Separated Bike Lane | Both the north-south utility corridor and Bissonnet St. are slated to have bicycle facilities in the Houston Bike Plan. A separated bike lane will help circulate bicycle traffic comfortably counter-clockwise around the roundabout. Arrows should be placed periodically in the separated bike lane to inform bicyclists of the correct direction of travel.
Yield Line | Yield lines at roundabout exits will instruct drivers to yield to crossing non-motorize traffic. Since this will be a multi-lane roundabout, an actuated Toucan Signal may be necessary to increase the likelihood that drivers yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Bicycle Stop or Yield Lines | Bicycle stop bars or yield lines should be considered as a reminder to bicyclists that motorists may not always be paying attention and they should use caution when crossing.
5′ Curb Radius | A curb radius of 5′ will enable bicyclists to turn into the queuing area and turn perpendicular to approaching motorists.
Channelizing Island | A channelizing island will help maintain separation between bicyclists and pedestrians and reduce conflicts.
Bicycle/Pedestrian Warning Sign | Placing bicycle/pedestrian warning signs close to the bicycle and pedestrian crossings will help alert drivers that pedestrians and bicyclists may be present.
Bicycle Crossing | A bicycle crossing immediately adjacent to and parallel with the pedestrian crossing will concentrate non-motorist activity in one area that motorists can focus on and be cognizant of.
The way S Braeswood Blvd. currently merges with Bissonnet St. creates a very hostile environment for both bicyclists and pedestrians. You really have to feel for the lonely pedestrian crossing this area in Google Streetview. It’s a good thing that the 65 Bissonnet METRO bus route is a part of the frequent network because chances are that if your bus is coming and you are across the street, you’re going to miss the bus and have to wait for the next or risk your life doing so. This intersection really fits into the category of “go home traffic engineer, you’re drunk”.
This reenvisioned high-level conceptual layout of the S Braeswood and Bissonnet merge introduces a roundabout to help facilitate safer crossing for both pedestrians and bicyclists. Design recommendations identified in the Massachusettes Department of Transportation Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide (pg. 76-77) serve as a great illustration of how a bicycle facility can be integrated in a roundabout. Both the north-south utility corridor and Bissonnet St. are slated to have bicycle facilities in the Houston Bike Plan. Accommodating future demand for cyclists via a separated bike lane will create a safe, comfortable bicycling experience.
The most dangerous intersection in Texas lies at Bissonnet and BW 8, making this area safer for all roadway users will hopefully catalyze more safety improvements west along Bissonnet.