The driving force of a project that Uptown Houston District has proposed to the city to transform Post Oak Blvd.? Big beautiful buses. With both residential and commercial developments like Skanska’s 20-story office building popping up along the major transit corridor and METRO’s Uptown/Gold Line nowhere in sight, the District has developed a $177-million project featuring light rail-like BRT to update Post Oak — a street “that has long outlived its original use,” says John Breeding, the District’s president.
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The map above shows densely packed Uptown. The district includes 23 million sq. ft. of commercial office space, 5 million sq. ft. of retail, and more than 7,000 hotel rooms. In the next 2 years, almost 3,000 residential units will be added, says Breeding. Congestion can be so bad that even off-duty traffic cops can’t ease it. Though METRO has plans for the Uptown/Gold Line, Breeding says that that could take up to 20 years. Instead, the District sees BRT as a solution. A cross section of the new Post Oak, with bus lanes in the center of the road, might look like this:
If that reminds you of drawings METRO has done for light rail, it’s not an accident. This BRT service would work similarly, ferrying people up and down Post Oak while protected by candlestick barriers. (And, Breeding says, the street could later be adapted for rail, should that become necessary.)
The BRT system, though, is just one part of the proposed project; the District’s also working with TxDOT to build HOV access lanes to Loop 610 and U.S. 59., which the buses would take to get to and from two proposed transit centers. Breeding says Uptown is underserved by current METRO routes, as this map suggests:
A close-up of the proposed Post Oak BRT and new transit centers:
Breeding says the the Uptown District will hear back from the city about this proposal in the next month or two.
- Previously on Swamplot: Metro Buying Tiny Post Oak Parcel To Use for Uptown Line, Someday, Trimming Uptown Trees and Driveways: Where Metro Is Shopping for Land on Post Oak Blvd.
Images: Uptown Management District