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Houston Parks and Recreation Department, City of Houston
2999 South Wayside
Uptown Development Authority
Richmond to San Felipe Path (Connected to Previously TIP Funded Path)
San Felipe Street to Richmond Avenue (approximately 1 mile)
In 2015, a coalition led by Uptown Houston and the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department were successful in obtaining TIP funding to construct a shared use path (SUP) from Memorial/Woodway Drive to San Felipe within the existing CenterPoint Transmission Corridor. This funded project (currently in design) begins a southern connection into Memorial Park with the potential to lead to enhanced connections to Uptown, the Heights Hike and Bike Trail, the White Oak Bayou Trail System, the Buffalo Bayou Trail system and further south towards Bray’s Bayou.
This application proposes to extend the connectivity of the previously funded project by extending a SUP from San Felipe south to Richmond Avenue. This will be done on a linear strip of property owned by CenterPoint Energy (CPE), which includes an underlying Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) easement. This will build upon a previously funded project and allow for access and connectivity to a larger component of the River Oaks/Upper Kirby /Afton Oaks community. On a broader scale, this extension is a critical piece of a larger “Big Loop” multi-use path / trail system that provides connectivity to an envisioned 30-mile network that connects the Buffalo Bayou trail system, Downtown Houston, Eado, Bray’s Bayou, and several connecting trails that radiate across the region. This project works synergistically with the other two Memorial Park-related SUP projects being submitted by HPARD as a component of this Call for Projects.
What makes this project particularly exciting is the continued march south towards Bray’s Bayou. This connection is a critical component of the “holy grail” western green belt that has been reviewed by shared use path connection advocates for several years.
The key problems that this project solves are as follows:
• Without this connection, a path towards Bray’s Bayou cannot be created;
• Dedicated north/south alternative mode connections do note exist in this area;
• Failure to extend the current project under development (north of San Felipe) would b ea missed opportunity; and
• This north/south connection, when fully realized, will fulfill a currently unrealized southern entry point into Memorial Park from the Upper Kirby/Greenway Plaza/River Oaks area.
Finally, this project will accommodate a multi-modal link to Uptown and Memorial Park, which can be achieved through a combination of public transportation (utilizing the adjacent METRO network), bicycle, and pedestrian access.
An interactive map that depicts this SUP (as well as other Uptown submissions) in relationship to the Big Loop concept is available here:
The SUP being applied for under this application is entitled Segment 3 within the web link above.
The proposed project is approximately 5,150 linear feet and has the following scope:
This linear path will be aligned within CPE ROW, just adjacent to UPRR ROW, and within the easement held by HCFCD. All three entities have agreed to the location of the proposed project but will require review by CPE to concur with the proposed alignment and review by HCFCD to ensure maintenance of a positive drainage slope. No review by UPRR is necessary as the project alignment is outside of their property line.
The 10’ wide, AASHTO compliant SUP will extend south from San Felipe to Richmond, where it will connect with the existing lot owned and maintained by CPE. The most challenging components of this project are the crossings at Westheimer and San Felipe. Elevated crossings cannot occur due to height restrictions related to the CPE lines and mid-block crossings may be difficult due to the high traffic counts along both streets as well as the adjacent UPRR crossings. A detailed design concept process will have to occur through final design in order to find a linear solution, but, an interim acceptable solution will be to utilize existing signalized crossings just adjacent to the trail alignment. These crossings are located at Mid Lane and Westheimer and Briarglen Drive and San Felipe. The project budget includes approximately $230,000 as a contingency to accommodate the uncertainty at each intersection.
Note that this project does not include a significant landscape component.
The alignment was studied for several months and various options within the CPE corridor were evaluated, both to the east and to the west of the current option. It was determined that the current location was optimal due to its relationship to the overhead CPE infrastructure, the ability to secure an easement/license agreement with UPRR, and safety.
Shared use overpasses were considered at the major road crossings but were determined to be infeasible.
Alternative alignments (Mid Lane) were considered but rejected due to neighborhood characteristics and lack of rights-of-way.
The purpose of this project is well aligned with the draft goals and objectives of the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan:
• This project will leverage and extend previous regional investments by providing connectivity to alternative mode improvements previously funded by federal, state, and local governments.
• Improves safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other alternative mode users by providing a safe multimodal connection into regional activity centers and regional multimodal thoroughfares.
• There is currently no pedestrian/bicycle corridor that facilitates access into Memorial Park from the south; in essence, through creating a connection, this project eliminates a barrier.
• This project is anticipated to generate between 195 new daily pedestrian users and 127 new daily bicycle users. The implementation of this project will enable those new users to choose an alternative mode of transportation, rather than the single occupancy motor vehicle.
• Provides transit access via connectivity to high frequency METRO corridors such as Richmond Avenue, Westheimer Road, and through other planned projects, the Northwest Transit Center and the Uptown Bus Rapid Transit System. Ultimately connectivity to the entire METRO park and ride and fixed route network is achieved.
• Expands the multimodal network capacity by creating new alternative mode thoroughfares which directly and indirectly connect to major regional activity centers (Uptown, Memorial Park, White Oak Bayou Trail, Heights Trail, Buffalo Bayou Trail, Downtown Houston, etc.) This will improve multimodal Level of Service (LOS) and free up capacity along existing motor vehicle thoroughfares through trip conversion.
• Provides an estimated $26.1M economic benefit through the introduction of SUPs, which have been shown to provide an increase in adjacent property values.
• Serves to conserve and protect natural and cultural resources by providing a convenient and safe connection to and from Memorial Park, which will allow for visitors to educate themselves on the natural amenities housed within Memorial Park.
