Posting in Cities
A $15 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation is helping to transform the City of Houston.
Long known as the home for American space flight, Rice University and humid summer weather, Houston, Texas, may soon have a new aarow to add to its quiver: a leader in bike transportation.
On June 22, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the City of Houston $15 million TIGER grant to help build trail connections between Northside Village, Fifth Ward, Third Ward, downtown, Midtown, and the Medical Center. The project, whose cost comes in at $30 million, aims to build 7.9 miles of on-street bike lanes, 2.8 miles of sidewalks, and 7.5 miles of off-street paths, will eliminate major gaps in Houston's bike grid and will provide safe venues for local residents to access bus and light rail stations.
Roksan Okan-Vick, executive director at the Houston Parks Board said in an e-mail to SmartPlanet that she and her team are ecstatic about the award:
"While $15 million will not close all the gaps we have in Houston's hike & bike system, it is a significant shot in the arm -- recognizing and endorsing a new era in Houston where we are slowly but surely shifting from a car-dominated transportation system to alternative means of transportation made possible by our light rail and these hike & bike lanes that we are building and connecting. Our plan is to place Houston amongst the top cities for miles of off-street hike & bike trails in 7 to 10 years. This is a great step towards that goal -- actually and symbolically. Houston bikers unleashed!"
Upon completion, Houston's trail network will extend more than 300 miles -- giving national biking leaders like Boulder, Co., Portland, Or., and Minneapolis, Minn., a run for their money.
Jun 25, 2012