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Gap in Houston Bike Plan at SH6 and Clay

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Gap in Houston Bike Plan at SH6 and Clay

Old 01-29-17, 09:11 AM
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Gap in Houston Bike Plan at SH6 and Clay

I attended the Tx DOT open house 1/24. As currently envisioned, there is no plan to include bicycle-specific infrastructure in the project. Note that two future off-street trails are shown in the Houston Bike Plan and they end about 1/4 mile apart at the edges of the scope of the Tx DOT project.

The only information available on the internet is the meeting notice Open House - SH 6 Clay Road Intersection which provides no details. Public comment is due by Wednesday, February 8, 2017. The project reference number is 1685-05-107.

The relationship between the project and the Houston Bike Plan is shown on the attached picture.

Briefly the alternatives presented were do-nothing, Alt. 1, Alt. 2 & Alt. 3.

Alt. 1 is more lanes at grade.. basically what’s there now just bigger.
Alt. 2 takes SH6 straight-through traffic overpass.
Alt. 3 is just one direction overpass (I don't think it will get serious consideration)

I've attached pictures of Alt. 1 and Alt. 2. 5’ sidewalks on all plans. Other than the Clay sidewalks east of SH6, the proposed sidewalks are so riddled by entrances that they would be very dangerous to cycle on, in my opinion. If built as shown now, I will take the lane.

If this intersection is important to you then you might want to comment to Tx DOT. This is just the first step; they will compile public input then have another meeting in a few months.
Attached Images
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Clay and 6 Alt 1 Isometric.jpg (94.0 KB, 57 views)
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Clay and 6 Alt 1 Plan.jpg (93.1 KB, 58 views)
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Clay and 6 Alt 1 Sec C.jpg (90.4 KB, 58 views)
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Clay and 6 Alt 2 Isometric.jpg (96.1 KB, 57 views)
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Clay and 6 Alt Plan.jpg (91.6 KB, 57 views)
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Old 01-29-17, 11:06 PM
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That intersection is mega. I don't know if there is a good way to handle something that large safely on a bike?
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Old 01-31-17, 09:01 PM
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Wow, I am 1/4 mile from that intersection. I don't even attempt crossing there now. The times I have cycled up to the Terry Hershey Trail, I would take Hickory Downs to the paved trail next to Clay. From there you can cut through Bear Creek Park to Eldridge. But it can be sketchy. There is a short section with no shoulder. Even the shoulder section makes me nervous. It's very dirty and cars fly down Eldridge. This area is a black hole for cycling.
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Old 02-06-17, 10:55 AM
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Key Points for Comments to TX DOT

In order to have comfortable cycling routes, Tx DOT has to receive comments to that effect.

If you want to comment to Tx DOT regarding their study, I’ve compiled some key points you may want to include; see below.

Comments due either by email (350 word text limit) or postmarked by Wednesday February 8, 2017. See Open House - SH 6 Clay Road Intersection. On any comments, reference Project Number 1685-05-107 “SH 6 Clay Road Intersection”.

It is important to emphasize the pre-existing plans and the benefits. You should make your own comments. FYI, my punchline is going to be that bicycle accommodation should be in the scope of the project to connect with regionally-planned trails, and that the intersection itself should be bypassed. There are solutions to effectively bypass the SH6 and Clay Road intersection with a combination of high-comfort shared on-street routes (such as Jura, Hickory Downs, Cairnway and Scone) along with space for off-street trails controlled by Harris County (Addicks Reservoir leases and the complex between Clay and Pine Forest Lane).

Key points regarding Tx DOT Study as shown at January 24, 2017 open house:

The studies shown at the Open House on January 24, 2017 did not show any bicycle accommodations. The sidewalks are shown as 5’ wide. Bicycle infrastructure standard is a minimum of 8 feet.

Failure to provide safe and effective cycling accommodations on a project at this intersection will create an interruption of infrastructure envisioned by two important plans:

The proposed Houston Bike Plan includes an off-road trail along SH6 ending at Pine Forest and an off-road trail from the east end of the existing Harris County trail on the south side of Clay to complete the connection to Brittmoore.

In this area, the West Houston Trails Master Plan (2011) envisioned the SH6 North Spine Trail and the Clay Road Spine Trail.


Both of these plans cite the community health and wellness advantages of a connected trail system. Specifically involving the intersection of SH6 and Clay, there are significant public services and destinations that can be made more accessible to active transportation, including:

• Numerous shops and services, including the Fiesta grocery store.
• US Post Office at 16015 Cairnway Drive.
• Harris County Courthouse at 16715 Clay Rd.
• Harris County Katherine Tyra Branch Library at 16719 Clay Rd.
• Metro’s Addicks Park and Ride.

There are people using active transportation to these destinations today. Better accommodations will increase the number, with the attendant reduction in emissions and motor vehicle traffic load.

References:
City of Houston, Houston Bike Plan, June 2016, available at Final Report and Maps
Energy Corridor District and National Parks Service, West Houston Trails Master Plan, March 21, 2011, available at West Houston Trails Master Plan - Energy Corridor District - Energy Corridor District
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SH6 North Spine Trail 1.jpg (66.6 KB, 32 views)
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SH6 North Spine Trail 2.jpg (76.2 KB, 32 views)
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Clay Road Spine Trail 1.jpg (79.3 KB, 29 views)
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Clay Road Spine Trail 2.jpg (92.3 KB, 30 views)
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Old 02-09-17, 12:46 PM
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I ride Clay road on weekend mornings pretty frequently. I've never had a problem with this intersection. I imagine it's very different on week days.
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