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High Hopes for the Future of Biking in Houston

Despite Houston's reputation for sprawl, the city has made impressive efforts to build out its bike infrastructure.
February 14, 2021, 7am PST | Diana Ionescu | @aworkoffiction
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BikeHouston's new executive director, Joe Cutrufo, sees his new home city as "a place brimming with potential to become one of the nation’s most bike-friendly cities." Cutrufo spoke with Andy Olin of the Kinder Institute about his choice to take the job and the challenges and opportunities presented by the vast and dynamic city.

One of his top goals is to advocate for the construction of a comprehensive bike network, the key to creating safe streets and encouraging more biking. "Houston is very big on the map in terms of cities with good bike networks and growing bike networks," Cutrufo said. "I see some systemic problems when it comes to expanding bike network, but I see a lot of goodwill." He sees expanding bike infrastructure as a step toward a more equitable and inclusive city, where jobs and opportunities are within reach for people who don't drive. "That’s where I think bicycling can step in as a mode that can give people greater access to opportunity."

Cutrufo is laser-focused on creating a comprehensive and accessible bike network that includes on-street infrastructure, safe bike storage, and effective linkages to job centers, parks, and public transit. He recognizes that this effort has to involve a variety of stakeholders at the neighborhood, city, and county level. "When it comes to creating a shared vision for Houston, in terms of safe streets, and creating dedicated, protected bike networks, there needs to be a shared vision."

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Published on Monday, February 8, 2021 in Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research
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