Houston News : Harris County’s upcoming hike and bike paths will give ‘power walk’ a new meaning


Pitter-patter, buzz buzz.

Get used to those sounds on your evening stroll. A new agreement between Harris County and CenterPoint Energy paved the way to construct hundreds of miles of hike and bike trails along grassy right-of-way that houses high-voltage power lines.

The county and energy company formally signed an agreement Tuesday allowing engineers to start working on designing the trails.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the move makes Harris County “a leader in miles of trails and greenspace.”

Starting today, hundreds of miles of previously out of reach greenspace will be available for hike & bike trails. A creative agreement with Centerpoint Energy will allow us to use their right-of-way. Little by little, we’re becoming a leader in miles of trails and greenspace.

— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) October 27, 2020

Houston already has paths power line easements, the first of which opened in 2019, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Dug Begley. Harris County now follows suit, meaning communities in unincorporated parts of the county will soon enjoy the trails.

“Your ability to get things done starts with your ability to get there,” Hidalgo said.

But when will they actually be built?

Tuesday’s agreement is only the first step. Hidalgo said the county will look at communities’ needs to determine where the first paths will be constructed.

She hopes to have a trail map visualized by February.

“We’re not doing this ad hoc,” she said. “We’re doing this as part of a broader strategy to take transportation by the horns in Harris County.”

CenterPoint operates more than 3,700 miles of large overhead transmission lines that bring electricity to local substations, which in turn distributes to homes and businesses.

in Houston

Source : chron.com