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Texas Department of Transportation - Houston
7600 Washington Avenue
SH 249 Access Management
Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway (BW) 8 to Interstate 45 (I-45N)
The problems to be addressed are heavy congestion, connectivity, and safety issues for all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists, in the Houston metropolitan area. This 7.2 miles section of Sate Highway (SH) 249 traverses in a north-south direction from Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway (BW) 8 to Breen Drive, and in a west-east direction from Breen Drive to I-45 in Harris County. This corridor is heavily utilized, six rural and urban section corridor with a CTWLTL. It is functionally classified as a principal arterial with posted speed limits that vary from 45-50 mph and daily traffic volume ranged from 50,000 vehicle per day (vpd) in south of Antoine Drive to 62,000 vpd in south of Hollister Road in 2014. Trucks account for 12 and 6 percent of the daily traffic volume on the section from BW 8 to Breen Drive (4.1 miles) and from Breen Road to I-45 (3.1 miles), respectively. The western section of the corridor (from BW 8 to North Houston Rosslyn Road/Bammel North Houston Road in a distance of 1.8 miles) operates at Level of Service (LOS) F, while the LOS is D in the central and eastern sections (between and I-45 in a distance of 5.4 miles). During peak hours, most of intersections operate at the LOS E to F, particularly the intersection with BW 8, Bammel North Houston Road, Antoine Drive, Old Foltin Road, Veterans Memorial Drive, and I-45. From 2010 to 2012, the crash rates in the western section is over 200 crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (MVMT) and about 150 MVMT in the rest of sections, which is higher than the statewide average of 121.8 MVMT. The crash hot spots are observed at the intersections with I-45, Veterans Memorial drive, BW 8, Bammel Noth Houston Road, and Antoine Drive. There were 20 fatal crashes reported along the corridor. The corridor is a high-speed/high-volume roadway with no bicycle infrastructure and insufficient pedestrian facility. However, about 60 percent of people in the area are interested in biking but concern about the safety, according to the research conducted by Portland State University. Besides, five percent of the total households along the corridor don’t own a vehicle, leaving residents dependent on transit, walking, and bicycling for transportation. There are only few percent in length of the corridor is equipped with sidewalks. Along the study corridor, there are approximately 330 driveways on both sides of the roadway. The significant number of driveways results in increased conflict points, which impacts safety and mobility along the corridor.
1) Replace the two-way left-turn lane with 16-foot raised medians on the section with the average daily traffic exceeds 20,000 vehicles and the demand for mid-block turns is high;
2) Construct directional median openings allowing left-turns but not cross-traffic at various locations along the corridor;
3) Construct left-turn bays with raised curb at the let-turn lanes that are currently striped and at all intersections;
4) Re-time and re-optimize the traffic signals at all the 20 signalized intersections along the corridor;
5) Re-evaluate pedestrian signal parameters to ensure there is adequate time for pedestrians, particularly the elderly and those in wheelchairs to cross the road;
6) Study the placement of additional crosswalks along the corridor;
7) Convert the existing ten-foot shoulder to eight-foot shared use path on either side of the corridor in the western and the central sections, and in a portion of the eastern section, which shall be separated by a slotted curb from the travel lane;
8) Construct a five-foot sidewalk on both sides of the corridor near the intersection of SH 249 and Veterans memorial Drive continuing eastward;
9) Install street lighting for the corridor be evaluated in detail and upgraded to current safety stands where deficiencies exist;
10) Implement landscaping treatment along the corridor, including trees, bushes, and flowers;
11) Plant shade trees along the sidewalks;
12) Re-evaluate the existing advance signage for intersections to ensure that they are at a proper distance from the signal and are the appropriate size to provide adequate time for drivers to place themselves into the proper lane before reaching the intersection;
13) Conduct a study to determine if the speed limit needs to be reduced along the corridor;
14) Close three small sections of roadway, including Mount Houston Road between West Montgomery Road, Washington Drive between West Montgomery Road and SH 249, and Killough Drive between West Montgomery Road and SH 249;
15) Improve intersection, including extending left turn storage lane, adding dual left turn lane, through lane and shared through and right turn lane;
16) Widen the section between Breen Drive from SH 249 to Vogel Creek to four-lane divided facility;
17) Construct four-lane divided facility on Ella Boulevard from BW 8 to Northville Street, Deer Trail Drive from Greens Landing Drive to 1,250’ north of West Road, Fallbrook Drive from Sweetbrook Drive to Greens Crossing Boulevard, and TC Jester Boulevard from Star Peak Drive.
The primary purpose of the project is to improve SH 249 corridor mobility, address safety issues, and enhance economic development opportunities. The improvements will smooth traffic flow, improve travel times, decrease delays at traffic signals, and improve air quality, a key goal of the FHWA. The project is anticipated to not only reduce the rate of crashes but also the severity of crashes. According to the Study, the implementation of the access management brought about 60 hours of VHT savings, $3.2M in crash cost savings, and $1.0 M in annual travel time savings for the entire corridor (BW 8 from to H-45N). The report indicates that signal timing optimization reduced 86% travel time and delay and reduced number of conflicts by 9%, thereby significantly reducing intersection related crashes in the corridor. Analysis conducted at 95 percent confidence level showed that there is statistically significant decrease in all crashes. Adding crosswalks and closing the three small sections of roadway reduced conflicts by two-thirds and pedestrian crash rates by about half. Besides, signal timing optimization at intersections, constructing bike path, and implementing other intersection improvements reduced about 12 tons and 1.5 tons of NOx and VOC emissions yearly, respectively, which are ground-level ozone precursors. Minimizing these ozone precursor emissions is essential to prevent ground-level ozone forming and achieve and maintain attainment of the ozone the U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for a region. The ground-level ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and lung function failure.
Less than $100 million
(Manage) Access Management/Safety/Grade Separations
View Uploaded File: TXDOT_HOU_HGAC2018CFP.PDF
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
View Uploaded File: Map_HOU_30_AM_SH249.pdf
View Uploaded File: HOU_30_AM_SH249 Project Budget Worksheet.xlsx
View Uploaded File: HOU_30_AM_SH249 Roadway Safety Benefits Template.xlsx
View Uploaded File: HOU_30_AM_SH249 Delay Benefits Template.xlsx
View Uploaded File: HOU_30_AM_SH249 Roadway Emissions Benefits Template.xlsx
View Uploaded File:
901 - 1000
0.11 - 0.20
View Uploaded File: HOU_30_AM_SH249 Level of Time Travel Reliability LOTTR Estimation Template.xlsx
SH 249 is not a designated bike route. The need for the SH 249 study was predicated on the number of fatalities, many of which are non-motorized fatalities (bike/ped). Corridor observations showed people walking with baby strollers and bikers on the roadway shoulders. The proposed improvements will help to address these concerns. In some locations, we are proposing improved cross walks and the addition of a raised median will provide much needed pedestrian refuge in a high speed, multi-lane corridor.
SH 249 Access Management Study
Houston-Galveston Area Council