Improving mobility for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians is a community effort, according to the City of Houston’s Planning Department at Tuesday’s Heights Northside Mobility Study Meeting at the Moody Park Community Center, 3725 Fulton.
Amar Mohite and Anita Hollmann of the Planning Department presented facts from the study, which began in November 2012 and will conclude next month after the public comments conclude on May 2.
Comments can be submitted to heights-northside.org. There is also an interactive map on that site, with detailed information on the existing condition, identified needs and future vision for more than two dozen streets.
Although the study is simply a vision, and not a planned construction project, the Planning Department is partnering with the city’s Public Works & Engineering Department to address areas in needs of improvement.
The Planning Department is also working with the city’s Health Department to promote cyclist and pedestrian mobility in the city.
The city is expected to do a study specific to those two areas of mobility later this year.
One of the major areas of discussion at the meeting focused on 20th St.
Shady Acres Civic Association leaders had expressed concerns about widening the street at last month’s District C Capital Improvement Meeting, stating that it would disrupt a relatively quiet neighborhood.
Mohite made the case that it should be a major thoroughfare with improved cyclist mobility, as its the only east/west connection between the Heights and the Northside neighborhood, east of I-45.
The mobility study included no changes to Heights Blvd. Mohite said the Boulevard is fine as it is, but may need some infrastructure improvement in the future.
According to the study, 20th St. will have a future design of a four-lane corridor.
Mohite also addressed congestion in the Heights and Northside, saying that it is minimal with the exception of major intersections and near construction areas.
In a related item, the city is hosting Sunday Streets HTX to improve awareness of walking and running. White Oak/Quitman from Heights Blvd. to Fulton will be closed to motorists from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, so residents will get the opportunity to walk, run, dance or ride bicycles. The program is a partnership between several public and non-profit entities.