West 11th construction is about to start

Get ready, here it comes.

City staffers are finalizing a plan to add protected bike lanes along 11th Street in the Heights and reduce the number of driving lanes, despite pushback from some residents in the area.

Crews will begin work rehabilitating 11th Street this month, with plans to start construction on the bikeway part of the project in October, said Erin Jones, spokesperson for the city’s public works department.

“The bikeway design is still being finalized to include METRO bus stop improvements/relocations,” she said.


“When Mayor Turner announced the 11th Street project would move forward after that short pause, he said something that struck me,” said Joe Cutrufo, the director of BikeHouston. “He said that, ‘we’re not building the city for where we are now, but building the city for where we are going.’ And I thought that was really well-phrased.”

Bike lanes will be added on both sides of 11th between North Shepherd Drive and Michaux Street, where there will be one vehicular lane in each direction with a center, left-turn lane along the stretch between Yale and Studewood streets. The plan also calls for bike lanes along Michaux between 11th and Stude Park to the south as well as protected crossings for pedestrians and cyclists at intersections such as 11th and Nicholson Street, where the Heights Hike-and-Bike Trail crosses 11th, and Michaux and White Oak Drive.

There now are two vehicle lanes in each direction on 11th between Shepherd and Michaux, and no center turn lanes.

The project will cost about $600,000, with funding coming from capital improvement dollars for bikeways, according to the city.

See here, here, and here for some background. I fully support this and I am excited to see what the finished project looks like. I also recognize that the construction will be inconvenient, and it will directly affect me. Like most people in this neighborhood, I regularly drive all of those named streets. The carpool we have for getting Daughter #2 to and from high school also involves taking on kid home north of Garden Oaks, for which I take Shepherd already under construction) via 11th. It’s going to suck for awhile, no two ways around it. But hey, I’ve survived more highway renovations than I can count. I will survive this, too. And in the end, the neighborhood will be a better place. Let’s do this.

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3 Responses to West 11th construction is about to start

  1. Ross says:

    Kuff, you can take Yale up to Crosstimbers to avoid the current issues on Shepherd. Yale moves well pretty much all of the time. I don’t recommend Ella, though.

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    This will be good, but the timing makes it inconvenient–the project to rebuild Shepherd and Durham has started. There is construction on Waugh and on Heights, I believe.

    Just imagine, at one time, the future was building all of these lanes of traffic. Now, the future is taking them away, making space for bicycles and pedestrians. This illustrates the illusion of progressive thought. There is not a linear progression, just cyclical changing–everything old becomes new again.

  3. Ross – Yeah, I’ve been thinking about using Yale. Even just taking it to 610 would be sufficient.

    Jason, having four lanes each way on Durham and Shepherd was way too much vehicle capacity to begin with. This is just correcting a longtime imbalance. And Waugh (I lived off Waugh for four years) never needed three lanes each way, either.

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