Landscaped Median | The landscaped median would aid in keeping through-traffic on the correct side of the street by preventing vehicles from cutting through the intersection diagonally and veering into oncoming traffic.
Bicycle Queue Area | Since the dedicated bike lanes are only present along the offset, the bicycle queue area would enable bicyclists to stop and check their surroundings before continuing north onto Silver St. or east onto Dart St.
Traffic Lane Shift | The traffic lanes shift at this area to give bicyclists traveling north, exiting the bicycle queue area, a chance to stop perpendicular to through traffic on Dart St. and in the field of view of the motorists.
New Alley | Some residential shared driveways exist along the offset and would have to be reconnected if closed. A new alley along the south side of the residential development would give the shared driveways a new access point. The City of Houston’s Development ordinance doesn’t permit shared driveway entrys from alleyways, but if constructed right with no parking, sufficient emergency access could be obtained on the new alley.
The main goal of the reenvisioned Silver Street offset is to make the intersection more navigable by making the traffic movements more predictable. Predictability is increased with the addition of the median to separate opposing traffic and bike lanes to separate bicyclists from motorists.
Silver Street, from the MKT trail to Memorial Drive, has been designated as a shared on-street bicycle facility as a part of the Houston Bike Plan. In fact many cyclists already travel along Silver St because of its proximity to other trails and bicycle routes, low vehicle volumes, and it is the only local street in the area that crosses both sets of railroad tracks.
Because of the dense development pattern in the area and its proximity to multiple destinations along Silver St, Washington Ave, Houston Ave, and Sawyer St, 6′ wide sidewalks would be desirable to accommodate all of the pedestrian activity in the area. Curb extensions at the intersection of Silver St. and Dart St. would make crosswalks shorter and safer for pedestrians to cross. Wide landscaped areas between the travel lanes and the sidewalk along the offset would be possible because there is an ample right-of-way available. Trees in the landscaped areas would add to pedestrian and bicyclist comfort.