Transportation

Photo Gallery: Houston’s New Downtown Bike Lane Is About To Open

The Lamar Cycle Track is being expanded. You’ll soon be able to ride from one end of downtown to the other totally separated from cars

  • Making the curve at Crawford Street
    Making the curve at Crawford Street
  • Separated Bike Lane near Toyota Center  (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter/Houston Public Media  )
    Separated Bike Lane near Toyota Center (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter/Houston Public Media )
  • The new lane will have two-way bike traffic on a one-way street.
    The new lane will have two-way bike traffic on a one-way street.
  • Bike lane near Toyota Center
    Bike lane near Toyota Center
  • The new lane is an extension of the Lamar Cycle Track
    The new lane is an extension of the Lamar Cycle Track
  • The new lane runs to St Emmanuel Street where it hooks up with existing lanes.
    The new lane runs to St Emmanuel Street where it hooks up with existing lanes.
  • City officials say the new bike lane should open by the end of the year.
    City officials say the new bike lane should open by the end of the year.
  • Bike signal in downtown Houston  (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter)
    Bike signal in downtown Houston (Photo Credit: Gail Delaughter)

If you cycle into downtown Houston you can make an easy connection on the west side, from the Buffalo Bayou Trail to the green-painted Lamar Street lane. But making your way to the east side is a little trickier since that separated bike lane ends at Discovery Green on La Branch Street.

Deputy Public Works Director Jeff Weatherford said building the extension has it challenges since it's a two-lane bike path on a one-way street. But to make turns safer they're changing the traffic signals to accommodate cyclists.

"We'll give the bicycle a little bit of a jump so we don't have someone trying to turn at the same time the bike's going out there," said Weatherford. "A bicyclist who's stopped gets a little bit of a jump ahead of the traffic."

Soon you'll be able to make it all the way through downtown, now that Houston Public Works is extending the bike lane onto Polk Street, on past the George R. Brown Convention Center to St Emmanuel Street.

We also asked Weatherford about the big problem that been plaguing the downtown bike lane. And that's drivers parking in it.

"We learned from the original Lamar Cycle Track that we've got to put up signs for drivers to understand," said Weatherford. "So that's what we're doing. We'll be putting in signs that say no parking anytime, tow away zone."

Weatherford expects the new bike lane to open by the first of the year. He said the next phase of the project will extend the lane further east to the Columbia Tap Trail, which will take riders south to Brays Bayou.

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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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