February 15, 2009

Andrew continues the ongoing discussion of transit options in Houston with a look at multiway boulevards.

Basically, a multiway is an urban thoroughfare combining express through lanes in the middle with local access lanes on the sides. These local lanes are where the real magic is, they provide parking and a space for pedestrians and cyclists that is separated from the rush of traffic in the middle. They also help keep the main lanes flowing by keeping them clear of turning movements.

It's a long post, with illustrations, so click over and read. I think this is in general a good idea, and while there apparently aren't any such plans on the H-GAC drawing boards right now, I know they have been discussed before - the 100 Percent Plan from 2003 included, among other things, a call to convert roads like SH6 and FM1960 into Allen Parkway-like "super streets". While I think that has merit, it's not clear to me if there would really be the room to convert, say, Kirby Drive to this format. Cost is a big factor as well - the entire 100 Percent Plan had a massive $21 billion price tag on it back then, but I have no idea how much of that was for just this kind of project. Still, those same things could be said about any suggestions for new light rail routes, so let's just put that aside and consider it at a conceptual level. Check it out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 15, 2009 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
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