$30 Million Regional Bike/Ped Connections to Transit Projects To Increase Mobility Across Houston
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 11/25/2013, 11:30 a.m.
Mayor Annise Parker, Congressman Gene Green, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Victor Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Greater East End Management District, the Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department will celebrate the groundbreaking of the first of six projects made possible by a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant. A groundbreaking ceremony for the first project to begin construction, the Buffalo Bayou Path project, is scheduled for November 25, 2013, at 11:15 a.m. in the City Hall Rotunda.
“Trail connections like this are an incredible asset for all Houstonians,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “They increase our mobility across the city, improve our quality of life and make Houston a greener, more live-able city.”
The $30 million Houston Regional Bike/Ped Connections to Transit Project was made possible through federal funds in the form of a $15 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. Project Partners providing local matching funding are: Houston Parks Board, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, and Greater East End Management District.
The projects are expected to improve mobility in Houston by eliminating major gaps on primary off-street bicycle/pedestrian transportation routes and in the city’s bike grid; providing extensive connections to residences, employment centers and bus and rail transportation; and completing a portion of the inner city bikeway plan for shared use paths. New directional signs and pedestrian amenities, including benches, bike racks, waste receptacles, lighting, trees and landscaping, and the construction of a golf cart shuttle path between two campuses of the University of Houston.
“FHWA is pleased to be part of such a pivotal project in Houston,” FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez said. “What does it mean to be multi-modal? For this city, it means economic opportunity and new construction today and seven miles of paths, 10 miles of on-street bikeways, 11 miles of sidewalks, and six miles of pedestrian enhancements in the future.”
The Buffalo Bayou Path (project #4) is the first project to begin construction. It will close a 0.3 mile gap along Smith and Travis Street. Construction at the site will begin in January 2014. Other projects will follow when design plans are finalized and approved.
“We are excited for the new connections that TIGER is bringing to our linear parkland,” said Joe Turner, Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “It provides alternative transit corridors for users while reconnecting them to nature. We thank our partners in this project, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the Greater East End Management District and the Houston Parks Board.”
The Houston Regional Bike/Ped Connections to Transit project consists of 6 separate projects:
The White Oak Bayou Path: Alabonson Rd/Antoine Dr Link (0.8-mile commuter extension of shared-use path)
The White Oak Bayou Path: 11th Street/Heights Bike Trail (1.4-mile gap closures and bridge construction project)
The White Oak Bayou Path: Connections to Residential Neighborhoods and Buffalo Bayou Path (0.2-mile gap closure project and 0.7-mile connections to shared-use path)
The Buffalo Bayou Path: Smith St./Travis St. Link (0.3-mile gap closure project)
East Downtown Connections: Transit/Residential/Commercial Connections (8.6-mile gap closures and key connections project)
Brays Bayou Path Gap: MLK/Old Spanish Trail Link (1.6-mile gap closure project and 0.6-mile alternative transit path)
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) stewards and manages over 37,832 acres of parkland and greenspace for the City of Houston and develops and implements recreational programming for citizens of all abilities. For more information on the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, call (832) 395-7022 or visit www.houstonparks.org http://www.houstonparks.org .