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Midtown Management District
410 Pierce Street, Suite 355
City of Houston
Division Manager, Transportation Planning
Crawford/Almeda Multimodal Access to Transit Project
Crawford Street/Almeda Road
Isabella Street to Gray Street
Crawford Street/Almeda Road (Crawford/Almeda) is functionally classified as a major thoroughfare by the City of Houston (COH) and as a minor arterial by TxDOT. The corridor is serviced by frequent METRO bus during peak hours and 30/60-minute service during off-peak hrs. Crawford serves as a northbound one-way street from Holman to Gray; while Almeda, a short section of the project corridor from Isabella to Holman, is a two-way street.
Roadway Conditions: The project will reconstruct the roadway. Crawford/Almeda is composed of a concrete/pavement base and asphalt overlay. Pavement conditions are poor due to outside wheel path block cracking radiating from several of the inlets; potholes; longitudinal, transversal, block, and alligator cracks; and failing patches. A survey of the existing conditions of the corridor suggests that the roadway warrants a complete reconstruction.
Back-of-Curb (BOC) Conditions: Sidewalks and ramps will be brought up to City of Houston (COH) standards. A 2016 Existing Conditions Inventory revealed that Crawford/Almeda has poorly maintained sidewalks, curbs and ADA ramps. Sidewalks are broken or raised in places, and curbs are missing. Most ADA ramps are either in disrepair, missing, or inadequate and require replacement.
Though aesthetically beautiful, the tree canopy is very dense in certain areas. Coupled with the lack of pedestrian-lighting and the heavy presence of homeless individuals, the existing built environment conditions influence residents’ and users’ perception of safety and deters their use of existing facilities. Improvements to the back-of-curb will bring about the reinvestment of the corridor and elevate foot traffic throughout the entire corridor. Foot traffic would help create a sense of safety, an ongoing concern for residents east of Main Street.
Multimodal infrastructure: The project will add a dedicated bicycle facility along the project corridor as recommended by the 2016 City of Houston Bike Plan and install updated ADA-compliant sidewalks. The corridor lacks the appropriate infrastructure to accommodate the area’s higher than regional average of households without automobiles. The Bike Plan recommends bike lanes on Almeda south of Holman. Midtown is currently coordinating with the COH to extend the facility from Holman to Gray and incorporate it into the City’s Bike Plan and network. The inclusion of a bicycle facility would require the total reconstruction of the BOC to better accommodate pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle users.
Lastly, as part of their programmed CIP, COH will reconstruct 2,490 feet of Crawford from Elgin to Hadley, primarily focusing in the upgrade of underground utilities, the replacement of the pavement and BOC. The COH has agreed to complete additional upgrades to the project in keeping with Midtown Standards to maintain cohesion throughout the corridor and match Midtown’s project.
The proposed Crawford/Almeda Multimodal Access to Transit project consists of the (re)construction of 6’ sidewalks and ADA-compliant ramps; the installation of pedestrian amenities such as enhanced street lighting, pedestrian lighting, functional landscaping, benches, and trash receptacles; the installation of an on-street bi-directional bicycle track along Crawford Street / Almeda Road from Isabella Street to Gray Street (roughly one mile); and the installation of pedestrian and bicycle signals.
Contra-flow bicycle travel is desired along Crawford Street/Almeda Road to safely provide bidirectional bicycle access in Midtown. A two-way cycle track on a one-way street improves connectivity and directness of a bicycle network. The bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the corridor will provide direct multimodal connectivity between the Museum District, the Medical Center area and Houston Downtown. Within Midtown, amenities along Crawford include a variety of restaurants, bars, retail shops, a community center, daycare facilities, Baldwin Park, the U.S. Postal Service, Texas Children’s Pediatrics Midtown, St. Joseph Medical Center, and other social services. Houston Community College-Central is also within walking and biking distance.
This project, in totality, is a property line to property line reconstruction of the entire facility between Isabella Street to Gray Street. This includes the reconstruction of all pavement, sidewalks, and sub-surface utilities. In partnership with the City of Houston, Midtown will be reconstructing the roadway, signalizing intersections and upgrading drainage capacity through upsizing storm sewer infrastructure along the corridor.
