The Harris County Commissioners Court recently approved a proposal by Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, an avid cyclist who serves part of the area, to invest an additional $1 million in Houston’s bike-sharing program.
According to a news release from Houston BCycle, a nonprofit created by the city in 2012, the money will go toward the expansion of the program. It now has 111 stations with about 800 bikes, including nine stations in the Heights and Washington Avenue areas.
“In addition to being environmentally friendly, cycling is currently one of the safest forms of transportation — we need to ensure that it is an option for all residents,” Ellis said in the news release. “In addition to the BCycle investment, Precinct 1 is also investing to build protected bike lanes in the City of Houston so cyclists can feel safe sharing the road with cars.”
In April, Ellis pledged $850,000 to Houston BCycle for the creation of 30 new stations, at least of which will be located in low-income, underserved parts of the city, along with 320 additional bikes and 100 electric bikes. A tentative location for one of those new stations is the intersection of North Main Street and Cavalcade Street in the Heights.
While making his latest financial commitment to the bike-sharing program, Ellis urged other Houston-area organizations to match his contribution so the program can be further expanded. Houston BCycle said it had record-breaking weekly and monthly ridership numbers in May.
“It’s clear that the (COVID-19) pandemic has increased the momentum for safe, outdoor transportation and recreational options,” BCycle executive director Beth Martin said. “One of the silver linings in the past four months has been the outpouring of advocacy and support for infrastructure that prioritizes the most vulnerable street users.”
For more information about Houston BCycle and a map of stations, visit houstonbcycle.com.