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Midtown Management District
410 Pierce Street, Suite 355
City of Houston
Division Manager, Transportation Planning
Alabama Street Multimodal Enhancements Project
Milam Street to Chenevert Street
Functionally classified as a major collector by the City of Houston and a minor arterial by the Texas Department of Transportation, Alabama Street is a major commercial east-west corridor traversing the boundaries of the Midtown Management District and the Midtown Redevelopment Authority. The Alabama Street Multimodal Enhancements Project is one of many planned improvement efforts for Houston’s Alabama Street. Alabama Street has appeared as a priority corridor in several of the Midtown Pedestrian-Transit Master Plan and Updates, as well as in other Management Districts’ Community Plans and the City of Houston’s CIP.
Roadway Conditions: The project will reconstruct the roadway. Alabama is primarily composed of a concrete base and asphalt overlay. Signs of previous repairs starting to fail are evident throughout the corridor. Common failures along Alabama include failing patches, recurring longitudinal, transversal, block, and alligator cracks on the wheel path, curb and gutter failures, and potholes. See Readiness Package for more information about the existing conditions of pavement. Striping is poor. Medians are in poor conditions with grass growing through the cracks of the concrete and the curb partially broken.
Back of Curb (BOC) Conditions: Sidewalks and ramps will be brought up to City of Houston standards. Most sidewalks along Alabama are in fair condition; however, they are generally 4ft wide and do not meet City of Houston standards. Utility poles impede the passage of pedestrians in certain locations. Most ADA ramps are in poor condition, either not meeting the roadway or cracked. There are missing curbs and overgrown grass over sections of the sidewalks. The planting strip or barrier between pedestrian and vehicular realms is on average 2 to 3-foot-wide, which is not an adequate barrier between the modes and does not meet the City of Houston Roadway Geometric Design Criteria.
Multi-modal infrastructure: The project will add dedicated on-street bicycle lanes along the entire project corridor as recommended by the 2016 City of Houston Bike Plan. The inclusion of bicycle facilities will require the total reconstruction of the back-of-curb environment to better accommodate all users.
Utilities: The project includes upsizing inlets and the replacement of above and below ground utilities. Ped and street lighting will be updated to Midtown standards. Most subsurface water infrastructure present is from 1960. Storm drainage inlets need replacement. Most of the stormwater lines are beyond their useful life.
Although not directly serviced by METRO Bus, there are 75 bus stops within walking distance (< 0.5 mi) of the project corridor. Several bus routes run perpendicular to Alabama. METRO Rail running along Main, also bisects Alabama. A METRO rail stop and the Wheeler Station are within walking distance of the corridor. The latter serves as a major transit hub and allows people to transfer from bus lines to the Red Line and vice versa.
The Alabama Street Multimodal Enhancements Project consists of the (re)construction of sidewalks; the installation of pedestrian amenities such as enhanced street lighting, pedestrian lighting, functional landscaping, benches, and trash receptacles; and the addition of bicycle facilities along a 0.65-mile stretch of Alabama Street from Milam Street to Chenevert Street. This is consistent with the scope of work being considered by the City of Houston to the west of this segment.
This project, in totality, is a property line to property line reconstruction of the entire facility between Milam Street to Chenevert Street. This includes the reconstruction of all pavement, sidewalks, and sub-surface utilities. Improvements include:
• Reconstruction of roadway/pavement;
• Signalization of intersections;
• Reconstruction of 5’ sidewalks and ADA-compliant ramps;
• Installation of on-street bicycle lanes;
• Installation of pedestrian and bicycle signals along Alabama Street; and
• Upsizing of stormwater drainage capacity through installation of storm sewer infrastructure along the corridor.
The complete reconstruction of Alabama Street is estimated to cost $16,144,950 ($ 2018). Midtown is seeking federal funding only for the pedestrian and bicycle improvements as has been consistent with the Midtown FTA program for several years. The grant request is for $3,139,071 federal dollars to be matched by $13,005,879 in local dollars. This represents a local commitment of over 50%. The completion of the roadway portion of the project will mean that Midtown will be participating at 81% funding level for this project. The local participation is large due to the Midtown Redevelopment Authority’s participation in this project to reconstruct the roadway, signalize intersections and upgrade drainage capacity through upsizing storm sewer infrastructure along the corridor.
The level of treatment will be similar to recent MRA projects such as Holman Street and Main Street. Schematic attached as part of the Readiness Project package.
