Transportation

Bagby Street Project Will Remake Area Near Houston City Hall And The Hobby Center

The project includes new sidewalks and an off-street bike lane, along with improved lighting and landscaping.

Crews are about to start work on a major project to remake Bagby Street on the west side of downtown.

The project includes ten blocks of Bagby, from Clay Street to Franklin Street. The work will cost about $29 million, with funding coming from the Downtown Redevelopment Authority.

"Bagby is a very important street because it is the furthest street to the west," said Downtown Redevelopment Authority President Bob Eury. "There's a lot of movement between the various streets of downtown."

Eury cited the many civic buildings along Bagby, including City Hall, the City Hall Annex and the Houston Public Library. Bagby also runs along Sam Houston Park and Tranquility Park. In the evening there's a lot of foot traffic headed to the Hobby Center and the Downtown Aquarium.

Because of that mix, Eury said each block has its own character. The street also includes some shorter than average blocks.

"It's a very unusual street in that regard," said Eury. "Each block sort of has a different function depending on what buildings are on it or what cross streets are there or a ramp to the freeway or whatever. It's a little bit more of a design challenge."

Bagby right now has two lanes in each direction along with some turn lanes. Eury said the new design will narrow the street in some spots.

"We've done a really careful analysis of how the traffic flows, the turning movements," said Eury, who pointed out that Bagby not only has to accommodate workday traffic but also people headed to the Theatre District in the evening.

To help walkers get safely to their destinations, the project includes pedestrian improvements, in addition to an off-street bikeway that will allow riders to connect to other routes. New lighting, signals and landscaping are included as well.

"Bagby will get quite an upgrade," said Eury. "I think the idea here is it really should be a really great civic street that is befitting of the important buildings that are along the street."

The project is expected to take about two years to complete. Eury said they'll keep traffic moving on one side of the street while they work on the other.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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