The grant request is for $2,771,093 federal dollars to be matched by $8,414,755 in local dollars by Midtown and an estimated $3,486,089 in local dollars by the City of Houston. The completion of the roadway portion of the project will mean that Midtown and the City of Houston will be participating at 59% and 22% funding levels for this project respectively.
The outcomes of the proposed project are multi-faceted:
1) Improve connectivity, access, and mobility: The proposed multimodal facilities will facilitate connections and access to transit and the use of alternative/active modes of transportation in an area that has a slightly higher than regional average of households without automobiles (15.6% along project corridor vs. 15.53% in the H-GAC area). Bike/Ped improvements will facilitate connectivity among residences, businesses, public infrastructure, and other amenities within walking & biking distance. Improvements will also facilitate access to 4 METRO bus routes serving the corridor and 7 bus stops. Bike facilities will promote connectivity to the regional bike network.
2) Increase safety: A total of 93 crashes occurred along the corridor between 2015-2017, with 2 being severe. Improving the walkability, bikeability, and roadway condition of Crawford will increase safety and lead to a measurable reduction in crashes. Improvements to the back-of-curb will bring about the reinvestment of the corridor and elevate foot traffic throughout the entire corridor. Foot traffic would help create a sense of safety—an ongoing concern for residents east of Main Street—and provide better access and mobility to visitors and residents throughout the District.
(Note that an alternative safety benefit, derived from current HSIP methodology, has been submitted with this project. It demonstrates a higher benefit than current H-GAC methodology.)
3) Facilitate economic development: Improving walkability and bikeability can increase property values along the corridor—the bicycle and pedestrian improvements would result in $1,335,000 in tax benefits due to increased property values over the 20-yr planning horizon.
4) Facilitate walking + biking: The installation of exclusive bike lanes will encourage bike usage in the community. This project is anticipated to generate roughly 19 new daily pedestrian users and 145 new bicycle users in 2022, enabling them to choose active modes of transportation, rather than the automobile. Bikeways have many benefits for users, including health and recreation. Dedicated bike lanes also have a positive impact on property owners and the environment.
5) Implement Local + Regional Plans: The addition of bicycle facilities along Crawford Street will fulfill a Houston Bicycle Plan recommendation and further expand the City’s bike network.
These improvements will be complemented with the reconstruction of the roadway as funded by the Midtown Redevelopment Authority. That component of the project will allow for the replacement of undersized storm water lines to meet code requirements for the 2-yr and 100-yr frequency events and improve area drainage to reduce the risk of property damage and loss of life during catastrophic rainfall events. Lastly, the reconstruction will improve the pavement conditions which are beginning to fail throughout the entire corridor.
Less than $100 million
View Uploaded File: 05_Crawford-Almeda Multimodal Access to Transit_Support & Funding Commitment.pdf
Categorical Exclusion (CE)
(c)(2) Projects that acquire, construct, maintain, rehabilitate, and improve or expand stand-alone recreation, pedestrian, or bicycle facilities, such as: a multiuse pathway, lane, trail, or pedestrian bridge; and transit plaza amenities. (c)(13) Federally-funded projects: (i) That receive less than $5,000,000 of Federal funds; or (ii) With a total estimated cost of not more than $30,000,000 and Federal funds comprising less than 15 percent of the total estimated project cost.
View Uploaded File: 20_Crawford-Almeda City of Houston LOS.pdf
View Uploaded File: 03_Crawford-Almeda Multimodal Access to Transit_Project Timeline.xlsx
The proposed project will provide an improved built environment for residents, visitors, and shoppers on foot, bike, or vehicle.
The complete reconstruction of the Crawford/Almeda project entails the collaboration between City of Houston and the Midtown Redevelopment Authority in the complete reconstruction of the right-of-way. It will be built in two phases: Phase I by the City of Houston (COH, the City) is scheduled to begin construction in 2018 and Phase II by the Midtown Redevelopment Authority (Midtown) is planned to bid in 2021.
As part of their programmed CIP, COH will reconstruct 2,490 feet of Crawford Street from Elgin Street to Hadley Street (72” Water Line CIP Project 0131), primarily focusing in the upgrade of underground utilities, the replacement of the pavement and back-of-curb. After meeting with Midtown on 12/05/2017, the COH has agreed to complete the upgrades listed below (in exchange for payment by Midtown) to maintain cohesion throughout the corridor to match Midtown’s project:
• Installation of 6 ft sidewalks from Elgin to Hadley, where feasible due to ROW and other constraints.
