Houston’s roadway overlords have begun eyeballing a proposal to swap out 11th St.’s current 4-lane setup between T.C. Jester and Pecore St. for a 3-lane configuration instead, consisting of one lane in each direction plus a center turning lane. The plan, says the city, would help to calm down residents who’ve been particularly frustrated trying to turn off 11th St. “at key intersections, such as Nicholson Street and Heights Boulevard.” It’d also give walkers and bikers less to look out for on their way across the street. And it paves the way for new landscaped barriers to run between the east and westbound sides of the road, offering pedestrians even more protection from oncoming automobiles.
Got an opinion about it? The city will be all ears at the Heights Fire Station at 12th St. and Yale next Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30pm. There, officials plan to lay out their case for the changes and field some questions from the audience on the proposal.
- 11th St. [Houston Bike Plan]
This is smart anytime you can do it. The only time a 2+2 lane configuration makes more sense than 1+1+1 is when it’s a high-speed thoroughfare with very few intersections. In a dense city grid, 1+1+1 is nearly always better. The traffic capacity ends up being very similar (because people aren’t stopping and blocking the driving lanes), while the convenience and safety increase substantially for not just pedestrians and cyclists, but also drivers.
Now the city needs to do the same thing to other similar streets like Westheimer and Washington.
I will bring a bucket of popcorn to this meeting. The anti-bikers (kind of like antivaxxers) are all lathered up about this proposal. I am sure the following will be spouted at the meeting:
(in the voice of grandpa Simpson)
“The bikers don’t obey traffic sssiiiggnnss!!!”
“If I have to wait at an extra stop light, I might miss Maaatloooockkk!!”
“They should be widening 11th st. It is too narrow and I keep hitting the curb with my 1998 Lincoln Continental.”
“The traffic will back up for miles and will be griiiidd looooccckk on 11th st.”
“I heard that Nicholas Maduro likes bike laaaaneess.”
I’d go one further and say any multiple lane street without a median should have a dedicated turn lane at all times….Looking at you W. Alabama.
I definitely get it – but man, it seems like a Yale conversion should be prioritized for the neighborhood. . .
Aaarrgh, unless there are radical changes at the 11th and TC Jester intersection – there will be major queuing due to waiting on the car ahead to go straight vs. right turn on red.
Old School – no one in the Timbergrove neighborhoods watch Matlock – they’ve sold their 50’s abodes as teardowns – for very lucrative $$ to millennials – that now are building McMansions.
Another good intentioned, but bad idea for this key roadway. First they put “20 mph” speed humps on Pecore, which is still a 30 mph road (and drivers slow down to 10 mph to go over). Now they want to decrease 11th to one lane each way so the buses can bring traffic to a stop more so than they already do. Doubt their redesign will shift metro’s bus route or add bus bays to avoid blocking traffic. If not, be ready for drivers to use the turn lane to speed around busses. As far as pedestrian crossings go, they should just add pedestrian overhead crossings where the poorly implemented crosswalks are.
Somebody should remind the city that that section of 11th is a metro bus corridor. The 30 Ella runs either every 30 mins or every hour depending on the time of day. I’m thinking they haven’t thought of a bus making multiple stops on a 2 lane main artery in the Heights during rush hour. That could temporarily bog down traffic for a few hours everyday. Js
This proposal makes sense to me from Nicholson east to Main, but I don’t see much upside making the change in the Shepherd to TC Jester stretch.
Makes complete sense, lives on a very similiar street in NOLA and smart citizens changed to 1.1.1 and traffic was far less. It’s a win win. Plus asthetics of the area went right up, vibe feels less congested, landscaped barriers a win. Round 2 let’s go.
There are some major issues with the proposal. It would eliminate on street parking on Pecore, where nearly all of the houses have narrow driveways, and have to put at least one car on the street to let other cars out, and that gets worse if there’s a garage apartment.
The median with trees on 11th between TC Jester and Durham would be ripped out to make way for the center turn lane.
The median between Durham and Shepherd would be torn out, making access to Kroger from there more difficult.
The traffic in the evenings often backs up to halfway between Durham and TC Jester in both directions.
11th is the only real East/West thoroughfare between Hempstead and Pecore, with no real alternatives.
11th is a bus route, so traffic will back up when buses pull into stops.
There’s no room between Northbound and Southbound Heights to fit all of the cars turning left from 11th in either direction, backing up traffic worse than it is now.
I vote no on this one.
can they at least fix the road to Ella if the are repaving. I know there is an esplanade there from TC J to ella, but man it is bumpy these days!
As long as they don’t make it reversible ala Studewood.. WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT A REVERSIBLE LANE IS? So many times a day people think they can turn in the middle when it has changed to a driving lane.
if they are worried about the safety of people crossing 11th at Nicholson for the hike/bike trail, what about building a pedestrian underpass there. Examples of these abound in The Woodlands and KIngwood, where the trails cross under major parkways. Probably much cheaper than redesigning miles of street.
Between TC Jester and Durham, there are mature trees in the center of the road. I hope they don’t tear those down for this.
I live on 11th (Pecore). I don’t see how it can be widened to three lanes without eliminating all the on-street parking. Problematic.
Needs to happen. a lot of people I know are thinking about raising their kids in the Heights. need to make the streets safer. 11th street needs to be a neighborhood street, not an expressway.
anyone against this is short sighted and selfish.
the city also needs to re-surface Shepherd/Durham. Heard a rumor they were taking it to three lanes on both sides. would do wonders for the safety of the area.
I like the idea but am concerned that impatient people (most of Houston) will start using 9th, 10th, 12th and 13th at unsafe speeds and traffic volumes. I think this will just push the problem from 11th to residential streets. We already have a big problem of people trying to avoid the light at 11th and Yale. They cut through at Allston or Rutland going too fast.
Joel – agreed. I still cannot understand why Yale at the I-10 feeder road does not have a right turn lane for easier access to I-10. One car going straight can hold up the 5 to 15 cars behind them with their blinkers on.
I agree with everything Christian writes. Hopefully this serves as a pilot for looking at similar 4-to-3 conversions in other corridors that have (or we’d like to have) increased pedestrian activity: Yale, 19th/20th, N. Main, etc. Works great on Studewood.
That said, there will always be people that feel threatened any time we try to take space dedicated to automobile use and re-allocate it for use by people.
Dang Old School! You’ve been getting really salty over the past few months. You’re on the cusp of “surly”.
“anti bikers”? I bike myself and for the most part drivers behave themselves and I just try to figure out who might be distracted. I’ve never heard of that lobby but who knows?
maduro likes bike lanes – ha! thats a winner!!
Yeah the Timbergrove Facebook Group already loves this proposal (/sarcasm).