Transportation

Houstonians Asked To Comment On Proposed Bike Lane Parking Ban

Cycling advocates says illegally parked vehicles pose hazards for people on bikes. The proposed ordinance would allow for fines for violators.

Motor homes, parade floats, giant limos — even a truck towing a portable toilet.

Houston cyclists say they’ve seen just about every kind of vehicle imaginable parked in the city's designated bike lanes.

Construction crews and work trucks have also been spotted, along with loads of materials like bricks.

Houston City Council is now hoping to address the problem with a proposed ordinance that would subject violators to a fine for blocking a bike lane. It would also allow for a vehicle parked in a bike lane to be towed.

Cyclist Alejandro Perez, who represents North Houston on the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee, said when there's something blocking the bike lanes a cyclist is forced to take quick evasive action.

"If it's obstructed we're going to have to go around and get out of the way and probably run up on an unsuspecting driver," Perez said. "You're expecting to enjoy a bike lane but you have cars and developers and construction people parked in the bike lane and destroying it as well."

Illegal bike lane parking has become more of an issue now that Houston is working to develop hundreds of miles of new on-street bikeways.

ParkHouston's Maria Irshad told Houston Public Media earlier this year that without a specific bike lane ordinance, enforcement officers could only write tickets for parking in a tow-away zone.

Houstonians can submit comments on that proposal through Saturday.

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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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