Mayor Turner gives green light to 11th Street safety improvement project

A reconstruction project in the Heights has a lot of residents talking. The 11th Street reconstruction project in the Heights neighborhood is set to turn the street from two lanes in each direction down to one lane in each direction, and a lot of folks stand on both sides of the aisle when it comes to these changes.

HOUSTON – A reconstruction project in the Heights has a lot of residents talking. The 11th Street reconstruction project in the Heights neighborhood is set to turn the street from two lanes in each direction down to one lane in each direction, and a lot of folks stand on both sides of the aisle when it comes to these changes.

  • “No, I don’t I will feel more safe, I think it’ll be more dangerous.”
  • “We’ve tried crossing this before and it’s crazy!”

Mayor Sylvester Turner went out and visited the project site a couple of months ago, both during the day and evening hours, before making the final call on the future of this project. The project was actually for about 30 days before Mayor Turner decided to give the future of the proposed 11th Street Safety Improvements Project a go.

The decision was announced in a statement to the City via a YouTube video:

“11th Street is not safe... and it definitely does not match the Heights’ character. To that end I am announcing the 11th Street safety improvement project will move forward to construction,” Mayor Turner said.

Many say this project is an example of the City of Houston choosing people over cars, safety over speed, and neighborhoods over thoroughfares.

“I am for it, anything to make the streets safer is fine by me,” one person said.

Cyclists will truly benefit from these safety improvements. A hot spot along this thoroughfare is where 11th Street intersects with Nicholson, which cyclists said is really tough to cross. There are cars traveling down 11th Street at high speeds and are not hyper-vigilant of walkers and bikers. This intersection is a big trail connector for pedestrians and cyclists.

The work planned for 11th Street isn’t the first time a reconstruction project like this has been approved, where lanes originally meant for vehicular traffic are now being turned into lanes dedicated for bikes.

Heights Boulevard, which used to have two lanes for cars in each direction, is now down to one lane for cars and one lane for bikes.

The improvements for 11th Street will create safe spaces for cyclists between Shepherd to Michaux, as bikers will now have their own dedicated bike lane. To target the speeding issue, 11th Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction for vehicular traffic.

According to the Planning and Development Department of the City of Houston, “The 11th Street Safety Improvements project proposes to address traffic safety concerns along a 1.5-mile segment from Shepherd to Michaux in the Heights neighborhood. It also includes a neighborhood bikeway along Michaux, connecting from 11th to Stude Park. The project addresses speeding, traffic crashes, and difficulty crossing for people walking and biking along the corridor. It is aligned with the City’s Vision Zero commitment to end traffic deaths and serious injuries and improve street safety for everyone. The project is currently in the design phase.”

This project is part of the City’s Vision Zero commitment to end traffic deaths and serious injuries and improve street safety for everyone. The goal is to make the City of Houston a bike-friendly city by 2027.


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Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.