Comment of the Day: Where’s Our Memorial Park Bypass?

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE’S OUR MEMORIAL PARK BYPASS? Office Tower Fronting Freeway“This ramp will now allow more traffic to use Shepherd as an alternate to the freeway system. Thus creating longer delays for those who use surface roads to travel. What is sorely required is a road that would flyover Memorial Park adding a much needed way to travel from the inner loop north. Currently, the only options are the West Loop and Kirby/Shepherd. Both of which are overly congested at most times of the day. It doesn’t help that Shepherd is down to two lanes from four in stretch from Westheimer to Dallas while the city installs much needed storm drainage.” [jgbiggs, commenting on Your Upgrade from Shepherd Dr. to the North Fwy. Will Be Much Smoother Starting Today] Illustration: Lulu

22 Comment

  • I am pretty sure there already is a road that goes through memorial park that moves along quite nicely. A flyover would cost zillions and would probably reduce commute times by maybe three to six minutes compared to taking Memorial Dr. Oh, and this idea already got resoundingly shouted down for Hermann Park. When push comes to shove, most Houstonians do get it.

  • Extend Weslayan across Buffalo Bayou and through Memorial Park to connect with Memorial Drive. That would be a huge help to people traveling north or south inside the loop.

  • Or start charging people during peak times. Congestion pricing. It will force people to consider whether driving on those roads at that time is worth it, while at the same time reducing congestion for buses, allowing them to become an even more attractive option.

    I know, pipe dream, just like the flyover.

  • Please, God no…I was part of the adamant resistance to the Hermann Park flyover. We do not need another major traffic thoroughfare right through one of our few remaining large public green spaces in the inner city. As someone who actually uses both parks, the addition of more major traffic (with its noise and exhaust), as well as the visual blight of an overhead roadway, would significantly deteriorate the greenspace. Most other cities have geological features that dictate road routes. We are a wide open plain – I’m sure we can work around 2 public parks.

  • An elevated express lane OVER the rail roads tracks would be a bad ass north-south corridor.

  • LHD, that Weslayan extension was actually in our first major thoroughfare plan. The idea was to extend Willowick across the Bayou into the southern end of the park, and extend Ella south from 11th into the northern end of the park. This would have set up an additional crosstown thoroughfare from roughly Mo City to Acres Homes. You could call it the Swishahouse Parkway.

  • The solution is simple: Connect Westcott to Kirby Drive across Buffalo Bayou. There are only two houses that would need to be demolished.

  • I can only assume you’re not being serious. There is, thankfully, zero chance of some hideous flyover. Yes, let’s mar the crown jewel of Houston. Oh and less than zero chance the Brahman’s of River Oaks would allow Wesleyan to cross the Bayou. Are any of you actually from Houston?

  • @Michael. That’s funny. Yes I’m sure demolishing Bayou Bend would be but a bump in the road. You’d have a better chance building a bridge across the Gulf to the Yucatan.

  • Can we please not do that…central houston does not need any new roads until all of them that we do have look like what shepherd and westhiemer are soon to look like and plus now that Memorial Park is in Uptown TIRZ that will not happen.

  • Yes, I was kidding about extending Westcott to Kirby! But it does point out that roads are built in poor areas of town and not in wealthy ones. Memorial Park is a good example. A very large part of the western edge was taken for 610 which no only reduced the park size but then spread noise pollution over the rest of it. However, a n additional strip was left to act as a sound barrier for those homes near N. Post Oak. Likewise it was trimmed to the north to allow for I-10, again spreading noise over the park. We all must protect those parts of town that cannot afford to grease road selection sites away from their homes!

  • a road running parallel to the rail road tracks would be a godsend. Connect it with memorial/woodway. Makes too much sense though so Houstonians will say nay.

  • Years ago, wasn’t much of the opposition to double-decking the West Loop based on the objection that it would merely loom over the edge of Memorial Park? If we ever see political winds favoring an elevated ramp through the heart of the park, it would be a complete surprise to me.

  • We need a better connection from the Med Center to 59 South. Right now traffic is always heavy in the evenings on Bissonnet or Holcombe/Kirby. Adding some kind of fly over that picks up opposite the 59N onramp at the Mexico Embassy would be a great addition to this area.

  • Everyone has a wishlist that will make their own commute better – just give up already – our roads suck and will continue to get worse because no one wants to pay for infrastructure improvements and the only people who make money off the roads want to build new ones to BFE, not improving already existing roads.

  • @MH005, there used to be an onramp from Blodgett to southbound US 59, next to the former Days Inn, now a shelter for homeless veterans ( The onramp was extremely short and the merge was crammed in at the end of the San Jac/Fannin/Main overpass, just before the two lanes of the Spur join the main lanes. The merge created a cluster-f situation and was rightly removed. You can still see traces of it.
    Now, traffic on that westbound block of Blodgett is diverted to northbound Travis only to be forced by traffic bumps to turn right (east) onto Richmond/Wheeler, but I have seen people ignore the fact that the Spur offramp to their left is turning right, and attempt to go forward onto Travis, or even worse, left across three other lanes of traffic.

  • Kirby should be extended over the bayou to connect to Westcott, instead of just turning into Shepard/Allen Parkway. I don’t think under the bayou is feasible, but would be a better alternative. This would then connect Kirby to I-10/610 via Westcott/Washington/Old Katy Road/Hempstead. But it will never happen because it will require the destruction/removal of at least some River Oak homes and potentially the Hogg Bird Sanctuary. You can bypass the Hogg Bird Sanctuary by putting the bridge to the East and utilizing the Logan Ln ROW (plus the expansion needed) on the north end of bayou. But it will never happen.

  • As I heard someone say about gay marriage (“Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get gay married): Don’t like driving in traffic? Don’t drive in traffic. That means living closer to where you’d normally drive. Park further away. Get out and walk a bit. If you chose cheap house PSF at the expense of driving, it seems rather rich to complain about the commute. While I’d like to complain about how little house I got for my money, I don’t, because the tradeoff of not having to drive was worth it to me.

  • While I sometimes don’t agree with Cody, I am 100% in agreement with his comment on the “don’t like traffic? don’t drive” philosophy.
    Too many people in our metro area drive WAY too far for the good of their waistlines, wallet, and the environment. Fifty-mile daily commutes aren’t a recipe for sanity.
    For the record, I eat my own cooking: my home is smaller than the normal Suburban Sprawl Palace but I’m only 4 miles from the office. Less gasoline, less time in traffic, more living.

  • What do you do if you’re married and you and your spouse work in completely different parts of town? What do you do if you own a home but you change jobs once every 4.4 years like an average person; seriously, you’re not going to sell your home just because you got a commute that you hadn’t previously envisioned. Houston is dynamic a multi-modal city. Household circumstances are diverse. These are things that actually happen. (To provide one particularly extreme case, 37% of workers in the Bryan-College Station area commute from a different metropolitan area. Improving connectivity between that area and especially Houston is thus a major strategic objective of Texas A&M. And it should be. They can’t just change where their jobs are, but they have a very difficult job retaining the best talent once that talent gets married.)

    And after all, regardless of where you live, you’re always a constituent of somewhere. People should have a voice and do have a voice, even if their lifestyle preferences differ from those of other constituents. I’m by no means of having transportation options for the sake of options alone. Efficiency is important. Serving constituents in legacy development is also important.

  • I agree with Cody and TheNiche. The solution isn’t to drive less. The solution is for drivers to complain less.

  • Really? MORE fricking concrete. Just wait. TxDot is probably putting the flyover in it’s never ending evil master plan to ” re-do” Houston’s roadways…