Polk Street

Details (Future):

Green-01 Raised Median Separation | A 3′ wide raised median would serve as the vertical form of separation necessary to officially make these bike lanes separated bike lanes. Separated bike lanes are one of the most comfortable types of bicycle facilities when designed right. 3′ wide medians ensure that cars parked adjacent to the bike lane do not open their doors into bicyclists path.

Green-02 Landscaped Curb Extension | To ensure vehicles pulling out of driveways can see oncoming traffic, landscaped curb extensions provide a physical barrier keeping cars from parking to close to the driveway entrance.

Green-03 Visibility Marking | Motorists pulling out of driveways may not be fully aware they are crossing a bike lane. Green dashed lines provide a visual cue that motorists should be looking for bicyclists and that they shouldn’t sit in the bicycle lane when waiting to enter the traffic lanes.

Green-04  Raised Crosswalk | Bicyclists should yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and transit stops. Raising the bicycle lane in these areas helps remind bicyclists that they should slow down. Yield triangles should also be present at crosswalks as another visual cue to yield to pedestrians. The raised crosswalk also better serves handicap roadway users by allowing a level crossing surface across the bike lane.

Green-05 Midblock Crossing | The EaDo Promenade crosses Polk Street in this location; because of this, a robust midblock crossing would facilitate a safer crossing for pedestrians.

Green-06 Handicap Parking | When parking is pulled away from the curb it can create some accessibility concerns. To address this a dedicated handicap parking area can be provided to ensure handicap roadway users are easily able to exit their vehicles and access the sidewalk. The handicap area consists of a clear zone in front of and behind each space as well as a 5′ clear zone to the right of the parking spaces. In this location the bike lane would still physically be 7′ wide but bicyclists would be advised to use the right 5′ of the lane.

Green-07 Transit Stop Island | A transit stop island would allow bicyclists to smoothly pass behind the transit stop and avoid the possible conflicts that can occur when bicyclists and transit are both utilizing the right side of the road. The transit island would be long enough to accommodate those boarding through the front door and riders exiting transit through the rear doors.

Location

Vision:

With a list of things to do constantly growing, East Downtown (EaDo) Houston is becoming a magnet for active transportation. Transit, bicycling, and walking are all viable options in EaDo. The transportation infrastructure in this neighborhood is slowly transitioning from primarily serving industrial uses to serving dense residential uses, major destinations, and third places. The reenvisioned Polk Street corridor takes the crumbling and faded bike lanes that already exist and transforms them into high-comfort separated bike lanes. The 4′ sidewalks are widened to a total width of 11′ with a pedestrian clear zone of at least 6′ in width.

Polk Street links multiple neighborhoods together and is one of the only Northwest-Southeast connections that spans the entire length of downtown. The bike lanes on Polk St. will also link to the Lamar St. cycle track creating a long continuous connection.

Future building setbacks along this corridor should range anywhere from 1.5′ (to allow for a building shy zone or sandwich board) to 6′ (to accommodate sidewalk cafes).

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