BikeHouston asking Memorial Park for more accessible paths for those who enjoy biking

Lileana Pearson Image
Saturday, February 18, 2023
BikeHouston pushing for safer pathways at Memorial Park
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800 people have signed the change.org petition asking city leaders and planners to finally make the park accessible by extending bike and walking paths from the bayous.

HOUSTON, Park (KTRK) -- Memorial Park is a hub for people to walk, bike, and get moving, but getting to the trails inside the park can be tricky unless you're willing to drive.

Some park visitors are lucky.

"It's wonderful being so close to the park. It gets us out. It gets us moving," Colleen Mahan said.

Mahan lives blocks from a pedestrian-friendly Memorial Park entrance.

But many, even those who live close enough, must get creative if they want to enjoy the park amenities.

SEE ALSO: Advocates raise safety concerns after 3 deadly crashes involving bicycles, scooters in January 2023

Terry Chalmers said she would love to walk 10 minutes to the park, but busy roads and a lack of park entrances make her uncomfortable.

"If there were just more paths, that has always been a complaint," Chalmers said.

Trails like the Buffalo Bayou end long before you get close to the park, forcing cyclists and people on foot to share narrow sidewalks. But a petition by BikeHouston looks to end the safety hazard.

"If you're really brave, you can bike to Memorial Park on any road you want, but we don't think you have to be brave to ride your bike," Joe Cutrufo, the executive director of BikeHouston, said.

Nearly 800 people have put digital pen to paper, signing the change.org petition asking city leaders and planners to finally make the park accessible by extending bike and walking paths from the bayous to the park.

"We'd love to see different ways to get people into the park," Memorial Park Conservatory VP Randy Odinet said.

Park leaders are working to connect the park to the outside. They've tried unsuccessfully to get funding to secure the Heights hike and bike trail to Braes Bayou, leaving groups like BikeHouston to rely on community support.

"Our transportation system is unbalanced, and we are trying to get it to a point of balance by offering safe transportation to destinations like memorial park for people on foot and on bikes as well," Cutrufo said.

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