A couple of simulated fly-overs of a portion of a revamped Allen Pkwy., put together by consulting engineering firm Walter P Moore, show how the signature River Oaks-to-Downtown sorta-highway will look after a park-centered makeover is completed next summer. The projected $10 million redo partially answers the question popping up in many people’s minds after seeing all the new trails and structures and amenities and dogs going in along the bayou it lines: How are car-bound Houstonians supposed to get to the new Buffalo Bayou Park?
Part of the answer, of course, is by using 175 new angled parking spaces, most of them lining a new separate parking access lane lining the north side of Allen Pkwy. between Rochow St. and Eleanor Tinsley Park. As the video above (showing the journey eastbound from Montrose Blvd. to Park Vista Dr.) indicates, if you’re headed into Downtown, you’ll need to turn around and head in the opposite direction somewhere to park in one of them. Here’s a video view of the journey westward from Park Vista (across from Eleanor Tinsley Park) back to Montrose Blvd., along which the spots are angled for easy entry:
The new roadway will be slower; in addition to a speed limit that’ll be lowered from the current 40mph to a likely 35mph, new traffic signals at Dunlavy,
will allow the coming hordes of Montrose pedestrians to wander into the new park on their northern border; a pedestrians-only crossing will also go in across from Eleanor Tinsley Park, shown at the far eastern end of the sequence shown in the videos:
A traffic analysis suggests all the changes will add about a minute to travel times along the path of the reconstructed section, highlighted here:
Except for the removal of the existing 3-lane frontage road on the south side of Allen Pkwy. (and its replacement with a single one-way lane and all the angled parking on the north), the redo won’t take away any travel lanes — there will still be 3 on each side.
Here’s what the Waugh Dr. bridge crossing will look like:
The roadway is expected to remain open during construction, which will begin in July and finish the following May.
- Allen Parkway Improvements (PDF) [Downtown Redevelopment Authority]
- Allen Parkway Improvements Responses to Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) [Downtown Redevelopment Authority]
- Changes aim to put the ‘park’ back in Allen Parkway [Houston Chronicle]
- View Along Future Allen Parkway, Eastbound & Westbound [YouTube, via Walter P Moore]
Videos: Walter P Moore. Renderings: Downtown Redevelopment Authority