• Installation of Midtown standard lighting along the project limits.
• Powder-coat black traffic signal poles, mast arms, pedestrian poles, pedestrian push poles, and street sign poles to match Midtown standard.
The Readiness Materials include a request letter from Midtown and meeting minutes that summarizes discussion and verbal agreement between the City and Midtown. The City has drafted an interlocal agreement between the agencies and Midtown provided comments back to the City in October 2018. After Phase I is completed, Midtown plans to reconstruct the remaining 2,853 feet of the corridor and reconfigure the entire roadway by eliminating one lane of traffic and adding a bi-directional cycle track.
Midtown has also been closely coordinating with City of Houston Public Works and Engineering regarding the extension of bicycle facilities along the corridor. Currently, the City of Houston Bike Plan recommends on-street bicycle facilities south of Holman from Isabella Street to Holman Street; however, Midtown is currently coordinating with the City of Houston to extend the facility from Holman Street to Gray Street and incorporate it into the City’s Bike Plan and network.
Midtown is currently updating its 2013 Strategic Plan to define five-year actions for capital improvements, desired land uses, walkability, multi-mobility, parks and public realm, affordable housing, community engagement and inclusiveness. An Open House was held on March 6 to gather input regarding the community’s values of distinctive characteristics for corridors such as Crawford Street. Cycle tracks, on-street parking, wider sidewalks, number of travel lanes, 1-way vs. 2-way roads were some of the distinctive characteristics in display. The public strongly supported the conversion of Crawford Street into a multi-modal corridor that could provide bi-directional bicycle access. Appendices 1-3 of the 2018 Strategic Plan, uploaded as part of the Readiness Materials, contain more information regarding the public outreach process and evidences the recommendation of a two-way cycle tract along Crawford Street. The reconstruction of Crawford Street into a “Complete Street” has been a priority for Midtown since 2013 due to the corridor’s relationship to transit. The project appeared in the 2014 Midtown Pedestrian/Transit Master Plan Update, which was also informed by the public. A public meeting was held on March 26, 2014 (See Readiness Materials for summary).
This project has been included in several pedestrian-transit master planning documents submitted to the Federal Transit Administration over the years. In the past, FTA has approved categorical exclusions and Letters of No Prejudices related to this project. The project is anticipated to be a Federal Transit Administration transfer since it is within one-half mile of fixed-route transit stops.
Utilities will be adjusted to mitigate potential conflicts prior to and/or during construction. Adjustments will be funded by the Midtown Redevelopment Authority (TIRZ #2). The project will be built within the existing right-of-way. The need for permits from special entities is not anticipated.
See attached Readiness Package for the following:
1) Proposed project cross section and schematic
2) Preliminary environmental analysis
3) 2018 Strategic Plan Appendices 1-3
4) 2014 Midtown Pedestrian-Transit Master Plan Update Appendix B
5) Coordination with City of Houston regarding Crawford Street reconstruction and the
6) Coordination with Anita Hollmann, City of Houston Public Works and Engineering regarding Bi-directional bicycle track along the entire length of Crawford Street.
View Uploaded File: MID Crawford TIP Readiness Materials.zip
View Uploaded File: MID Crawford-Almeda MPK Map.zip
View Uploaded File: 04_Crawford-Almeda Multimodal Access to Transit Project_Budget.xlsx
View Uploaded File: MID Crawford_Transit-Active-Transportation-Safety-Benefits.zip
View Uploaded File: MID Crawford_delay-benefits.zip
View Uploaded File: MID Crawford_Active-Transportation-Emissions-Benefits.zip
View Uploaded File: Crawford Alternative Safety Benefit & Supporting Files.zip
View Uploaded File: Crawford Synchro files.zip
The proposed project provides facilities 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
Houston Bicycle Plan, 2014 Midtown Pedestrian-Transit Master Plan Update, and 2018 Strategic Plan
Houston Bike Plan: http://houstonbikeplan.org/documents/, 2014 Midtown Pedestrian-Transit Master Plan Update and 2018 Strategic Plan: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/p6wbgjjp89ojy8n/AABk_Jp-WWXt00tPfjZ-f4nva?dl=0
Houston-Galveston Area Council