Bagby reconstruction gets muddledAs reported by InnerLooped (and confirmed through my own contacts), the City Public Works Dept has frozen reconstruction work on Bagby in Midtown three months into the already-permitted work in order to change it from two lanes to three. Anybody who reads my blogs knows I am a great supporter of transportation projects (something I believe Houston does better than most other cities), but the sudden change-of-plan to make Bagby three lanes instead of two is a case of unnecessary overcapacity, especially considering the substantial losses of pedestrian friendly features/landscaping and much-needed street parking.
I understand the value of Bagby as a feeder from 45S to the 59S Spur, but consider that:
1) 45S only feeds a single exit lane into Bagby.
2) Even if Bagby is three lanes wide, it still must reconstrict to two lanes below Westheimer/Elgin before entering the spur, thus the third lane really adds nothing.
3) Smith provides plenty of additional parallel southbound capacity for people connecting from 45 to the spur.
4) Traffic studies indicate only two lanes are needed on Bagby.
5) The spur is only two lanes wide, and in addition to being fed by Bagby is also fed by 3 lanes of Smith, 3 lanes of Milam, and an entrance ramp from Richmond. Is there really any value to feeding 10 lanes of traffic into a two lane facility instead of the existing plan of 9? The outbound spur already backs up regularly at rush hour - why would we want to feed even more cars onto it to back it up further?
PWE needs to strongly reconsider sticking with the existing 2-lane Bagby plan, including pedestrian amenities and desperately needed street parking (which will also bring revenue to the city). If you agree, you can sign the petition here.
UPDATE: looks like they're going to mostly stick with the original 2-lane plan - check out these stories from Houston Tomorrow and CultureMap.
Labels: transportation plan