Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Bike Lanes

December 22, 2015 By: Tom Davis Category: Amenities, Paving

The City of Houston’s Department of Public Works and Engineering converted a parking and vehicular lane to a dedicated bike lane as you see here. The lane is “isolated” from the vehicular lane by the long stripped dome shapes that we Texans–not surprisingly–call armadillos.Bike Lane on Lamar2

Note the special signage as well as the special traffic signals for bike riders. Look closely at the red lens as it shows a red bike rider.

I also noticed at one intersection it appeared the bike signal turned green ahead of the vehicular green signal by several seconds. My traffic engineering buddies would call that preemption to allow the bike rider to get into the cross street before the cars start.2015-05-01 07.39.43

You can see the lane on Dallas St. in downtown Houston.

Click here to see a one-page paper about the lane, how it fits in the street and a location map.

How well they work will be interesting to watch.


A Bike Rack as a Word

December 11, 2013 By: Tom Davis Category: Amenities, Recent Posts, Sidewalk Features

Navigation bike rack.jpgThe Greater East End Management District has developed an alternative use for a wide esplanade on Navigation Blvd. just east of downtown Houston.  There will be more posts to hi-lite the good ideas but for the first post this one is about an unusual bike rack.

As you can see it is the word “lauGh” neatly cut from a sheet of steel, hot-dip galvanized and anchored in the concrete sidewalk. In this case the concrete was stained red and text was added to indicate it is a bike rack. I was told that initially everyone thought it was art and not to be used for securing their bike.

Simple Bike Rack

December 09, 2013 By: Tom Davis Category: Recent Posts, Sidewalk Features

2013-10-22 15.47.33.jpgOn Bagby St. in Midtown (immediately south of downtown Houston) the street scape has been completely revamped and includes a very simple bike locking location. As you can see in the photos the “rack” is a simple sheet of 1/2″ thick Cor-Ten type steel. The only upscale feature is the recessed word “Bike” positioned near the top.

Bike rack on BagbyI wonder if the designer had wished he had required a minor chamfer to be ground into the edges. As you can see the edges are crisp and could be rather abrasive.


A Musical Bike Rack?

May 08, 2011 By: Tom Davis Category: Placemaking, Recent Posts, Sidewalk Features

Photo of a bike rack shaped like flowing musical notes.No, the rack does not play music but the shape, like musical notes, reflects the music that is part of every performance at the Wortham Center Theater where it is mounted at the back door. The rack also serves as a sign of what is inside and a component of place making. Surely this is one of those things my architectural friends call “whimsical”. (more…)

Custom Bike Racks

November 30, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Features

BikeRack3.jpgBiking is becoming a more popular mode of transportation for employees commuting to work. In Houston the bus/LRT agency, METRO, has added bike racks to the front of the “local” buses and opened storage lockers in the bottom of the long-distance buses that serve the Park and Ride lots. At least the racks on the front of the local buses are being used as I often see the bikes perched there. I ride the Park & Ride daily and only twice in the past three years saw someone using the shallow locker accessed from outside. He told me he does not like using the lockers as his bike is regularly scoffed from bouncing and vibrations while lying on its side. But that is another story and this post is about unique bike racks. (more…)