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Spring Branch Management District
Director of Services
9610 Long Point Rd, Ste. 100
Spring Branch Management District - CenterPoint Trail Regional Connector
CenterPoint Easement in between and parallel to Hammerly Blvd & Kempwood Dr.
Beltway 8 to Wirt Road
The SBMD is seeking federal funding to implement 4.7 miles of a trail extension, totaling 5.4 miles of continuous trail through Spring Branch. The primary problems to be addressed by the Spring Branch Management District– CenterPoint Trail Regional Connector are lack of safe, comfortable, off-street places to walk and bike within Spring Branch specifically for students going to/from school, people who do not own a car (6.8% of pop.), and people utilizing transit as their primary means of transportation (3.2% of pop.). The trail has the potential to provide safe walking/biking access serving 19 area-wide schools, dozens of neighborhoods, first mile/last mile connections for people using METRO’s 46 Gessner bus route, and an off-street location for the community to be active outdoors.
Spring Branch sits in a gap within the expanding Bayou Greenways network, with White Oak Bayou outside the district to the east and Buffalo Bayou to the south. The only off-street path within Spring Branch’s 44 square miles is a 0.7-mile trail, Harris County Precinct 4’s Emnora Hike & Bike Trail within a CenterPoint easement that begins at Gessner Road near Hillendahl Neighborhood Library and ends at Spring Branch ISD’s Northbrook High School. The existing trail could potentially expand west along the easement to the Addicks Reservoir and east to White Oak Bayou. Once the initial 4.7 mile extension is implemented, it is hopeful the trail will be extended beyond the limits proposed here (Attachment 1).
The trail extension will serve multiple destinations, most importantly schools ranging from early childhood education facilities through high school. On map (Attachment 1) a 0.25-mile and 0.5-mile buffer around Spring Branch area schools show that there are 19 local schools that could benefit from the expanded trail. Twelve of the 19 schools are within a 0.25-mile buffer, a comfortable walking distance for most people. If implemented, the trail would provide at least eight schools direct access with clear entry points along the trail. It would also provide direct access to Stuart Park, local neighborhoods, a Fiesta grocery, a Kroger grocery, a public library, a US Postal Service, places of worship, restaurants, and retail locations.
The SBMD has performed two recent plans and studies within the district that support this regional trail including the “Reimagine Spring Branch: Spring Branch Management District Comprehensive Plan” (2015), and the “Reimagine Long Point Livable Centers Study” (2018), an H-GAC Livable Centers study. This trail was identified as a priority project for the district in both efforts with extensive public support.
Houston Parks Board’s “Beyond the Bayous” effort has also identified this same corridor as a regional connector project called “North Side” on their map from the Addicks Reservoir beyond White Oak Bayou. Spring Branch Management District is coordinating closely with the Houston Parks Board towards implementing this regional connection.
The proposed trail improvements will include constructing 4.7 miles of minimum ten-foot wide shared use concrete trail from Beltway 8, connecting to the existing Emnora Hike and Bike Trail at Gessner Road, and continuing east of Northbrook High school to terminate near Wirt Road near a Fiesta grocery store. The existing trail provides direct access to Northbrook high School. The proposed trail alignment will cross five City of Houston streets where signage and mid-block crossings would be provided in coordination with the City of Houston. The trail crossing at Gessner (a major thoroughfare) is the only crossing that requires redirection to the nearest signalized intersection, at Emnora Ln. with improved crosswalks and pedestrian signal priority due to its proximity to that existing intersection. The other four City of Houston roadway crossings (Attachment 1) are mid-block. Gessner, Blalock and Bingle are City of Houston major thoroughfares and Campbell and Hollister are major collectors. Safe crossing improvements are included as a part of this TIP application including crosswalk striping, signalization, accessible ramps, signage, and wayfinding features. At least nine key neighborhood access points are also included in the proposed trail improvements that provide a trailhead location for neighborhoods, schools, parks, and other points of interest within the trail corridor.
This trail project effort has been and will be coordinated with the Houston Parks Board, the City of Houston, Spring Branch ISD, and Harris County Precinct 4. The Houston Parks Board, in coordination with the City of Houston, has a master lease agreement with CenterPoint to be able to construct and maintain trails within CenterPoint easement property. The Houston Parks Board has initiated this agreement to begin work on the Spring Branch potential trail segments. The SBMD with Houston Parks Board coordination will provide all necessary paperwork and legal agreements to H-GAC upon request.
