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More bike racks

The Chron notes that Houston is on the verge of becoming an actual bike-friendly city, and that we ought to recognize that and do something to help facilitate it.

Public House on White Oak

Notably, many downtown buildings lack accessible and visible bike racks. For those who live close enough, biking to downtown destinations, whether work or the Theater District, is a tempting alternative to the cost and hassle of downtown parking – especially with the new Buffalo Bayou path. Signposts and benches may have once sufficed, but Houston is steadily approaching the tipping point of actually being a bicycle-friendly city, and we’re going to need enough places to park all those bikes. And for huge buildings like those downtown, sometimes one rack is not enough.

But rather than an infrastructure burden, this is an opportunity to invest in functional public art. Cities from New York City to Louisville, Ky., have turned to local artists to create racks that reflect the spirit and creativity of their towns.

As we know, there’s a restaurant-driven effort to supply bike racks to restaurants in some parts of the city. It makes all kinds of sense to me, because you can add a lot of parking capacity in a small amount of space. Some folks in my neck of the woods are working on this:

When Mitch Cohen was planning White Linen Nights in the Heights last summer, he and the other organizers spent much time on their bikes, cycling from business to business to talk to owners.

“We could get most anywhere in 10 to 20 minutes,” said Cohen, who also manages the Heights’ First Saturday Arts Market. “But there weren’t as many bike racks as we expected.”

Now Cohen is working with other community members to raise money for more racks, which they’re hoping to place in front of businesses along 19th Street, White Oak and other Heights streets.

Cohen said their efforts will complement the work of the Houston Heights Association, which has placed a number of bike racks in the community.

“There are racks here and there, but there’s been no strategic effort to place them where people go shopping,” Cohen said.

“We’re going to tackle that.”

Awesome. More like this, please.

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