Comment of the Day: One Way Washington Ave Could Go

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ONE WAY WASHINGTON AVE COULD GO “What is the plausibility of turning Washington Ave into a one-way, eastbound road with three lanes with one lane dedicated to on street parking? And then having Center St become the outbound counterpart –– three lanes, no parking, so that less additional right of way would be needed? [Vmel, commenting on Planning for the Future of Washington Ave]

18 Comment

  • Makes too much sense?

  • Need to maintain lanes for bicycles. That’s a great street for taking a bike somewhere and has a decent shared lane now

  • One way streets and drunks do not go well together.

  • @Vmel: Plausibilty? In develop it/pave over it/tear it down/ALL or almost all officials bending over /grabbing their ankles/brown nosing/kissing the asses /of all,or almost all developers/developments Houston? God forbid,NONE !!! It would cut into “future” property tax revenues,unless those were “frozen” by a 380/381 development deal. Per Eric/s comment above,it makes too much sense & is logical. Logic & sense DO NOT EVER enter into the minds of our lame, no vision government “officials” !!!

  • ask the merchants along shepherd and durham how much they like having one way traffic for their businesses. spoiler alert, they don’t like it.

    think of washington like other major market nightlife streets – they are almost always surprisingly low lane count roads, and are not equipped to be a thru-way for typical road traffic. 2 lanes here, and the reality that you’re not getting ANYWHERE fast via washington is not a completely unhealthy thought. same goes for Gray.

  • I drive in that area and I have thought about it. The problem is that as Center Street gets closer to Sawyer, it becomes more industrial, with trucks using it as idling areas and backing up to their docks. There is also parts of Center St. that are really skinny and have homes/buildings right up to the edge.
    When/if something is to be done in the Washington Ave. area, it will have to include Center St.
    Building off of your comment though, in an ideal world, Center St. would be 2 one way streets with Washington Ave. being 2 one way in the other direction. You can then take the extra two Washington Ave lanes and make a very nice walking/biking area that will encourage more pedestrian activity. Adding more parking to Wash. Ave should be done in lots and structures.

  • @Brian
    If you want to encourage walkability, street parking would be the easiest first step. People want protection when they’re walking next to the street and parked cars provide that pretty well.
    Turning Washington into a one-way would make people drive even faster, and thus make it LESS appealing to pedestrians. A two-way street with on street parking is ideal, even if it only leaves one travel lane in each direction, because people will actually be driving slow enough to see what’s on the street!

  • Furthermore, parking lots (structures, too) are the most boring and uninteresting things to walk next to.
    Think about it – which one of these blocks are people drawn to: the parking lot in front of Rebels or the Eight/Brixx/Taps house block?

  • I like it. You could do diagonal pull in parking with a protected bike lane and widen sidewalks along Washington. You could slow down traffic by adding a few traffic signals (would be needed to help people deal with one way traffic). Only problem is how to begin the split and how to end it while keeping traffic flowing. As it is, you have a series of 90 degree turns for the west bound traffic to get from Washington to Center. Nothing a little eminent domain couldn’t cure.

  • “From C Donahue:
    Need to maintain lanes for bicycles. That’s a great street for taking a bike somewhere and has a decent shared lane now”

    Why? They don’t use them, they just ride down the middle of the lanes holding up traffic….

  • Before it was hip and congested, there was a time when Washington was one of my favorite shortcuts to avoid backups on I-10 as it headed into downtown.

    So yeah, I’d really like to see the congestion clear up a bit and one-way streets seem like a perfectly logical solution. I would eliminate bike paths and try to divert them to the Buffalo Bayou linear park or to east/west neighborhood streets. Militant cyclists won’t appreciate this, but doing so would probably save peoples’ lives. Business owners right there may not appreciate that traffic goes faster, but business owners in places that the traffic is going might appreciate it just fine; it’s a wash.

  • Are these “Militant Cyclists” the ones trying not to get run over–it’s really the height of absurdity to drive a 3000 pound mass of metal and consider a 300 pound wet human&cyclist a threat–give me a break–I guess a squirrel would be a “militant threat” as well–I mean, get real

  • I use the term “militant cyclists” to describe someone that intentionally rides down streets that are congested and dangerous to them, and that slow down automotive traffic, even when there are safer alternative routes nearby. And also, these people are politically sensitive. You’d think that they were coming at you from the perspective that one is born a cyclist and that it’s not a choice, and that they’re an oppressed minority.

  • If that is your definition of militant cyclists, then what do you call automobilists that drive down congested roads? They are the ones getting into silly crashes with each other all the time, resulting in a massive amount of public resources to clean up. Since this necessitates a larger government to respond, would that make car drivers terrorists?

    The speed limit on Washington is 30 mph. The congestion during rush hour does not come from cyclists; it comes from cross traffic at Shepherd and Durham. The effective speed a vehicle can travel when you consider that traffic signals stop vehicles is closer to 20 mph – well within the range of most cyclists. Cars slow me down on Washington avenue every time I ride on it. Does that make vehicle travel an act of sedition? There is no such thing as militant cyclists.

  • Someone is in denial…