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City of Houston -Houston Public Works
S. Main to Shepherd
Lower Westheimer roadway has failing pavement with incomplete sidewalks, damaged curbs, and does not meet current design standards. Intersections are operating at a poor level of service, with high crash rates, and lack of necessary turn lanes.
Pedestrian realm is missing segments of sidewalks and existing sidewalks are narrow and damaged, limited or no ADA compliant cross-ramps.
The corridor is Metro's highest traveled route with frequent stops. Lanes are currently too narrow and buses block adjacent lanes.
These issues were identified in the HGAC Midtown Livable Centers Study.
Problem – Pavement Condition:
The existing pavement is composed of asphalt pavement with concrete curb and gutter. The asphalt pavement is generally in fair to poor condition with numerous areas with cracking. The pavement condition index scores range between 63.34 and 80.69.
Problem – Mobility Challenges:
Narrow lane widths, inadequate traffic signals, poor pavement condition, and insufficient numbers of lanes significantly impact mobility along Westheimer Road.
Problem – Safety:
The segment of Westheimer Road between Dunlavy and Bagby has a high crash rate. This can be attributed directly to the narrow lanes and the lack of exclusive left-turn lanes. Majority of the crash experience within the study area are at the major intersections. The intersections of Westheimer at Dunlavy and Montrose with 43 and 61 crashes respectively, have relatively high intersection related crashes. The lack of defined turn lanes at the major intersections create several lane change maneuvers and most of the segment has very narrow lanes that create situation for higher side-swipe and lane change crashes. The four-lane undivided cross section with buses stopping in the right-most lane create several lane change maneuvers that increase potential conflict points in the roadway segment.
Problem – Poor Pedestrian Realm Conditions:
Sidewalks are generally in a poor condition with significant damages in some areas. In multiple locations, the pedestrian ramps are in poor condition and do not meet ADA requirements for safe utilization nor comply with City of Houston standards. The primary feedback from the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) and the public at the three public meetings was that the top priority for the Lower Westheimer corridor was improving pedestrian experience by increasing the pedestrian realm.
Improvements are consistent with those recommended in the HGAC Midtown Livable Centers Study. Improvements include the reconstruction of Westheimer Road to support use of multiple modes of transportation and improve safety along the corridor for all users. Since expanding ROW is not feasible or desirable, 3 lanes are proposed in order to expand the sidewalk width.
Intersection improvements include dedicated turn lanes, far side bus stops, and new traffic signals.
Improvements also include limiting on-street parking, and access management solutions.
The project includes construction of 8-foot minimum pedestrian realm along both sides of
the roadway. As the primary feedback from the public was improvement of the pedestrian experience, the recommended concept balances pedestrian realm improvements while maintaining acceptable vehicular and transit operations throughout the corridor.
Outcome - Improved Transit and passenger vehicle travel times
Transit signal priority at minor intersections is shown to benefit bus and passenger vehicle travel times on Westheimer as it typically adds green time to the highest volume traffic movements. The implementation would improve bus travel times by about 4% for each direction on Westheimer.
Outcome - Improved Pavement Condition
The project includes the reconstruction of the existing pavement to bring it to current City of Houston standards and to meet traffic needs, provision of adequate lane widths and configurations.
Outcome - Improved Level of Service
Year 2011 average daily traffic volume on Westheimer Road from South Shepherd Drive to Dunlavy Street is 20,900 and from Dunlavy Street to Montrose Boulevard is 13,057. The nature of Lower Westheimer and Elgin (densely developed area with close proximity between signalized intersections) dictates that the capacity of the corridor is controlled by the signalized intersections more than the segments in between major intersections.
Intersection levels of service (LOS) analyses
The results of the LOS analysis for Year 2035 traffic conditions in a “no build” determine signalized intersections operating at LOS F/D. By implementing the recommended intersection improvements, LOS projections for Year 2035 improve to C/D.
Outcome - Improved pedestrian realm and safety
A complete sidewalk network that includes continuous, well maintained, ADA-compliant sidewalks, curb ramps and safe crosswalks is a focal point of the project and was emphasized in public comments. All pedestrian realm facilities will be brought up to ADA accessibility standards including intersections.
Less than $100 million
(Expand) Roadway Added Capacity/New Construction/Complete Streets
View Uploaded File: HPW PreAp letter.pdf
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
The planning for this project included two major community meeting and three stakeholder meetings to obtain consensus and input on community needs and values. This process helped produce the results of the overall vision for the corridor project.
Reports uploaded: Pre-Engineering Report + Metro Analysis
View Uploaded File: Lower Westheimer_report_reduced2.pdf
View Uploaded File: LowerWestheimer_map.pdf
View Uploaded File: project-budget-westheimer.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Roadway-Safety-Benefits-Westheimer.xlsx
View Uploaded File: delay-benefits-westheimer.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Roadway-Emissions-Benefits-westheimer.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Regional_employment.JPG
View Uploaded File: TIP Resolution 2018-0035.pdf
Lower Westheimer is being submitted as a Complete Street project.
The proposed project examined the corridor with public/stakeholder input and aligns with the Future Vision as outlined in the Inner West Loop Study as a 'high frequency transit' corridor and a 'urban avenue'.
The project benefit factors included medians, safety lighting at intersections, pedestrian crosswalks, continuous and upgraded sidewalks, turn lanes, and defined driveways.
901 - 1000
0.01 – 0.10
View Uploaded File: lottr-estimation-template_westheimer.xlsx
The proposed project layout has been coordinated with Metro to include bus stop consolidation, far side stops at intersections, and was modeled by Metro to show a 4% increase in bus travel time (see Metro memo in pre-eng report pg 235 of pdf).
Pedestrian and bike mobility will be improved with wider sidewalks, safer pedestrian crossing at intersections and designated bicycle crossings at Woodhead, Commonwealth, and Yoakum.
City of Houston Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan
Houston-Galveston Area Council