Is Houston America's Future Bicycling Capital? Tom McCasland Thinks It Is, and Is Making It So

Tom McCasland has long believed that Houston is a sleeping giant of a bicycling city, and these days Houston appears to be waking up and stretching its legs.

Today Yale Law grad McCasland serves as the interim head of the Harris County Housing Authority, but even before he began his previous position with the Houston Parks Board, he was doing yeoman's work in improving the Bayou City's bike network. While his spearheading of a plan to to turn Houston's many miles of CenterPoint utility easements into bike trails came to naught at the last state legislative session, that dream remains a possible future reality for Houstonians.

In the meantime, other plans are afoot, and McCasland recently squired a distinguished cyclist around town, a visiting dignitary from no less a bike hub than Portland, Oregon. Elly Blue runs the cycling blog Taking the Lane, and she came to Houston as part of a nationwide tour assessing cities and their bike-friendliness and initiative.

Blue was impressed enough by McCasland's tour and talk to wonder the following:

"Is Houston the next bicycle capitol of the US?"

Yes, that's right. A cycling advocate from Portland has dared wonder publicly if this allegedly car-narcotized, Interstate-streaked, strip mall-obsessed Purgatory of rampant antipathy to bikers and hikers alike will soon outstrip not just Austin but also Seattle, Minneapolis and Chicago as the most bike-friendly town in America.

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John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax