Sedated Allen Pkwy. Double-Crossed by Crosswalk to New Buffalo Bayou Park Parking

Crossing at Gillette St. and Allen Pkwy., Fourth Ward, Houston, 77019

Courtesy of a stripe-skeptical reader, here’s a partial walkthrough tour of the new parking scheme along Allen Pkwy. west of Downtown — these days looking a lot more like the flyover videos released of the planned changes last year. Those changes, including a lower speed limit for the rest of the roadway and and some strategic tree deployment, are intended to make the pseudo-highway into a “more urban environment” and to slow traffic down to next-to-a-park speeds. Also included in the deal: a series of crosswalks, like the over-then-over-again setup now striped into place at Gillette St. (seen above posing with the Federal Reserve Bank building, with the former city garbage incinerator site out of the frame to the left).

The new setup divvies up much of the turf formerly occupied by Allen Pkwy.’s westbound traffic lane into angled spaces — some almost long enough to “put 2 normal sized cars in each spot,” the reader claims:


Allen Pkwy. Parking Redo, 77019

That extra length leaves bikers and other potential trunk-unloaders some wiggle room between their car and any oncoming traffic: 

Allen Pkwy. Parking Redo, 77019

The parking spaces-space tapers in and out with fresh yellow stripes:

Allen Pkwy. Parking Redo, 77019

Allen Pkwy. Parking Redo, 77019

Houston Downtown Redevelopment Authority director Lonnie Hoogeboom told Dug Begley back in March that the project, which was originally scheduled to wrap up in May, had hit some snags related to unexpected ground conditions (even before all the flooding that followed on and after Tax Day).

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Stripe Scrutiny

6 Comment

  • I really like these changes to the park. This is an area that needed pedestrian access and there appears to be ample parking along the park. Interested to see the detail behind the mixed use facility going up along the south side of the parkway. Some street frontage retail/restaurants could really enhance this area.

  • A big improvement, to be sure, but the super annoying part is both new crossings at Dunlavy and Taft have only one crosswalk. You’re forced to walk over to the other side of Dunlavy or Taft to cross Allen Parkway. Why was it out of the question to paint a couple more stripes and cut out a couple more sidewalk ramps?

  • Walter P. Moore engineers have served up yet another out of context design from their 1960’s time capsules.

    The design firm apparently believes that there’s no such thing as too much pavement. Perhaps to help our suburban visitors feel at home, as soon as you enter the park area, you are greeted by a huge splotch of yellow striped pavement (why leave park area unpaved?).

    The designers are apparently impervious to the lessons learned in other cities. Why did they sped head in parking, missing an opportunity to have bikers unload their gear into a safe area?

    No one will argue that Allen Parkway is improved, but you gotta wish these guys and gals would do a better job with all the public money flowing through management districts (these quasi-improvements were paid for by the good people of downtown Houston).

  • much better than playing “Frogger” ….

  • I’m excited to see these improvements and hoping to see a restoration to the dog park soon. Maybe with materials that can withstand a flood. In the burbs near Friendswood there is a park/trail built into a retention pond with warning signs that it will/can flood so use common sense. probably a smart plan for a park built off a bayou… maybe the larger scale makes $ an issue?

    @WR earlier this year we took dogs out to the trail and that is no joke. As a human dodging incoming traffic from both ends was challenging enough. Hope drivers honor that lowered speed limit.

  • Skelly, the city kept the existing curbs so they wouldn’t have to rebuild the storm drains. That’s why you get stripey yellow areas instead of grass – because a bulb-out changes the drainage, which means new storm sewer, which means your cost goes up, up, up!