Election 2015

Mayoral Candidates Talk About Parks And Bikes At Greener Houston Forum

What should be the new mayor’s top priorities, in terms of creating new green space and making things safer for cyclists?

Candidates at Houston mayoral forum on parks and green space
Mayoral candidates answered questions about improving Houston’s parks and bike trails.

Candidates for mayor gathered to talk about how to make Houston a greener city.

Photo of walkway leading to Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion in Hermann Park.
Greener Houston mayoral forum was held in the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion at Hermann Park.
The McGovern Centennial Gardens at Houston's Hermann Park.
The McGovern Centennial Gardens is one of the latest additions to Houston’s Hermann Park.

Local artist and landscaper Falon Mahalic is very familiar with the perils cyclists face on Houston streets. She’s a Bike Houston board member and rides a bike for most of her trips. That’s how she got to last night’s forum at Hermann Park.

“I had some pretty close interactions just on my ride here actually,” says Mahalic. “I kind of live it every day and I know how common it is.”

Mahalic wants the new mayor to put more teeth into the city’s Safe Passing Ordinance. The measure requires drivers to keep a safe distance from cyclists.

“I think training officers would be a great first step and getting that rolling would be excellent,” adds Mahalic.

Candidates were also asked about the green space the city currently maintains.

Shellye Arnold with the Memorial Park Conservancy says the new mayor should think about the long-term needs of those spaces.

“People need to understand that there is a way Memorial Park needs to be cared for,” says Arnold. “It’s not just replanting all the trees. It’s actually understanding what the ecology of the park can support and sustain.”

Organizers of the forum says recreational opportunities are becoming more of a selling tool as businesses try to lure new employees to Houston

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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