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Houston to nix "fruit loop" at Memorial?(6 posts)

Houston to nix "fruit loop" at Memorial?3.25/6.4
Nov 28, 2001 12:15 PM
I heard on the news that the city of Houston was considering building a driving range on what is now the loop where road bikers ride. Any news on the decision?
re: Houston to nix "fruit loop" at Memorial?bikerduder
Nov 28, 2001 12:50 PM
You talking about the Memorial Park 1 mile loop, right? My company's HQ is in Houston and I visit there a lot. I'll check with some bikin buds at work and see what they know.
Houston Mayor & the PGA TourTig
Nov 28, 2001 12:55 PM
The basics are at http://www.bikehouston.org/

Houston's current mayor (who might be voted out next week!) want to move the PGA stop in Houston from a very nice country club in The Woodlands to a crappy municipal course. They want to turn a wooded picnic loop in Memorial Park (usually closed to cars, home of inline skaters, riders, and weekly crit's) into an extra parking lot for the PGA tour event. I guess the Metro Transit System isn't special enough for golfers and fans. He's trying to push it through before the runoff election this Saturday. It's one of those rushed ideas that will cost plenty of money and screw thousands of park users. This is also the spot that the Houston Rodeo trail rides (hundreds of horse riders from all over the state) converge on to camp every year. Gotta' love politicians!

On a personal note, I hate golf!
;o>
re: interestingSteves
Nov 28, 2001 2:04 PM
Interesting topic. I happened to be the president of the Houston Bicycle Club when we along with HABA (Houston Area Bicycling Alliance) worked to get the Picnic Loop closed off in the PM for cyclist-only use.(Soon in-line skaters joined the crowd.) Anyway, it is distressing to hear that this one tiny area that was dedicated to cycling might be closed off.

Thanks, I now know who that I will vote against on Saturday.
Sorry for the length of this postbikerduder
Nov 28, 2001 7:42 PM
The following is circulating in the Houston Biking community. If you live there, do what you can:

PLEASE CIRCULATE TO ALL CYCLISTS, ROLLERBLADERS, JOGGERS, TENNIS
PLAYERS,
>CONSERVATIONISTS AND FRIENDS OF MEMORIAL PARK ASAP

November 21, 2001, Houston, Texas - Parks are for people, not cars!!! BikeHouston has learned of a plan by Shell Houston Open promoters to bring the SHO to Memorial Park next year. The proposal would involve removing the MP tennis center to put in a parking lot there for the
golf spectators. The tennis center is to be relocated to the site of the Picnic Loop, which will not be replaced with a comparable facility. Numerous trees would also be cut down.

The mile-long Picnic Loop is a one-way paved road in a heavily wooded area of MP that is closed to cars most of the time. It is currently the site of the Wednesday nite criterium bike racing series all summer long, the only place in town to ride a bike or roller blade on a raod closed to cars. It is also the trail rider's camping area at Rodeo time, the site of family picnics, and numerous other charitable events. All of this will be lost forever if the SHO Plan goes thru.

City council is to approve the plan in less than two weeks, so we must all act immediately if we are to save what's left of MP. First, contact the Mayor, all at-large city council members, the city council member in your district, especially if you are in Bert Keller's district, and the
Parks Director, Oliver J. Spellman, Jr. Emails and faxes are best. Second, pass the message along to anyone who might be afffected or care about the situation in MP. Third, please come to the BikeHouston meeting on Tuesday,
November 27, 7 pm at the Houston Environmental Center, 3015 Richmond at Eastside.

***ABOVE ALL, BE POLITE*** and be sure to say
***I BIKE AND I VOTE***
***HOUSTON NEEDS MORE PARK SPACE NOT MORE PARKING SPACES and
***I AM VERY OPPOSED TO THE SHO-MP PLAN.

A sample letter might read as follows:

Dear Mayor Brown:

As a registered voter, [occupation e.g. accountant/lawyer/professional/bike shop owner etc.] and bicyclist, I am deeply saddened to learn that there are fast track plans for the Tennis Center to be relocated to the Picnic Loop in Memorial Park to make way for a parking lot for the Shell Houston Open spectators next year. I am very opposed to such a plan because:

1. Parks are for people, not cars. Why pave paradise and put in a parking lot? We need more park space in Houston, not more parking spaces. Houston has less per-capita green space than any other major Texas city, and the SHO plan will adversely affect the quality of life here.

2. There's plenty of parking at the nearby NW Transit Center and Metro has plenty of shuttle buses. This works just fine for the Rodeo, ball games and numerous other events in Houston, why not the SHO? Alternatively, one or both of the outside lanes on the 6-lane Memorial Drive, and even the Picnic Loop itself could be temporarily used for
SHO parking.

3. There is no other place in Houston besides the Picnic Loop for cyclists and rollerbladers to enjoy a mile-long road closed to cars. A criterium bike race is held there once a week all summer long and raises money for charity, and the facility is used by hundreds of cyclists and roller bladers every day and every nite. Houston was recently named Bicycling Magazine's Worst Cycling City in America --
do we want to earn this designation next year, too?

4. The Picnic Loop is used for many family picnics and other events such as fun runs that raise money for charities, and it is where the Trail Riders camp every Rodeo when they come into the City. Where will all of these "homeless" folks go?

5. The trees in the Picnic Loop area should not be cut down; trees contribute to the beauty and quality of life of the City, help reduce air pollution and the urban heat island effect. The trees are precious and should be preserved, particularly in the natural setting of Memorial
Park.

6. The Memorial Park jogging trail is the most heavily used running path in the entire country. Driving additional cars across the path to get in and out of the parking lot and increasing the traffic through the park and along the trail will adversely affect the air quality, noise level and safety of the MP users.

7. The MP golf course is not suitable for the SHO. The fairways are too narrow and the adjacent vegetation is too thick for large spectator crowds.

8. The SHO will not raise any money for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Why should the Department subsidize the SHO fat cats with my property taxes at the expense of other users of MP?

Please take all necessary actions to stop this assault on Houston's parks and quality of life. Thank you for supporting MP and opposing the SHO plan.

Sincerely
Name and Address and Phone Number

Email Contact
information - for the Mayor and City Council go to
http://www.cityofhouston.gov/electedofficials/citycouncil.html

For Oliver B. Spellman, Jr., go to the link at
http://www.cityofhouston.gov/citydesk/citydept.html

Please copy haba@bikehouston.org if you'd care to share your emails
with us.

Take Action Today!! Tomorrow may be too late. Pass it on!!

Happy Thanksgiving.
Bicycle everywhere!
re: interestingSteveS
Nov 28, 2001 2:06 PM
Interesting topic. I happened to be the president of the Houston Bicycle Club when we along with HABA (Houston Area Bicycling Alliance) worked to get the Picnic Loop closed off in the PM for cyclist-only use.(Soon in-line skaters joined the crowd.) Anyway, it is distressing to hear that this one tiny area that was dedicated to cycling might be closed off.

Thanks, I now know who that I will vote against on Saturday.