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Beyond the Bayous Project Manager
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Houston Parks and Recreation Department
2999 South Wayside Drive
Houston Parks Board
Little White Oak Bayou Regional Greenway
Little White Oak Bayou running generally along I-45 North
From Little White Oak Bayous confluence with White Oak Bayou in Woodland Park along the length of Little White Oak Bayou north to Halls Bayou.
Through grants from the Houston Endowment, the Houston Parks Board (HPB), in coordination with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD), has conducted studies to expand the success of Bayou Greenways 2020 (BG2020) to further connect Houstonians to parks, schools, jobs and each other. Beyond the Bayous identifies a new Regional Connector Network of Greenways to link the Bayou Greenways. This broader system of greenways can serve as the framework for active transportation projects under H-GAC’s 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. The Little White Oak Regional Connector Greenway is part of this broader effort to improve regional connectivity by providing a system of connected greenways.
On a regional scale, Little White Oak Regional Connector aims to address the lack of north-south pedestrian connections within this corridor of Houston. It represents a major opportunity to enhance regional connectivity and increase accessibility in the surrounding low-income neighborhoods. These neighborhoods lack the pedestrian infrastructure to reach transit, jobs, education and recreation. Two of these neighborhoods, Acres Home and Near Northside, were included in Mayor Sylvester Turner’s “Complete Communities” pilot program.
Interstate 45 runs parallel with Little White Oak Bayou for much of its length through Near Northside and Independence Heights. The highway limits pedestrian and bicycle connectivity both locally and regionally. Access to key services such as grocery stores, schools, transit, and employment is unsafe and severely limited by at-grade highway infrastructure and large, often poorly marked, overpass intersections.
Beyond connectivity impacts, the highway also contributes negative environmental impacts to the adjacent neighborhoods. These include flooding, air pollution and noise pollution. The proposed expansion of Interstate 45 will compound these existing problems. This Little White Oak Bayou Greenway Transportation Improvement Project application is for the trail system. However, it is part of a larger project that aims to provide linear parks and detention to mitigate the highway’s negative environmental impacts.
In addressing ped-bike regional connectivity, the project also aims to improve safety and accessibility. With the success of BG2020, more Houstonians than ever are walking and biking throughout the region. In much of Houston, the appropriate safe pedestrian infrastructure is not available, and dangerous pedestrian and vehicle conflicts result. Providing separated, ADA compliant pathways address these safety and accessibility concerns.
Additionally, Houstonians are still heavily reliant on cars for transportation. By improving the alternative transportation network, the project will also provide environmental and economic benefits.
The project will be coordinated with the proposed expansion of I-45 and Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) work along Little White Oak Bayou to create an off-street greenway. At a minimum, this greenway will have a 10’ wide shared-use concrete trail with wayfinding. Where the greenway cross roadways, signed and signalized crossings will be provided for safety.
The project will start at the confluence of Little White Oak and White Oak Bayous near Downtown Houston. It will run north through Woodland Heights, Near Northside, Independence Heights, and Acres Homes to connect to Halls Bayou.
The trail is proposed as part of a Little White Oak Bayou reconstruction project. This would return the bayou to a natural channel with a wider floodplain, thereby reducing flood risk to adjacent homes and businesses. This flood control corridor will partially use land acquired by TxDOT for the North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP). HPB has urged that project to daylight the bayou and allow the greenway to cross under the highway.
This project will add almost 12 miles of greenway to the Regional Connector Network.
The proposed trail increases regional connectivity by linking to two existing Bayou Greenways (White Oak and Halls Bayou Greenways) and the two transit centers (Northline and North Shepherd). It provides pedestrian access across both natural and manmade barriers using existing underpasses and proposed bridges.
Safety and connectivity are addressed by providing wayfinding, signage, lighting and design improvements to both existing and proposed intersections where the 10’ ADA trail crosses roadways. Although the proposed project includes only the trail and associated improvements, the larger project will help to offset the environmental impacts of the planned I-45 expansion.
The project also realizes a portion of the Near Northside Open Space and Connectivity Study (2018), conducted by Houston Parks Board. The neighborhood-specific study demonstrated the impact of the I-45 expansion on the surrounding communities and provided an alternative vision for the highway corridor.
I Don't Know
Less than $100 million
View Uploaded File: _Little White Oak Support Letters Binder.pdf
Environmental Assessment (EA)
View Uploaded File: Final executed HCFCD-HPB Maintenace Agreement 12-18-13.pdf
View Uploaded File: LWO Shape Files and Maps.zip
View Uploaded File: LWOB Regional Greenway-project-budget-worksheet.xlsx
View Uploaded File: LWOB Greenway - Safety.zip
View Uploaded File: LWOB Greenway - Delay.zip
View Uploaded File: LWOB Greenway - Emissions.zip
View Uploaded File: HPB-HPARD ALT CBA calculations.zip
View Uploaded File: LWOB Regional Greenway - Planning Factors.pdf
The project is estimated to provide air quality improvements of 15.13 NOx tons/year
The project is estimated to provide air quality improvements of 3.7 VOC tons/year
901 - 1000
The Houston Bike Plan, HPB Beyond the Bayous, HPB Acres Home and Near Northside Open Space and Connectivity Studies, Complete Communities Acres Home and Near Northside Action Plans
http://houstonbikeplan.org/documents/; https://houstonparksboard.box.com/s/2pbf5fxnpro5uivlabxdzn6044ekrx0d; https://houstonparksboard.box.com/s/yi6o10qtsusao2lujt86vbkosqcsb9hn; https://houstonparksboard.box.com/s/5s3zy7cnl9t9robbluw42cp2k5ir13od; https://www.houstontx.gov/completecommunities/docs_pdfs/AH/acres-home-cc-action-plan.pdf; https://www.houstontx.gov/completecommunities/docs_pdfs/NN/near-northside-cc-action-plan.pdf
Houston-Galveston Area Council