11th Street Safety Improvements

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Announcements

January 19, 2023 - Construction Update

Active Construction Zone! Please drive with care through the work zone and be respectful of roadside workers.

  • Recent Work Completed:
    • What: Implementation of curb barriers to delineate the bike lane, shared street bicycle symbols "sharrows", traffic control signs
    • Where: Michaux to Shepherd (curb barriers), Michaux from Usener to 11th (sharrows), Michaux to Columbia (traffic control signs)
  • Anticipated Work:Continue safety improvement construction operations.
    • What: Concrete work for pedestrian refuge islands, curb ramps, raising manhole covers in the medians, traffic control signs
    • Where: Nicholson & Shepherd (concrete work), Pine Ridge and Heights Blvd floating bus stops (curb ramps)

As an added FYI, a nearby Local Drainage Project (LDP) is located along 11th Street to the west of TC Jester Blvd. This project is unrelated to the 11th Street Safety Improvement Project and does not include the addition of bicycle facilities.




Project Overview

The 11th Street Safety Improvements project proposes to address traffic safety concerns along a 1.5-mile segment from Shepherd to Michaux in the Heights neighborhood. It also includes a neighborhood bikeway along Michaux, connecting from 11th to Stude Park. The project addresses speeding, traffic crashes, and difficulty crossing for people walking and biking along the corridor. It is aligned with the City's Vision Zero commitment to end traffic deaths and serious injuries and improve street safety for everyone. The project is currently in the design phase.

In addition to being identified in the Houston Bike Plan, the 11th Street proposal aims to improve safety for all road users. This includes a protected bikeway for people biking, pedestrian refuge islands to make it safer to cross 11th street, intersection enhancements to increase visibility of crosswalks and bike lanes, and traffic signal adjustments to safely accommodate all modes of travel.

Questions or comments about the project? Please use the general questions/comments tool below.


Announcements

January 19, 2023 - Construction Update

Active Construction Zone! Please drive with care through the work zone and be respectful of roadside workers.

  • Recent Work Completed:
    • What: Implementation of curb barriers to delineate the bike lane, shared street bicycle symbols "sharrows", traffic control signs
    • Where: Michaux to Shepherd (curb barriers), Michaux from Usener to 11th (sharrows), Michaux to Columbia (traffic control signs)
  • Anticipated Work:Continue safety improvement construction operations.
    • What: Concrete work for pedestrian refuge islands, curb ramps, raising manhole covers in the medians, traffic control signs
    • Where: Nicholson & Shepherd (concrete work), Pine Ridge and Heights Blvd floating bus stops (curb ramps)

As an added FYI, a nearby Local Drainage Project (LDP) is located along 11th Street to the west of TC Jester Blvd. This project is unrelated to the 11th Street Safety Improvement Project and does not include the addition of bicycle facilities.




Project Overview

The 11th Street Safety Improvements project proposes to address traffic safety concerns along a 1.5-mile segment from Shepherd to Michaux in the Heights neighborhood. It also includes a neighborhood bikeway along Michaux, connecting from 11th to Stude Park. The project addresses speeding, traffic crashes, and difficulty crossing for people walking and biking along the corridor. It is aligned with the City's Vision Zero commitment to end traffic deaths and serious injuries and improve street safety for everyone. The project is currently in the design phase.

In addition to being identified in the Houston Bike Plan, the 11th Street proposal aims to improve safety for all road users. This includes a protected bikeway for people biking, pedestrian refuge islands to make it safer to cross 11th street, intersection enhancements to increase visibility of crosswalks and bike lanes, and traffic signal adjustments to safely accommodate all modes of travel.

Questions or comments about the project? Please use the general questions/comments tool below.


Questions or comments?

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    When this project was originally proposed it was stated that the bike lane barriers would be pre-cast and set in place like in other parts of the city. I noticed the barriers are actually being poured in place rather than pre-cast set in place. What was the reason for the change and is their a difference in the budget for doing so?

    Joe W asked 8 days ago

    There is little cost difference between pre-cast and cast-in-place curb. Some of the reasoning for doing the cast-in-place curb is that it may require less long-term maintenance. The pre-cast curbs can get knocked loose at intersections where drivers may hit them, while the concrete curb may be less susceptible to coming loose. The City has used the cast-in-place curb on another project, Lawndale Street on the east side, and we will be monitoring both corridors for effectiveness.  

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    We on Dorothy Street can no longer cross 11th to get our kids to Love Elementary and this is extremely inconvenient. Why is our street blocked ?

    Dennis Castro asked 9 days ago

    Thanks for raising this up. The intersection of Dorothy and 11th will have a break in the concrete median with a designated crosswalk and STOP for Pedestrian signage. Some of these components may not yet be completed since this project is still being actively constructed. Please contact SafeStreets@houstontx.gov or 832-395-3277 if crossing remains an issue.

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    What provision is being made to monitor bike traffic along the newly created lanes and publish the data since the project was designed to provide a more accessible route for bikers.? Also have you collected data on bike use over dedicated bike lanes in other parts of the city, particularly in our neighborhood over the Houston Ave bridge? Thanks

    WB asked 10 days ago

    Thanks for your questions.  This project centered around improving safety for all road users, including pedestrian refuge islands to make it safer for people to cross 11th Street, reducing the number of vehicle lanes which helps to slow speeds, and physically protected bike lanes. We will measure vehicle counts and speeds to make a before/after comparison to ensure that this project reduces speeding on 11th and does not significantly increase cut-through traffic on side streets. The City works with the regional planning organization, Houston-Galveston Area Council, to administer bike counters at select locations. We will continue to collaborate on data collection to ensure we're tracking progress toward building out the bicycle network and increasing ridership.

