My Montrose: Houston B-Cycle Director, Will Rub

By | May 25, 2013

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You’ve seen them around town.  All bright, shiny, and fun.  Everyone is talking about them — everyone —  because they inspire smiles.  Lots of them!

‘They’ are the genius-inspired B-Cycles — the hot bike share program that has swept the nation — well, let’s be real, the globe!

The Montrose is lucky to have a couple of these bike stations — with more, pretty please,  hopefully on the way — bringing lots of visitors to the neighborhood!

This month MMD chats with Will Rub, the director of the Houston chapter of B-Cycle about the momentum of the concept and how the community can help change the world with biking!

B-Cycle has its own velocity.  Why has Houston finally embraced bicycling?  Who is driving the growth?
I’ve lived in Houston a very long time and I can honestly say that there has been a ground swell in cycling over the last few years and I think we have been very fortunate with the timing of the bike share program. And there is no small coincidence that as cycling friendly infrastructure (Terry Hersey, Buffalo Bayou, White Oak Bayou, Heights Hike and Bike Trail etc.) is created and expanded, so do the number of people willing to get out on their bikes.


How can we as a community maintain this momentum?
Increased use of bikes creates enhanced awareness, which in turn helps justify increased spending on infrastructure by our local governments and politicians. As more  cyclists take to the roads and pathways, local governments will see that they share a great deal of the responsibility to create an environment where everyone can play nice together.


What effect will the recent ‘Safe Passing’ ordinance have an effect the biking community?
I believe the impact will be more in principle; it’s one more significant step towards the recognition of cyclists as commuters that have rights and deserve the opportunity to travel safely.


Gov. Perry just signed legislation allowing for public easements to be accessible for hike/bike trails.  How big of an impact will this have on connecting different neighborhoods within the city?
I think it will be huge. These utility easements provide energy sources to established communities. Therefore they already provide significant connectivity, and they are already partially maintained, so the transition to an ‘off road’ style trail should be simple and relatively inexpensive.


What is the best resource for riders wanting access to maps of bike routes in the city?
I think the City of Houston provides great information.


How does a someone petition for a bike station in their neighborhood?
Ha – that is becoming a very popular question now that people see the bikes everywhere. There is no formal process – just send us an email and we will add the location to the list of “potential future sites”. But bear in mind that there are MANY factors that come into play when we make the decision to place stations.


What aspects of Montrose make the neighborhood uniquely adapted for bicyclists?
Several elements work in favor of Montrose for cyclists – quiet neighborhood streets that parallel the busier thoroughfares, the lower speed limits and the basic acceptance of cyclists as an integral part of the area.


What aspects need improvement?
Generally speaking (not just for Montrose) the biggest issues facing cyclists would be road width, then road surface quality, neither can be changed or improved overnight.


What can the community do to help facilitate these changes?
Work together to create a unified voice and help the city by prioritizing the projects that need the greatest amount of attention.


What is your favorite bike route in Montrose? 
Any favorite places that you like to hang out? No specific routes, but I really enjoy the diversity in architecture and the unique personality of the homes in the various smaller neighborhoods within Montrose. As for hangouts – there are too many to name. The entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in Montrose is exciting and gives it  so much character – an almost endless choice of places to enjoy lunch, dinner or drinks with friends.


Can you give some riding tips for new riders!
For new riders, my first suggestion is to select your routes or riding environment carefully. Do everything you can to limit the use of busy and or narrow roads. You may have to ride a little further, but typically there are wonderful and scenic routes through neighborhoods that circumvent the busier, more congested  streets.


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The Montrose Management District
board workshop meeting scheduled for April 3
has been postponed indefinitely.