and the bus runs over it. However, if a driver cuts off the bus and clips the rack and it gets run over, different story.
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