A Tale of Two Bridges
Connecting Houston Heights to Montrose, West End, Rice Military, and Washington Avenue.
There is a 1.3-mile gap along the White Oak Bayou path: between Cottage Grove bridge and the bridges that carry Heights Blvd and Yale St across White Oak Bayou. There is a tremendous opportunity to create two iconic bridges that will enhance public appreciation, access, and use of these spaces. Two bridges will help enliven development projects and create a distinctive identity and a sense of variety and enchantment to the neighborhood. Generating untold economic impact to no fewer than 150 local businesses while creating a refuge from the urban hardscape.
There are 1,300+ units built within the last 10 years. And this dense pocket in the city has poor connectivity to the city south of I-10. These two bridges could help connect the heritage of Historic Heights and the retail (M-K-T, White Oak Dr, 11th St, 19th St, Shepherd/Durham corridor). This would also give residents direct access to the White Oak Bayou trail without having to walk 20+ minutes.
|1||The Standard||301 units|
|2||East Bend||277 units|
|3||Yale at 6th||352 units|
|4||Assembly Historic Heights||378 units|
Heights M-K-T and Heights Mercantile developments are transforming the area and they could benefit from
Radom Capital / Triten
|200,000 sq ft|
|2||White Oak Station|
|190,000 sq ft|
|40,000 sq ft|
Connectivity and Safety
Commute across Patterson St –> 6th Street is very unsafe. Only 300 ft as the crow flies, but 24 min walking + 1.3 miles – unlit paths, or no sidewalk 4-lane expressway
|1||M-K-T trail / White Oak Dr|
|4||Washington Ave corridor|
|5||Yale Street Marketplace|
Other projects underway
Patterson Street Bikeway
Construction has already begun on the Patterson St bikeway, creating a safe pathway between White Oak Bayou and the Buffalo Bayou park area. Conceptualized as early as 2010, this project leverages existing infrastructure including the low traffic Patterson Bridge at I-10 and the Jackson Hill St bike/pedestrian bridges from Cleveland Park to Buffalo Bayou.
According to Anne Olson, President of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, “there is approximately $2 billion worth of development taking place along Allen Parkway and those developers tell us the park is a major asset.”
Both bridges proposed here would help further the reach of the network. Together, they will help create a route safely connecting people from the Heights Hike and Bike Trail, White Oak Bayou Greenways, and Buffalo Bayou, linking communities along the way
Imagine a 5-minute bike ride from the Heights to Washington Avenue. Approximately 40k residents and hundreds of businesses would benefit from this connectivity link missing between Southern Heights and the vibrant neighborhoods south of I-10:
- Houston Heights
- Cottage Grove
- West End
- Rice Military
- Magnolia Grove
- Memorial Park
- Buffalo Bayou
Shepherd / Durham reconstruction
A ceremonial groundbreaking took place in January 2022 for the $125M project to rebuild both Shepherd and Durham from I-10 all the way up to I-610. The project will repurpose one car lane, turning both one-way streets from four lanes to three lanes. The extra space will be used for sidewalk widening, streetscaping, and a dedicated one-way bike lane traveling in the direction of Shepherd and Durham.
This project will help transform the area into an even more desirable place to live and develop. The bridges would help create a grid of bridges created by the intersection of White Oak Bayou trail and the MKT trail. The placement of the bridges would provide a more reasonable distance (roughly ~0.3 miles) between each opportunity to cross the bridges. This is what is required to truly build connectivity. Our public infrastructure should be good enough for users that cannot or choose not to use a car to access essential services and urban amenities.
The Inner Katy Bus Rapid Transit is in the final stages of design. It will ultimately connect Uptown and Downtown Houston with an elevated, dedicated bus lane running on the south side of I-10. There are only three stops programmed before the bus makes its way back to street level near downtown Houston: Memorial Park, Shepherd / Durham, Studemont.
All stations are planned to serve multimodal transport, including bike facilities, parking, and local bus transfers. These two bridges will serve as the only realistic link for residents of the Heights to reach the Shepherd/Durham station. If METRO expects to build strong ridership out of Heights residents, these bridges must be built.
- Shepherd / Durham $125M renovation
- Patterson St Bikeway construction
- Multifamily development within the area 1,300+ in the last 5 years
- Bridges are part of the Houston Bike Plan
- Commute across Patterson St –> 6th Street is very unsafe. Only 300ft as the crow flies, but 24 min walking + 1.3 miles – unlit paths, or no sidewalk 4-lane expressway
- Build ridership for METRO Rapid station on Shepherd/Durham
- Anchor future development of urban wilderness district around Bird Sanctuary and trail-oriented developments