Long before vehicular traffic took over and inundated the roadways, Houston enjoyed getting around by walking and with bicycles.
Officials hope a $30 million dollar project will help in the greening of the Bayou City.
This is Houston Mayor Annise Parker:
"All we're doing right now is to create more connectivity in the city, more options to get around the city, and more opportunities for Houstonians to enjoy the outdoors."
The projects along White Oak and Buffalo Bayous are expected to improve mobility in Houston by eliminating major gaps on primary off-street bicycle and pedestrian transportation routes and in the city's bike grid. Parker says the projects will provide extensive connections to neighborhoods, employment centers and bus and rail transportation.
"This is an exciting project, and it will have a tremendous impact in an area of Houston that is undergoing a tremendous amount of growth and change and, truly a Renaissance."
The $30 million dollar Houston Regional Bike-Pedestrian Connections to Transit project is being made possible through federal funds in the form of a $15 million dollar TIGER grant that Houston Democratic Congressman Gene Green calls exclusive.
"The TIGER grant is to tie in all that investment, and it is so important in its Department of Transportation grant. Former Secretary Ray LaHood helped a great deal. In fact, this is an ongoing project, and that's what's so important. So, we're gonna keep looking for additional resources."
Local partners are providing matching funds; the Houston Parks Board, Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Greater East End Management District.
President Diane Schenke says Houston sits at the juncture of 4-major trails.
"Unfortunately, many of these central connections that would make them functional to connect the East End to the rest of downtown are not in place. This project will provide those missing connections. When completed, if you live in the East End, you'll have connections to four major trail systems: the Harrisburg Trail system, the Columbia Path trail, Buffalo Bayou, White Oak and Braes Bayou systems."
Construction on the first of the six projects is expected to begin in January.