With opening comments by Board Chair Patricia Maddox, the Spring Branch District recently hosted its first community meeting about 7 Projects to Follow in the area in the near future.
The public meeting, held at Karbach Brewery, was well-attended by area residents and business owners who were able to view and interact with maps and other information pertaining to the seven projects and ask questions of representatives from various nonprofit and government agencies involved.
“Imagine being able to (bike) ride from Spring Branch to downtown without hitting any major streets,” Michael Robinson of SWA Group told the crowd. That’s a goal of a multi-year, regional trail project commencing in our area with Spring Branch Trail Phase 1.
Chelsea Young of TEI invited attendees and anyone interested to participate in the Spring Branch Trail Study and give their input via an online mapping system. Planners are interested in whether there are any north/south corridors they should consider in making walking, biking and transit connections to the proposed trail, as well as want help identifying any barriers to accessing the trail.
Data will be collected until this June. Give your input at: https://map.social/Community.php?CommunityID=167
Representatives from the Houston Parks Board explained that the Spring Branch Trail is an extension of the Bayou Greenways 2020 project providing access to more than 3,000 acres of greenspace along our area bayous and connecting a 150-mile network of hike-and-bike trails. The Spring Branch Trail is a “Beyond the Bayous” project, creating connections to areas that are not along bayous.
Bidding and start of construction on the Spring Branch Trail Phase 1 is expected to commence in January 2020.
Additional public meetings and surveys will be announced for the 7 Projects to Follow in the near future. Watch this website for more info. In the meantime, please participate in the Spring Branch Trail Study and continue to follow the Spring Branch District’s social media pages for updates.
Here is a refresher on all of the 7 Projects to Follow:
Spring Branch Trail Study
As mentioned, this is part of a multi-year, regional trail project to construct a concrete trail connection between the existing Addicks Reservoir Bike Trail to the west and the White Oak Bayou Greenway to the east, using an existing CenterPoint easement.
Numerous schools, parks and neighborhoods will have direct, convenient access to the trail, which in Spring Branch alone will be more than seven miles long!
As mentioned above, participate in the study and give your input on Phase 1 by following this link: https://map.social/Community.php?CommunityID=167
Spring Branch Trail Phase 1
The first phase of the Spring Branch Trail project will extend from Blalock Road to just west of Wirt Road, featuring a 10-foot-wide concrete trail with safe street crossings and convenient neighborhood connections.
Several of our schools will have access to the trail, including Buffalo Creek Elementary, Edgewood Elementary and Landrum Middle School. Plans call for construction to start in early 2020.
Long Point Road Mobility and Landscape Pilot
This pilot will test the concept of converting Long Point’s existing four thru-lanes (two in each direction) to three lanes (one in each direction, with a continuous center left-turn lane).
The pilot will assess whether the new street reconfiguration will provide safer vehicular access and a safer passage for pedestrians along the corridor.
Look for new pavement markings, signage and other traffic devices to help during the pilot. Also look for special landscape installations utilizing additional space for sidewalks and other pedestrian amenities allowed by the reduction of one traffic lane.
The pilot is expected to last 9 to 12 months starting in the second half of 2019.
Where will this all happen? From (1) Conrad Sauer Drive to Blalock Road, and (2) from Pech Road to Hempstead Highway.
Long Point Road Art Program
The Spring Branch Board is very excited to bring “art to Long Point” in the form of several sculptures temporarily installed on both public and private property along Long Point Road.
Each art piece will be specifically curated for this project by a local artist. And, should you like what you see, all art pieces will be for sale, with part of the proceeds going back to fund the art program.
Expect to see art showing up on Long Point Road between Gessner Road and Hempstead Highway in mid-2019. Each installation will remain there about nine months and then rotate.
Gessner Road Drainage and Beautification Improvements
Two projects on Gessner will add significant improvements to this major thoroughfare, including drainage and beautification.
The first project will be to landscape and beautify the medians between Long Point and Kempwood, starting in early 2019 and completed by mid-2019.
The second project is a drainage and beautification project from I-10 to Long Point that will be a complete street reconstruction and provide storm water storage capacity under the roadway. It will also add special lighting and landscaping.
Look for construction to commence on the second project in late 2019/early 2020. It should take under 24 months to complete.
Haden Park Improvements
Preliminary design has been completed for this existing 13-acre park located at the northeast corner of Long Point and Witte Road. The project will include major improvements, especially to the undeveloped southern portion of the park along Long Point proposed as a “community park.” Plans for this area include a small and large dog park, event lawn and stage, off-street parking, restrooms, a community garden, tennis courts and other amenities.
Fundraising for Phase 1 will start in mid-2019.
I-10 Corridor Planning (TxDOT Health in Transportation)
TxDOT Houston District is leading the way on this project to incorporate strategies in Corridor Planning that enhance health and safety with a focus on pedestrians, cyclists and transit patrons. The needs and priorities of seniors, as well as safe routes for children, will have special consideration.
Read more about “7 Projects to Follow”: https://sbmd.org/7projectstofollow/