Good news for bicycle-loving Houstonians: The Department of Transportation recently awarded the city a $15-million TIGER Grant to improve and expand H-Town’s trails and bikeways. More than 18 miles of hike and bike trails, sidewalks and on-street bikeways are being added or enhanced, helping link Northside Village, Fifth Ward and Third Ward to Downtown, Midtown and the Medical Center.
Joined by Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, U.S. Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Gene Green, Mayor Annise Parker was presented the grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation on June 22, as Houston was among 47 winners out of the 703 applicants from around the country.
Off-street paths, such as the McKee Street path in the Heights that forces bikers to come to an ungracious halt during their rides, will soon have connections to other trails, bus stops and the light rail, while sidewalks and roadway bike lanes will be widened. When the 18-mile project is complete, more Houstonians will be able to commute to work, appointments and run errands with ease.
The project will focus on six different connections linking between various Houston areas and neighborhoods, including Downtown, Midtown, Fifth Ward, Third Ward, Northside Village and even the Medical Center.
While the grant will only cover half of the funds, the remaining $15 million will be achieved through the financial support of the local government and private funds. The more trails that are offered and available, the easier it will be for residents within the city as well as visitors to access more desired destinations than they would using a car.