May 26, 2022

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Houston’s bike infrastructure is being pieced together with new projects on the horizon

4 min read

Houston’s segmented network of bike lanes, trails and bayou greenways is slowly but surely taking even more shape with two major projects on the horizon—and even more coming up.

Dignitaries on Saturday will officially open a daftar situs slot online long-anticipated segment of the Sims Bayou Greenway in southeast Houston, which will create a crucial connection from Glenbrook Park to Interstate 45. The relatively small 1.5-mile segment will help form a continuous 5-mile trail from Park Place’s Milby Park to Stuart Park off Bellfort Street when factoring in existing trails to the east and west of the project.

Most notably, this section of trail will run through the Houston Botanic Gardens—making it one of the more scenic trails in town.

The Houston Botanic Garden opens to the public Sept. 18, photographed Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Houston.
The Houston Botanic Garden opens to the public Sept. 18, photographed Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Houston.

 

Godofredo A. Vásquez, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Work is underway to link the entire bayou. There are greenway trails along Sims between Hillcroft Avenue and Buffalo Speedway, as well as a segment between Scott Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Work connecting Buffalo Speedway to Scott Street is underway, while construction on the section between Martin Luther King Jr. and Stuart Park has yet to commence.

The project is part of the Houston Parks Board Bayou Greenways 2020 master plan that promises 150 miles of trails along Houston’s many bayous. This recent work contributes to 14.9 miles of trail along all of Sims Bayou and 129 miles of greenway trails constructed throughout the Bayou City by the board, sometimes with the help of other entities like the city of Houston or special districts.

An aerial view of Sims Bayou with Buffalo Bayou as it flows through the Houston Ship Channel in the background.
An aerial view of Sims Bayou with Buffalo Bayou as it flows through the Houston Ship Channel in the background.

 

Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle / Houston Chronicle

While work recently wrapped up along Sims Bayou, crews with the city of Houston will start building out another bike connection west of downtown in May—though this one isn’t as comfortable as a wide, separated bayou trail.

Workers will start restriping Patterson Street in May with sharrows between White Oak Bayou and Blossom Street, including on the Patterson Street bridge over Interstate 10. In the same project, they’ll add sharrows to Blossom between Patterson and Jackson Hill streets. From there, they’ll also add a separated bike lane to Jackson Hill between Blossom to the north and the Jackson Hill Street pedestrian/bike bridge to the south.

On the north side of the project, the city’s Planning and Development Department is keeping street parking along Patterson Street between White Oak Bayou and Washington Avenue while putting bike riders in the street with car traffic. Similar projects, such as the Austin Street bike lane, converted street parking to a bike lane separated from car traffic, although the Houston Bike Plan—passed by Houston City Council in 2017—has always prescribed a shared on-street lane along Patterson.

David Fields, Houston’s chief transportation planner, said city engineers evaluated the bike plan’s recommendation and made the decision to include sharrows after studying the design and meeting with community members.

“Staff determined that a shared facility with certain design elements could meet our standards for a safe and high-comfort bikeway,” Fields said. “These include a median refuge island at Patterson and Washington, tightened corners to slow speeds, and a new signal with a ‘leading bicycle interval’ at Patterson and I-10 to give riders a head-start over the bridge.”

The median refuge island at Patterson and Washington will also bar drivers from continuing north or south on Patterson. Several intersections along the route will also have new crosswalk infrastructure, including Marina, Maxey and Scotland streets. For more specific designs, check out the department’s most recent presentation to community members.

While it might not include separated bike lanes, the Patterson Street project will be a major connection between Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou, both with miles and miles of greenway trails.


The project is one of several on the Houston Bike Plan slated to begin construction in the coming year. Work building bike lanes near and along North Main, 11th Street, Lawndale Street, Calhoun/Griggs/MLK, Cavalcade/Homestead, Blodgett/Cleburne and Parker Road are at various stages of the design or construction process. Those pasarbola are only a handful of the planned 1,800 miles of bike lanes prescribed by the bike plan.



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