A public meeting on the City of Sugar Land Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan was held Monday April 15th at Sugar Land City Hall. Approximately 100 people attended the meeting, expressing important public safety concerns for consideration.
Pat Walsh, Director of Transportation & Long Range Planning-City of Sugarland, in partnership with Jim Carillo of Halff Associates Austin office, walked the meeting attendees through a 48 page presentation (found here) addressing the benefits of walking & cycling, the goals of the Master Plan, the existing & proposed hike & bike facilities and the projected plan costs associated with each facility.
Examples of proposed facilities, as explained in the presentation are:
- Sidepath’s which would run adjacent to current roadways with adequate parkway width,
- Shared-use paths in drainage, utility or greenbelt corridors,
- Bike lanes with low vehicular traffic counts and lower speed limits,
- Buffered bike lanes with sufficient pavement widths
- Shared-lane markings for streets without sufficient pavement width of buffered lanes, and
During the public comment period of the meeting, residents expressed, and rightly so, concerns focused on shared-lane markings adjacent to on-street parked automobiles, neighborhoods where schools also serve as polling locations combined with parents dropping off/ picking up children, and buffered bike lanes sharing the road with vehicular traffic, all legitimate concerns about the propensity for increased accidents.
Meeting attendees also learned that completion of the Master Plan requires the acquisition of now privately-held property and requires legislation be passed to address CenterPoint Energy’s liability concerns. Sure enough, HB 404 appears to do exactly that.
My question is, if legislation can be passed to mitigate CenterPoint Energy’s liability concerns, is YOUR homeowners association working with YOUR elected official to mitigate the liability issues of expanded hike & bike trails through YOUR neighborhood or subdivision?