The pathway system consists of an 8' wide network of 209 miles of hike and bike trails, which connect the various neighborhoods to schools, 140 parks, 10 grocery-anchored village centers, and employment locations such as the Town Center. The residential neighborhoods, park and pathway system, schools, institutional uses, and village centers are designed to accommodate most of a family’s daily needs within a 1 to 2 mile radius. The graph above was plotted using data from The Woodlands Community Facts.
Although residents may need to deal with traffic and road closures Saturday, drawing so many people to The Woodlands, the Ironman race will not only drive business to local retail and service industries, but it will also generate revenue for the local government. The extra 2% sales the Township levies and the visitors will pay helps fund the services the Township provides, and the 7% hotel occupancy tax visitors pay the Township will go toward servicing The Woodlands’ debt. An additional 2% hotel occupancy tax goes to The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau, which drives demand for The Woodlands as a travel destination to increase sales and hotel occupancy tax revenues. By having visitors pay these taxes, the local government is able to afford services for The Woodlands that would otherwise have to paid for by residents through property taxes.
“We’re incredibly excited about this, and it is something we’ve been trying to put together for a couple years now. I don’t know if many of you know, we have 2200 hotel rooms available in The Woodlands every single night," said Bruce Rieser, Chairman of the board at Visit The Woodlands, who as a 30+ year executive at British Airways understands the power of travel and tourism. "We’re actively promoting The Woodlands now as a destination for both corporate meetings, small conventions, and frankly, a great place for you to come and hang out in. Mobike is going to add to that by making the residents and visitors in our town center much more mobile and able to experience a larger piece of our wonderful and beautiful hometown.”
Not only will Mobikes provide a convenient and enjoyable method of transportation for people working, shopping, or hanging out in Town Center to get around, as Township Director Dr. Ann Snyder pointed out, “We are a very health conscious community with over 200 miles of pathway and 130 parks. For those of us that have family or guests that don’t live in The Woodlands who want to ride bikes when they come, it’s right there.”
“We really appreciate how forward thinking The Woodlands Township has been. This is a really beautiful community with lots of bike paths and a very active lifestyle, so we think there is a really strong fit between our organization and the local community here,” said Jason Wong, the United States’ general manager of Mobike.
“We started The Woodlands with 50 bikes. We’re going to take a look at the data and demand and work closely with The Woodlands Township officials on where we are going to go from here,” he explained.
“Each of these bikes has a smart lock, which has GPS and helps us track the location of the bikes, which is really important so they don’t get lost. Also, you get data on where and when bikes are needed the most, based on what we’re seeing overall in the marketplace. That’s data that we share in our partnership with local officials," Jason Wong explained. "What we see in communities around the world, is that local governments then take some of that data and create new bike paths where they see usage data. It really is an approach to improve the quality of transportation options."
Another way the flow of traffic in The Woodlands could be improved is by reducing the actual number of vehicles traveling on the roads. The Woodlands Origin-Destination study utilized portable Bluetooth devices in vehicles, built-in Bluetooth devices at stoplights, and traffic counts from pneumatic tubes to identify traffic flow patterns coming to and from The Woodlands area. It concluded that roughly 12,400 vehicles a day cut through The Woodlands from one side to the other, adding a significant amount of traffic to its roads while contributing little or nothing to its economy. Not only does this cut-through traffic steal minutes out of residents’ and workers’ valuable time each and every day they use the roads in The Woodlands, it raises the average number of stops on a drive, which decreases fuel efficiency and in turn leads to more money spent at the gas pump. In order to divert this through traffic and cut down on congestion, the study recommended the development of “The Woodlands Loop.”
Town Center development contrasts with but complements development in the Residential Villages. The villages convey the feeling of a small town within a forested setting. The residential neighborhoods, park and pathway system, schools, institutional uses, and village centers are designed to accommodate most of a family’s daily needs within a 1 to 2 mile travel radius. The design of Village Centers as “nodes” at the intersection of major roadways and the variety of retail and professional office contained in each village center encourages residents to visit several destinations during a single trip. For example, one might visit the supermarket, drugstore, gas station, cleaners, and hardware store during a single trip. This concept makes destinations convenient and efficient to access and reduces vehicle miles travelled when compared to the typical “strip retail” concept.
The drainage that came out of The Woodlands, right in the middle there of Town Center, there was a little gully there that went from here to Oak Ridge North. And we said alright, why don’t we excavate that and make it an area where we could have traffic on the water, within the town core. And then start developing around that, whether you have, not only action on the concentration of small boats plowing this three miles of area we had inside, make it a really useful thing. But then would we have trolleys and pedestrians, you have all three. If you are going by the boats, it is not enough. You have got to have more than that. And that has been very successful.
On October 19, 1974, The Woodlands celebrated its grand opening and the introduction of this new community to the Houston marketplace. Progress over the years has been achieved through the collaborative efforts of our employees, residents, governmental agencies, churches, civic organizations, financial institutions and business leaders who have chosen The Woodlands as a preferred location. Defining events as set forth in the following chronology have made The Woodlands unique and the achievements rather amazing.
In contrast to most other developments, the mobility system is planned for the ultimate development of The Woodlands. The land required for the widening of roads or the construction of overpasses has already been dedicated to Montgomery County, thus saving time and the expense to acquire additional land at the expense of the taxpayer.
Since its inception, The Woodlands Development Company has dedicated the full road rights-of-way based upon the estimated “build-out” to Montgomery County. In the case of major thoroughfares, this dedication of land consists of rights-of-way 130’ to 494’ wide along 35.73 miles of roads and totaling 772.3 acres of land including right-of-way for 3 grade separations at major intersections.
- The Woodlands Origin-Destination Study
- 1985 Montgomery County Major Thoroughfare Plan
- 2016 Montgomery County Thoroughfare Plan
- Road Structure in The Woodlands
- The Woodlands Community Facts
- 1972 Project Agreement Between The United States of America and The Woodlands Development Corporation
- The Woodlands Road Mileage - Ultimate Projection vs Actual
- The Woodlands Pathways - Ultimate Projection vs Actual
- The Woodlands Township Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan
- The Woodlands Development Update
- South County Mobility Plan