The Chron has a brief blurb about Rick Perry signing the bill that will allow the CenterPoint rights of way in Harris County to be used as hike and bike trails. See here for the background, and here for a map of the two big rights of way that are in question; the map is embedded in this post as well. Compare this map to that of the Bayou Greenways, which will also have bike trails built along them in places where they don’t currently exist. The bayous run almost entirely east-west, while the CenterPoint rights of way are north-south. It’s easy to see the benefit of having them added to the hike and bike trail network, as they will provide connections between trails, all of which will be off-road. It’s sweet to finally clear a path for this, as it were, and to do so in a way that didn’t require sacrificing all notions of liability. Obviously, there’s still a lot of work to be done – we’re probably three to five years away from seeing this completed – but this bill was a necessary first step, and the Houston bond referendum that was passed last year will provide an immediate boost. It’s a big deal, and another great amenity for the city and the county. Kudos to all for getting it done.