The outcomes of the proposed Alabama Street Multimodal Enhancements project and the reconstruction of the roadway are multi-faceted:
•Improve State of Good Repair: The rehabilitation/reconstruction of the pavement will ensure that the roadway is functioning as designed, or in a state of good repair. Reconstruction will result in a savings for both users (delay during maintenance) and the agency (maintenance costs).
•Increase Safety: There was 1 sidewalk and 80 roadway crashes between 2015-2017 along the project corridor. The project will improve the design and overall function of the roadway, safely accommodating auto, bicycle, and pedestrian users by providing separated facilities for each mode.
•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 higher than regional average of households without automobiles (20.8% along Midtown’s Alabama Street vs 15.53% in the H-GAC Regional Area). These improvements will also facilitate access to METRO bus route 011 and METRO rail service.
The project will tie into other planned improvements along Alabama, connecting Midtown to nearby activity centers such as Montrose, Upper Kirby, Greater Southeast, University of Houston, etc. Within Midtown, pedestrian and bike improvements will facilitate connectivity among residential properties along the corridor, nearby businesses, public infrastructure, schools and other services. Bike facilities will also promote connectivity to the regional bike network.
•Facilitate Walking + Biking: The installation of exclusive bike lanes will encourage bike usage in the community. This project is anticipated to generate roughly 26 new daily pedestrian users and 155 new bicycle users in 2022. The implementation of this project will enable new users to choose active modes of transportation, rather than the automobile.
Bikeways have several benefits for users, including health and recreation. Dedicated bike lanes also have a positive impact on property owners and the environment.
•Implement Local + Regional Plans: The proposed project will leverage and extend ongoing planning efforts by other entities (i.e. Upper Kirby, City of Houston, Houston Southeast) along Alabama. The goal is to develop a cohesive and functional multimodal corridor. Furthermore, the addition of bicycle facilities along Alabama will fulfill a Houston Bicycle Plan recommendation and further expand the City’s bike network.
•Reconstructing the corridor stormwater system to meet code requirements for the 2-yr and 100-yr frequency events will improve area drainage and reduce the risk of property damage and loss of life during catastrophic rainfall events.
Note that an alternative safety benefit, derived from current HSIP methodology, has been submitted with this project. The alt. methodology demonstrates a higher benefit than current H-GAC methodology.
Less than $100 million
View Uploaded File: 08a_MID_Alabama_Resolution of 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.
View Uploaded File: 17_COH Concurrence and District C Partnership Article.pdf
View Uploaded File: 03_Alabama Street Multimodal Enhancements_Project Timeline.xlsx
The Alabama Street project within Midtown is one of many planned enhancement efforts for Houston’s Alabama Street. Alabama Street has been a priority for Midtown since 2013 when it first featured in the 2014 Midtown Pedestrian-Transit Master Plan Update. Most recently, the corridor appears in Midtown’s 2018 Strategic Plan that defines five-year actions for capital improvements, desired land uses, walkability, multi-mobility, parks and public realm, affordable housing, community engagement and inclusiveness. Both planning efforts were influenced by a public outreach process.
The Readiness materials contain summaries of the two effort’s public engagement process. A public meeting was held on March 26, 2014 regarding the 2014 Midtown Pedestrian-Transit Master Plan Update. An Open House was held on March 6, 2018 regarding the 2018 Strategic Plan.
Alabama 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.
Originally, the project did not include bicycle lanes. They have been included as a component to further the recommendations made by the City of Houston Bicycle Plan as well as to better match the cross section of the City of Houston’s reconstruction of Alabama west of Spur 527.
The project will be built within the existing right-of-way. No additional properties will be acquired to implement the project. The need for permits from special entities is not anticipated. A utility evaluation will be completed as part of an effort to bring the project up to a 30% level of design, which is anticipated to be completed by August 2020. Utilities will be adjusted to mitigate any potential conflicts in the future. Adjustments will be funded by the Midtown Redevelopment Authority.
View Uploaded File: MID Alabama TIP Readiness Materials.zip
View Uploaded File: MID Alabama Street MPK map.zip
View Uploaded File: 04_Alabama Street Multimodal Enhancements_Project Budget.xlsx
View Uploaded File: Transit-Active-Transportation-Safety-Benefits-alabama_midtown.zip
View Uploaded File: delay-benefits-alabama_midtown.zip
View Uploaded File: Active-Transportation-Emissions-Benefits-alabama_midtown.zip
View Uploaded File: Midtown Alabama Supporting Files & Alternative Safety Benefit.zip
View Uploaded File: Alabama 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.
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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