Additionally, the larger regional trail is being studied further through H-GAC’s Special District program with a focus on long-term connections to the Addicks Reservoir (connecting the Energy Corridor) and the White Oak Bayou trail, north/south connections to destinations, and will include extensive public engagement with area schools. The 4.7 miles of trail identified in this project application will support the much larger regional vision to connect over 10 miles of off-street shared use trails to destinations outside of the Spring Branch area.
Project outcomes include safe regional and local pedestrian and bicycle connections to multiple schools, homes, parks, grocery stores, restaurants, and other destinations. The trail project also supports potential first mile/last mile access near transit (46 Gessner bus route). The trail will provide a tremendous amenity to support overall better quality of life for surrounding neighborhoods. The project supports emissions reductions by allowing people to get around without a car, will serve multiple environmental justice populations (Attachment 1) with safe walk/bike access, and it will provide a safe location for people to lead a healthy, active lifestyle to walk, run, or bike.
The benefit to the students attending the nearby schools as well as the parents and staff will be significant as they will have a safe, protected off-street corridor to walk to and from local schools. Specifically, the 12 schools the CenterPoint trail will serve that are located within .25 miles of it include: Houston Christian High, The Guthrie Center, Terrace Elementary School, Spring Shadows Elementary, Northbrook High, Buffalo Creek Elementary, Edgewood Elementary, St Jerome Catholic School, SBISD Transition Campus, Central Christian Academy, The Lion Lane School, and Landrum Middle. Schools located within .5 mile of the trail adding to those within .25 mile include: Westwood Elementary, Spring Oaks Middle, The Tiger Trail School, Spring Woods High, Hollibrook Elementary, Cedar Brook Elementary, and Ridgecrest Elementary. Total enrollment of the schools combined is more than 14,660 students.
Schwartz Park is located directly adjacent to the potential CenterPoint trail near Landrum Middle School and the Lion Lane School. The Park is a location where people can use as a trailhead to access the over 5 miles of continuous trail for transportation or recreational purposes.
The EJ populations it will serve include: 71.7% minority population, 37.6% low income households, 12.6% senior population, 10% disabled population, 27% limited education attainment population, 19.6% limited English proficiency, and 6.8% zero auto households. A table showing the study area’s characteristics (ACS data) can be found in Attachment 1.
METRO’s 46 Gessner route bisects the potential trail along Gessner Road with one north-bound and one south-bound stop located within walking distance (0.25 miles) from the trail. The 46 Gessner is in the top 10 METRO routes for overall ridership and top five for productivity. It serves between 6,500 and 7,000 boardings on an average weekday. The trail will provide first-mile/last-mile enhancements to those transit stops along Gessner, as well as provide access to/from the shopping center and public library within the same 0.25 mile radius.
Overall, the development of the Spring Branch Management District CenterPoint Trail Regional Connector will provide great benefits to the communities within Spring Branch and the greater Houston region.
Less than $100 million
View Uploaded File: SBMD Attachment #1.pdf
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
No acquisitions, only easements on school properties for trail access
View Uploaded File: Centerpoint Interlocal Agreement - COH and HPBLGC.pdf
View Uploaded File: Project Development Timeline SBMD.pdf
Under the City of Houston and CenterPoint Master License Agreement, the Houston Parks Board can implement trails within CenterPoint easements within Houston. The Houston Parks Board and the Spring Branch Management District are ready to begin designing and constructing the trail extension as soon as funds are available. The momentum leading to this readiness include the CenterPoint lease agreement is in place, multiple planning efforts have provided public support for the regional trail, the Spring Branch Management District Board of Directors is ready to move this project forward, and the momentum with Houston Parks Board’s “Beyond the Bayous” is picking up, with this trail providing a much-needed connection outside the 610 loop and north of I-10.
Pages from the Spring Branch Comprehensive Plan as well as from the Long Point Livable Centers Study are attached to illustrate the regional support and focus on implementing this trail.
View Uploaded File: ProjectReadiness_ExistingPlansSBMD.pdf
View Uploaded File: SBMDCenterPointMapPkg.zip
View Uploaded File: SBMD project budget worsheet.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Safety_SBMD Centerpoint_BCA.pdf
View Uploaded File: Delay_SBMD Centerpoint_BCA.pdf
View Uploaded File: Emissions_SBMD Centerpoint_BCA.pdf
View Uploaded File: SBMD BCA Narrative.pdf
View Uploaded File:
The BCA Narrative supporting methodology, input data, and results is attached in #4 above under "Additional BCA Documentation".
3.51 NOx tons/year
0.75 VOC tons/year
901 - 1000
"Reimagine Long Point Livable Centers Study" at https://sbmd.org/longpoint/
"Reimagine Spring Branch: Comprehensive Plan" at https://sbmd.org/the-district/comprehensive-plan/
Houston-Galveston Area Council