Houston Avenue Multimodal Improvements

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Houston Public Works will begin improvements along Houston Avenue starting in early February. These improvements include removal of the concrete median and curbs on Houston Avenue that reduced lane capacity and restricted vehicles from turning into properties based on their direction of traffic. The project will effectively restore the roadway to the same way it operated previously. Restoration will improve traffic safety and mobility for travelers including first responders and METRO busses. As part of the improvements, the pavement condition of the road will also be remediated with new asphalt. In addition, Houston Public Works will immediately begin studying the corridor for proposals that will enhance pedestrian safety.

Houston Public Works will begin improvements along Houston Avenue starting in early February. These improvements include removal of the concrete median and curbs on Houston Avenue that reduced lane capacity and restricted vehicles from turning into properties based on their direction of traffic. The project will effectively restore the roadway to the same way it operated previously. Restoration will improve traffic safety and mobility for travelers including first responders and METRO busses. As part of the improvements, the pavement condition of the road will also be remediated with new asphalt. In addition, Houston Public Works will immediately begin studying the corridor for proposals that will enhance pedestrian safety.

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    I've heard rumors that there are more planned changes or a reversion of some aspects of this project. Are there any further renovations or changes planned? I drive through that area every day, often walk in the area, and my daughter attends daycare immediately adjacent to this project. I like the new setup, and it feels safer both as a driver and pedestrian.

    MidtownParent asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your email.  Please see the update on the project page.

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    Can we find funding to address extending the improvements for this corridor to run to Spring St. bike lane. A bicyclist recently died just short of this build out.

    NorthlineLex asked 3 months ago

    Thanks for your email  Houston is working to build the entire 1,800 mile Bicycle Plan.  The order we fund projects is based on the BAC-approved Bicycle Prioritization Methodology. 

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    Plan sheet 2 (labeled 5 of 48) shows the detail for the northbound merge onto Houston Ave where the shoulder has a curb proposed. The merge from stop having less shoulder to work with is less safe. For a merge from the Houston Ave side road onto Houston Ave primary road heading northward at the stop sign, the right turn becomes tighter and with a tighter angle to see oncoming traffic, particularly considering the physical median sight blockage and elevation change of Houston Ave primary road at this location. The merge lane should be shifted to the right as far as possible (where the curbed region is proposed to portion off) to allow for the best angle to see incoming traffic when turning right onto Houston Ave. A larger shoulder should be added to the left (rather than how it is shown to have the large shoulder on the right) prior to the stop sign for best sight angle.

    Think through it asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your email.  

    The ramp onto Houston Ave is being redesigned specifically to address the noted visibility concern. The merge condition will be replaced by a turn, and drivers are expected to stop first at the stop bar, then slowly proceed closer to the intersection for improved visibility before safely making the turn. This maneuver will enable drivers to approach Houston Ave at closer to a ninety-degree angle, which will improve the visibility of vehicles coming northbound from the freeway underpass.

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    This street has way too many lanes dedicated to moving vehicular traffic. A median is a good start, but removing a lane in each direction and adding a protected bike lane would actually do much more to protect people not in cars. If we are to meet our vision zero goal by 2030, this is a missed opportunity to create a less hazardous space. It's really infuriating, given there was a cyclist killed on this street recently and all you can think to do is add a median.

    Yurih asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your comments and support of safe multimodal improvements for Houston.

    The Houston Avenue project focused on the intersection of Houston Avenue and Washington Avenue.  Working with CM Cisneros, we were able to extend it a bit north and south to extend the safety benefits.  To reallocate a vehicle lane as a bicycle facility that connects to the next segment of the Bike Plan would cross the Union Pacific tracks; this would require significant and lengthy coordination with the railroad, as well as increase the cost beyond the available budget. 

    We're in favor of building this link of the Houston Bike Plan, but opted to get the immediate safety benefits of the short-term project.  The long-term effort is still part of the City's vision for the network.

