Infrastructure

New MKT Spur Connector improves bike, hike access in Houston Heights

The connector was completed a few months ago and the city has since added additional safety railings and retaining walls and stormwater drainage to help prevent flooding along the trails. 

Ashley Brown / Houston Public Media
Community members attend the ribbon cutting for the MKT Spur and White Oak Bayou trails.

Hike and bike trail connectivity has just gotten better in the Houston Heights area now that work on a new connector is complete. The City of Houston held a ribbon cutting on Tuesday to celebrate the new MKT Spur Connector that connects the MKT and White Oak Bayou Greenway Trails.

The $1.2 million project is a 850 ft. long and 10 ft. wide trail that allows residents to travel from the MKT Hike and Bike Trail to Stude Park, connecting to what used to be a dead end under Studemont Street.

"The MKT Spur Connector fills a major gap for the city's bike network," said Houston Public Works Director of Transportation and Drainage Operations Veronica Davis. "This connection proves a safer and more equitable transportation network for all users."

The connector was completed a few months ago and the city has since added additional safety railings and retaining walls and stormwater drainage to help prevent flooding along the trails.

District C city council member Abbie Kamin said the project creates safer transit for residents who use both trails.

"We are now connecting two of, in district C, our most popular trails where residents can be more comfortable walking, running, biking, and not being forced onto busy streets," she said.

Construction on the project began last winter and Kamin said so many people had a hand in making the spur connector come alive.

"I think it's clear that there is a comprehensive effort from so many, from grassroots on up and from elected officials and city officials on down – to get this work to happen to make it come to fruition," she said.

Mark Steuer is the president of the White Oak Bayou Association. He said he uses the trail often and it was hard and unsafe to travel towards the MKT without the connector.

"This has been a big gap in the ability to come from upstream to downtown and required one to go across a treacherous bridge on Studewood with a bike, it's not safe," he said.

Steuer said connecting the two trails is a huge benefit for pedestrians and cyclists in the city.

"This really improves public safety as well as the economy of getting from point A to point B from the Heights and Washington Corridor-area downtown," he said.

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