Recent City Press Releases Regarding Complete Streets:
Mayor Annise Parker Praises Bagby Design: A Milestone For Complete Streets
June 16, 2014 -- The reconstruction of Bagby Street in the Midtown area is receiving national, state and local recognition as a standard for future projects and as a Complete Streets initiative success story.
Almost a year after a crowd gathered for the dedication of the redesigned Bagby Street as Texas' first "green" street, organizations and professional societies that promote walkable, neighborhood-based development awarded the reinvented neighborhood with numerous awards and accolades.
The Bagby Street project is the first of four Greenroads-certified sustainable roadway projects in the City and the first in the state to accommodate the needs of all street users by providing pedestrian friendly amenities and increased access to Midtown Park and local businesses. It features the installation of gardens, walkways and benches with LED lighting along with a variety of artistic characteristics that enhance pedestrian safety in the vibrant urban neighborhood near Downtown Houston.
“The pedestrian elements of Midtown Redevelopment Authority’s Greenroads Project align beautifully with the City of Houston’s Complete Streets initiative, taking into account all users of the street, not just those in cars,” said Mayor Parker. “About 40% of Houstonians do not drive and Midtown is highly populated with pedestrians who both live and work nearby.”
The Bagby Street Reconstruction Project was vetted by members of the community, including neighborhood groups, management districts and others stakeholders interested in walkable urban projects. As a major collector street in a dense urban area whose poor conditions were evident throughout, today, the Bagby design serves to reinforce the importance of reimagining our approach to streets, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, public transit, bike trails and lanes. Street crossing distances were reduced by 45%, increasing pedestrian traffic by 200% while maintaining the vehicle level of service.
The Bagby Street project has received the following awards and recognitions:
- 2014 Public Works Projects of the Year, The Texas Chapter of the American Public Works Association
- 2014 Best Street of the Year, Congress for the New Urbanism
- 2014 Presidential Award of Excellence in Design and Implementation and Merit Award for Communication, The American Society of Landscape Architects-Texas
- 2014 Engineering Excellence Honor Award, American Council of Engineering Companies
- 2014 Engineering Excellence Gold Award in Special Projects, American Council of Engineering Companies-Texas
- 2014 Active Mobility/Complete Streets Award, International Making Cities Livable organization
The City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department, Public Works and Engineering Department and METRO remain committed to the pedestrian-friendly, sustainable design elements of the Mayor’s Complete Streets and Transportation Plan, which seek to provide a balance of vehicular mobility, pedestrian and biking mobility and roadside parking.
The Complete Streets policy will be achieved over time as improvements to existing roadways and redevelopment occur.
October 10, 2013 -- At the site of Texas' first certified GreenRoads projects in Midtown, Mayor Annise Parker today unveiled a transformative new approach for Houston streets that will accommodate the needs of all users, not just those behind the wheel. The mayor’s Complete Streets and Transportation Plan is meant to provide safe, accessible and convenient use by motorists, public transit riders, pedestrians, people of all abilities and bicyclists. The new policy, detailed in a draft executive order from the mayor, will be achieved over time as improvements to existing roadways and redevelopment occur.
“This executive order is a major first step forward,” said Mayor Parker. “Many groups have worked hard to get us to this point, including The Complete Streets Coalition, Scenic Houston, AARP and BikeHouston. I am thankful for their input and steadfast commitment. Houston is a city that embraces its diversity. This Complete Streets policy applies the same approach to our mobility system by meeting the diverse needs of all Houstonians while also creating more accessible and attractive connections to residential areas, parks, businesses, restaurants, schools and employment centers.
The Complete Streets and Transportation Plan recognizes that all streets are different. The function of the road, current and projected adjacent land use and travel demands, availability of right-of-way, community input and the level of vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic must all be considered in decisions regarding enhancements. The ultimate goal, where appropriate, is walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods with amenities such as trees and landscaping, public art and street furniture.
“As we work to build a healthier community, it is more important than ever to reimagine our approach to streets, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, public transit, bike trails and lanes,” said Mayor Parker.
Mayor Parker intends to sign the executive order following a City Council briefing on the plan. Houston is joining other cities that are already utilizing a Complete Streets approach including Chicago, Baltimore, San Antonio, San Diego, Sacramento, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and New Orleans as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation and numerous state transportation agencies.
The Plan will build upon and utilize tools such as the city’s Mobility Planning already underway. It will create new definitions found in the city’s Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan Policy Statement and the Infrastructure Design Manual. The city’s Rebuild Houston program will also ensure that all future roadway construction utilizes the principals contained in the mayor’s Complete Streets Executive Order.
The City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department, Public Works and Engineering Department and METRO will be responsible for administration of the plan. There will be annual reporting to City Council to ensure transparency and accountability.
Houston’s transportation infrastructure spans 640 square miles and consists of 6,000 center lane miles of streets, 1,100,000 traffic signs, 2,450 signalized LED intersections, 1,600 school zone flashers, 180,000 streetlights and 1,800 freeway lights.