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    To whom it may concern, As a longtime resident of the first ward neighborhood, I have witnessed the changes that have occurred since the process of gentrification began. However, I recently came across news regarding a development that has left me quite concerned. I would appreciate it if the individuals responsible for this project could provide an explanation as to why spending $100,000 on it is considered a good idea, especially considering the potential increase in traffic and accidents it may cause. Instead of investing in such a project, I believe it would be more beneficial to allocate this money towards improving the condition of our streets and addressing the issue of potholes. The traffic situation in our area is already quite problematic, making it difficult for me to leave my house due to the train and excessive traffic on our narrow streets. Vehicles often speed at around 40 miles per hour, posing a danger to residents. It is not only us who are affected by this unnecessary project; even the church, which has been a part of this neighborhood since its less desirable days, is impacted as well. I urge those responsible to carefully examine the data and reconsider their decision, as it seems to indicate a lack of foresight and understanding of the traffic situation. It is crucial that the individuals in positions of power either educate themselves further or consult with residents to ensure that this project will indeed improve traffic conditions.

    Anonymous asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for reaching out.  Many of the issues you identify in your comment (high vehicle speeds, unsafe conditions) are exactly what this project are designed to address.  Safety is the City's top priority and we appreciate how important this is to the community.

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    Could this project be expanded for minimal cost to include restripe for bike lanes? This is a commonly used connector between Montrose and the east side of the Heights. There are limited bike and pedestrian crossings to get across i10 and Buffalo Bayou, so we should improve Houston Ave for walking and rolling.

    Simon asked 4 months ago

    Thanks for your comment.  The City's new standards are to only provide bike facilities that accommodate bikers of all ages and abilities.  While striped bike lanes may be appropriate on streets with lower vehicle speeds or volumes, a street like Houston Avenue requires a physical buffer. Please see Chapter 15 of the Houston Infrastructure Design Manual for our most up to date standards.  https://www.houstonpermittingcenter.org/media/6371/download?inline

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    This project is much needed. As it currently exists, Houston Ave. from I-10 to Memorial does not work for people walking or biking or even drivers. It's a connector between I-10 and Downtown and it's was designed to speed a lot of drivers. That design leads to crashes - the data shows this. The church at the corner of Washington and Houston has had 14 crashes in front of it since 2022. We need the project extended and more traffic calming and safety improvements added, including protected bike lanes.

    Kevin aka #fatboyonabike asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your comments!

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    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 2021 52% of daily trips were under 3 miles and 28% of all trip were less than a mile. While I appreciate the safe redesign of Houston Avenue, I don't think the current design goes far enough to address many of the public safety concerns in the area. Reconstructing this roadway without the implementation of protected bike infrastructure only re-enforces car dependency. I understand this particular project may have a small budget, but building safe bike infrastructure is much cheaper than redeveloping roadways solely for cars and trucks. I have also read that bike facilities may be constructed at a later date when this roadway is prioritized for such improvements. A bicyclist was brutally killed by a driver on this roadway. That bicyclist suffered for days in the hospital before he left this Earth. This roadway is on the High Injury Network and is on the Houston Bike Plan. I believe these facts are more than enough to move this roadway to the top of the priority list for a safe redesign which includes protected bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Redeveloping this roadway as a complete street for ALL makes more sense for the people of this city and anything less is only working to perpetuate the current system of unsafe streets in our city.

    Ricky asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your comments and support of safe multimodal improvements for Houston.

    The Houston Avenue project focused on the intersection of Houston Avenue and Washington Avenue.  Working with CM Cisneros, we were able to extend it a bit north and south to extend the safety benefits.  To provide a bicycle facility that connects to the next segment of the Bike Plan would cross the Union Pacific tracks; this would require significant and lengthy coordination with the railroad, as well as increase the cost beyond the available budget. 

    We're in favor of building this connection, but opted to get the immediate safety benefits of the short-term project.  The long-term effort is still part of the City's vision for the network.

Page last updated: 06 Feb 2024, 09:24 AM