If residents have come across a section of the White Oak Bayou Greenway hike and bike trail in the northern part of the area that's been closed in recent months, it is because the city and county are attempting to create greater accessibility to the trail while increasing safety along the corridor.
City of Houston planners Brian Smith and Peter Eccles were part of a virtual meeting Tuesday night to gather feedback on two proposed detours as part of the Bayou Greenways project they said will aim to maintain connectivity and direct pedestrians and bicyclists back onto the trail.
The White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail is closed between Hollister Street and Cole Creek as the Harris County Flood Control District widens that section of bayou and updates structures in the area. One proposed detour is via North Houston Rosslyn Road, West Little York Road and T.C. Jester Boulevard, while the other would be the same except with an additional slight deviation via Victory Drive.
“Not only do we provide the same connectivity (with these detours), but we connect 9,500 additional households to the White Oak Bayou Bikeway,” Smith said.
According to a Tuesday presentation, improvements planned along the trails would include protected two-way bike lanes at traffic points. There are also intersection improvements planned along North Houston Rosslyn intersections at Gulf Bank Road and West Little York Road as well as at the intersection of West Little York and Victory Drive, along with T.C. Jester and West Little York (Detour A) or T.C. Jester and Victory Drive (Detour B).
Bikeways physically separated from traffic will be installed along North Houston Rosslyn, T.C. Jester Boulevard, West Little and/or Victory Drive.
Planners said the detour segments of North Houston Rosslyn, West Little York and T.C. Jester are on the city’s High Injury Network – which represents 60 percent of traffic deaths and serious injuries occurring on 6 percent of Houston streets – and that the planned detours can help improve safety along the route.
Smith said planners are open to discussing more potential areas of concern with regards to the Bayou Greenways Project and detours, which planners said they hope can be finished by sometime next year.
“We are planning for a short-term solution that can lead to a long-term, permanent high-comfort bikeway in the area,” the project’s webpage reads. “Improvements along the detour will address safety concerns for all modes.”
For more information on the potential detours, visit the project webpage at letstalkhouston.org/white-oak-bayou-detour.