Less than $100 million
View Uploaded File: UPT Richmond to San Felipe Resolution and Funding Commitment.zip
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
( C ) 2 - Acquisition, construction, maintenance, rehabilitation, and improvement or limited expansion of stand-alone recreation, pedestrian, or bicycle facilities, such as: a multiuse pathway, lane, trail, or pedestrian bridge; and transit plaza amenities.
View Uploaded File: 18_Richmond to San Felipe_Concurrence and Coordination.pdf
View Uploaded File: 5_RichmondtoSF Schedule.xlsx
• A coordination meeting with TxDOT occurred on April 24, 2018. Furthermore, environmental documentation and a letter of no prejudice request (LONP) are being developed and coordination with the FTA is on-going regarding this project. This project is intended to be an FTA transfer in order to streamline and expedite implementation. TxDOT has indicated a desire to manage and let the pedestrian bridge component spanning I-10. If this is the case, funds associated with that component of the project can be channeled directly through TxDOT with the remainder of the funding being transferred to FTA.
• Note that categorical exclusion documentation is currently being developed for submission and approval by FTA. The documentation is complete and is pending 4F sign off prior to submission to FTA for review.
• The 30% design is predominantly complete. The City of Houston (COH) does not typically require a formal process for off-street projects, but if a formal technical review committee process is initiated, the formalization of the work completed would take approximately 90 days.
• The development of these projects have involved coordination with TxDOT, the Memorial Park Conservancy, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Harris County, CPE, COH Public Works and Engineering, and COH General Services Department. Additionally, parks projects are reviewed at monthly meetings of the Uptown Management District and Uptown Development Authority. These meetings are open and advertised to the general public, with an invitation for feedback and written comments. Information regarding agendas and supporting material for these meetings are available within the links provided below.
• Additionally, a public meeting regarding this project was held at St. Theresa’s Church on July 9, 2018. Information regarding this public meeting is attached to this grant application.
• This project connects to the southern terminus of the previously funded TIP project “Memorial to San Felipe Hike & Bike Connection.”
• This project connects to other SUP projects submitted via this TIP Call for Projects. These are:
o Uptown / Memorial Park Connector Path and Bridge
o Northwest Transit Center/Memorial Park/Heights Shared-Use Path
• Coordination meetings, discussions, e-mails, and phone calls have occurred with:
o Memorial Park Conservancy
o Houston Parks Department
o City of Houston PWE / Planning / Parks
o Interested members of the public
o Welcome Wilson Group
o Houston Arboretum
o Silver Eagle Distributors
o Harris County Flood Control District
o CenterPoint Energy
o Houston METRO
• A license agreement with CPE will be required. The license agreement is a templated document that has been standardized by CPE and several other regional partner agencies. This agreement can be executed near final design when survey has been completed and CPE can denote the full and exact alignment.
• Genesis of project is Memorial Park Master Plan (2015)
• Additional project development work completed as part of the development of Uptown’s 10 Year CIP Planning Process (2017)
• Culminated in 30% design process (2017-2018)
• Project is currently being developed as an LONP which will further the readiness of the project. This process will complete the following:
o Place the project in the TIP and STIP as locally funded. - COMPLETED
o Complete and codify the NEPA process. – NEARLY COMPLETED
o Expedite the grant execution process should the project be funded.
o Allow project development activities to continue under federal protection for reimbursement should funding be made available through this opportunity.
• The estimated year of implementation of FY24 is due to the availability of local funding. Existing commitments prevent funds from being allocated much earlier than that time. However, if funded, the sponsor will work to make funds available as early as possible to minimize cost increases due to inflation and other future unknowns.
View Uploaded File: UPT San Felipe TIP Readiness Materials.zip
View Uploaded File: UPT San Felipe MPK map.zip
View Uploaded File: 4_Richmond to SF Budget Worksheet.xlsx
View Uploaded File: San Felipe Trail_Transit-Active-Transportation-Safety-Benefits.zip
View Uploaded File: San Felipe Trail_delay-benefits.zip
View Uploaded File: San Felipe Trail_Active-Transportation-Emissions-Benefits.zip
View Uploaded File: San Felipe Trail Supporting files.zip
View Uploaded File: San Felipe Trail Supplemental Econ Benefit.zip
The facility contains accommodations for both bicyclists and pedestrians. There are different users and trip lengths for bicyclists and pedestrians; thus 2 sets of sheets are submitted for each category.
901 - 1000
The project is in the Houston Bike Plan, the Memorial Park Master Plan (2015) and was adopted in the H-GAC Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in October 2017. The MPO ID is 13200. The development of these projects have also involved coordination with TxDOT, the Memorial Park Conservancy, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Harris County, CPE, COH Public Works and Engineering, and COH General Services Department. Additionally, parks projects are reviewed at monthly meetings of the Uptown Management District and Uptown Development Authority.
Houston Bike Plan: http://tei-houston.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=0d493ce6ec01481b82cec71bf7f67374 The Memorial Park Master Plan (2015): https://issuu.com/memorialparkhouston/docs/mph_mpbook_final_small_webversion_a_c7f9e7eed3d03c H-GAC Transportation Improvement Program (MPO ID 13200): http://www.h-gac.com/taq/tip/docs/2019-2022/000--2019-2022-TIP-Full-Document.pdf Planning Coordination: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/midowwlbrdknmp7/AAC5my8OtZGYvMX_3CDL8o5Ka?dl=0
Houston-Galveston Area Council