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    Bike lanes are great if they are used. What is the plan to monitor the actual seasonal bike usage along 11th since the whole plan centered around making the street safer for bikers ?

    WB asked 10 days ago

    Thanks for your questions. This project centered around improving safety for all road users, including pedestrian refuge islands to make it safer for people to cross 11th Street, reducing the number of vehicle lanes which helps to slow speeds, and physically protected bike lanes. We will measure vehicle counts and speeds to make a before/after comparison to ensure that this project reduces speeding and does not significantly increase cut-through traffic on side streets.

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    Hello, My name is Hannah and I have some questions related to the 11th Street project. I want to know how the city plans to clean the debris that is building up in the bike lanes because street cleaners can't reach it due to the curb barriers. Also, I want to know how the issue of home owners along the bike paths putting trash cans and recycling bins in the bike lanes will be addressed. Home owners are doing this because, with the addition of the bike lanes, the arms from from the trash trucks can't reach the curb to pick up their trash and recycling bins. The trash is usually picked up on trash day, but due to staff shortages, the recycling can take a couple days after the pick-up date before it is picked up. I have experienced this myself many times. I don't think home owners should be fined for blocking the bike lanes with their cans because they have no choice but to put them there. However, I understand why cyclists would be angry about the lane blockages. What is the city doing to resolve this issue to the satisfaction of both parties? Thanks, Hannah

    Hannah4 asked 10 days ago

    Thanks for engaging with us. For bike lane maintenance, the City recently a required a street sweeper that is small enough to fit in a standard (5ft) bike lane. It is still being put together by our crews at the City, but it should be rolling out soon and we will keep the website updated when the sweeper is headed toward 11th Street. For trash/recycling, it's best practice to put the bins in gaps of the concrete barriers. The bins may spill into the bike lane a bit, but it should leave enough room for people biking to safely move through. If you do not have a gap in front of your home, please let us know in which block you are located and we will assess for appropriate placement. In the meantime, you might find some room at the nearest intersection. Please reach out to our Safe Streets team if you wish to chat: 832-395-3277 or email: safestreets@houstontx.gov

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    Is there going to be a guide shared on what to do in the case of being trapped within all the concrete whether it be a flat tire, stalled car, or a planned attack as there is no 'out' in many areas creating a safety risk. Is a flyer being developed to help us understand what action to take (while I knew I would be trapped in my own house due to cut through traffic and other issues not addressed, I was not prepared for the sea of concrete that would also trap me within a lane without viable outs). Thanks

    Lindsay asked 10 days ago

    The City is working on a flyer to demonstrate how to use the new street which will include operations and other street functions, like where to place your recycle/trash cans. 

    Do you have specific areas where you feel the concrete curb should have a gap? This is something we can assess and potentially modify should it be warranted. 

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    Why does the wide turn on Heights Blvd & 11th St have such an aggressive concrete platform that's half the size of the road? It makes the turn very dangerous for cars and places cars at high risk for hitting the curb

    paul asked 10 days ago

    The concrete platform is called a Floating Bus Stop. Since there are bus stops and bike lanes, Floating Bus Stops allow for bus operations to pick-up/drop-off riders without having to pull over into the bike lane and bicyclists can maneuver through safely. Below is an image from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) that demonstrates this:

    There is signage for drivers, indicate a "wide right turn" at both east and westbound 11th Street approaches to Heights Blvd. Additionally, the Floating Bus Stops will be painted yellow to increase visibility.

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    I see in the responses that you say the city will study traffic patterns six months after project completion to determine if traffic in the neighborhoods has increased. Was there any study done prior to the start of this project, to use as a baseline? Or will you only be measuring who turns from 11th onto one of the smaller residential streets. And where are any earlier studies posted so we can review what baseline was?

    LisaOnCortlandtSt asked 9 days ago

    In 2019 and 2022 we measured traffic on 11th as well as side streets including east/west 9th, 10th, and 12th and north/south streets including Yale and Harvard. The 2022 counts were done pre-construction. We do not have these counts posted online, but we may release a report/presentation once we have collected count and speed data sometime after the construction is complete in March 2023.

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    It's great! I use 11th almost everyday on a small motorcycle and now the traffic is going the posted speed limit like on Pecore. Now I feel I could actually safely join the bikers I've recently seen using it. I also got to stop for a pedestrian (the law) at Nicholson without some driver switching lanes behind me and blowing thru it. It's safer, motorists will just have to get used to it. The Public ROW's should be focused on safety for all users, especially the lowest common denominator, the pedestrian. Not simply for the conveyance and convenience of motorists, especially not for personal parking storage. Houston needs more road diets and traffic calming measures.

    Bikedawg asked 10 days ago

    Thank you for your comments!

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    1. Why didn't the contractor build in weep holes in the concrete curbs now segregating the bike lane from the main road? Torrential rains that Houston is famous for will causing worse ponding on the vehicle lane of traffic, increasing the risk of hydroplaning and accidents. 2. Why was this project greenlit when they didn't have the funds to properly PAINT the new concrete barriers in the roadway. Is DOT aware of this?

    Norhill resident 30+ years asked 10 days ago

    There are breaks in the concrete barriers where there are inlets for stormwater. We can assess if there need to be extra to allow for flow in advance of the inlets. 

    We don't have a DOT here at the City and the State DOT is not part of this project because it is not a state-owned roadway. We have installed flex posts on concrete barriers and we are looking into painting the concrete curbs near major intersections. We expect all road users, especially drivers of vehicles, to be patient and understanding as traffic patterns change and to watch out for new infrastructure, looking both ways regardless of turning movements.

Page last updated: 19 Jan 2023, 02:49 PM