Houston celebrates Bike to Work Day with easier access for cyclists

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Houston celebrates Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15, and now, pedaling our way around town is more feasible than ever before.

Hao Le started riding his bike to work in 2006, and he realized quickly it was a smart plan. "I actually will get home faster sometimes on a bike than in a car with all the traffic jams," he said.

Besides saving time, Hao also says it helps his overall well-being. "It is everything from de-stressing from the day, exercising, and just having fun."

He usually bikes one way, and now that METRO allows bikes on buses, he checks his bike, too. He says it's incredibly simple to put a bike on the bus. "It's one lever; you put it on your front tire. You pull it out, place it on the tire and it locks it in."

METRO drivers can also help new bike riders lock in their bikes.

Hao is not the only person bringing his bike on a METRO bus. "We've seen one million bikes on our buses since we started putting bikes on our buses," said METRO board member Christof Spieler.

No bike? No problem!

This is just one of the many features making bike riding an accessible transportation option in our city. Houston also started the B-cycle Share System.

"What that means is... you've got a kiosk ... check out a bike, and return it at any other kiosk," explained Spieler. He regularly uses B-cycle and now takes the bike right on the METRO Rail. Before, bikes were only allowed on the rail during certain times because it was too crowded during peak hours. However now, Spieler added, "Bikes are allowed on trains all day, every day, all the time."

Houston METRO welcomes bicycles on METRORail all day, every day

New feature increases safety

Another great feature for bike riders is the Lamar bike lane. "The bikes get their own lane on the street. So, they get their own lane, their own traffic signals, and it's protected from cars and separated from pedestrians," Spieler said.

The Lamar bike lane runs from Discovery Green to Heritage Park.

For those riding on other Houston roads, "We have a safe-passing law in the city of Houston," said Spieler.

Commercial vehicles must give bike riders six feet of space. Other vehicles must pass bikes at a three foot distance. That law, along with no traffic jams, makes bike riding an easy decision for Spieler. "I find biking a lot less stressful than driving."

Join Mayor Annise Parker Friday morning for Bike to Work day. Festivities kick off at 7am in front of City Hall at Hermann Square. The ride will start at 7:30am. null
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