The city of Houston is investing big money in a big project to connect the local bayous using trails.
Riding the bike trails of Houston is a routine for Jeff Pearson, but so is the difficulty of getting from one trail to another.
“I just came from one to the other and you have to cross I-10 on the street, so it’s kind of dangerous,” he said.
There’s no doubt that Houston’s network of bayous provide ample green space for hiking and biking, but they are not interconnected. That’s about to change.
“We have some beautiful beads out there, but we have to string them into a continuous necklace of parks where one can go from one side of Houston to the other,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
This week, Mayor Parker announced that the Houston Parks Board and the city will jointly move forth on the Bayou Greenways 2020 project, funded in part by a bond package approved by voters and private matching funds.
When complete, it will connect all the bayous to each other, creating a network of parks and trails within the city.
“You should be seeing bulldozers in the next few months, starting with White Oak Bayou, Brays Bayou, Buffalo Bayou,” said Roksan Okan-Vick with the Houston Parks Board.
One section of White Oaks Bayou near TC Jester will be the first of a number of projects. Completion will take time. Houstonians who enjoy the outdoors, like Pearson, can’t wait.
“We’re catching up,” he said. “I don’t think we’re ahead of the times by any means, but I think over the last several years, they’ve really done a lot to make it better for sure.”
Perhaps that will make Houston one of the greenest cities in the country.