Here’s another highlight from the city council’s meeting this morning: Plans to get rid of the cloverleaf interchange that moves traffic between Waugh Dr. and Memorial Dr. got the green-light and will be sent over to the Houston Galveston Area Council as part of an application for funding. The idea first emerged in the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s 2002 Master Plan as a way to make room for more bayou-side park space at the crossroads. Right now, all the land adjacent to the ramps — shaded gray in the map above — is vacant, except for the portions lassoed by the circular roadways, where 4 isolated tree groves continue to undergo seasonal color changes. You can see they’re gone in the east-facing rendering at top included in the Partnership’s plan — replaced by inlets, islands, stormwater detention, and what looks to be a boathouse at the southeast corner of the 2 roads — all accessible from a network of new walkways that link up to existing bayou-adjacent trails.
In total, 16 new acres are expected to become part of the park — providing a continuous swath of green between Spotts Park and Cleveland Park, shown below on opposite sides of Waugh in a map from the 2002 plan:
A broader look at what’s there now:
As for the drivers who’ll still need an interchange: They’ll get one that’s something like what this diagram depicts. Formally known as a Single Point Urban Interchange, the design takes up less space than the existing loops and would allow all cars (shown in green) making left and right turns off Memorial to get onto Waugh at the same time as one another. Likewise, everybody (red) gunning for Memorial from Waugh could do so simultaneously, too. The catch: Traffic lights are what make the whole thing work.