Mayor's Office Press Release
First Phase Allen Parkway/Buffalo Bayou Park Improvements Finished
June 3, 2016 -- Pedestrians will find it easier and safer to access Buffalo Bayou Park now that the first phase of improvements along Allen Parkway is finished. Completion of this first round of construction was timed to coincide with the start of the summer festival season. The final phase will begin after the Freedom Over Texas celebration in the park on July 4.
Last week eastbound and westbound traffic was shifted to the newly constructed road surface in the south and central sections of the parkway. The lanes immediately adjacent to the park are now enclosed by barricades and are not accessible to the public or vehicles. Other completed improvements include new traffic signals with pedestrian crossings at the Taft and Dunlavy intersections, a U-turn at Waugh Drive, new LED street lights from the Montrose Blvd. underpass to I-45, new trees, sod and reconstructed medians. Two more traffic signals at Gillette Street and Park Vista Drive should be activated within the next week. The four new traffic signals help slow down traffic and provide safer park access from the neighborhoods south of Allen Parkway.
“Buffalo Bayou Park is one of Houston’s most popular outdoor attractions and Allen Parkway is one of our signature roadways. We are improving safety and access for users of both,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Whether you drive a car, ride a bicycle or just use your own two feet, it is now easier to get to and from the park.”
The final phase of the project will include the addition of 141 new parking spaces and meters along the southern edge of Buffalo Bayou Park to address the lack of parking near the park. The parking fee will be $1 for up to 3 hours. The meters will be enforced Monday-Sunday, 9am-7 pm. This will encourage turnover of the limited parking supply and prevent downtown employees or all day parkers from monopolizing the spaces. Any revenue generated beyond covering enforcement costs and meter maintenance will be dedicated toward offsetting maintenance costs in parks across the city. However, with the low fee of $1 per visit there is not expected to be a significant amount of income generated.
The project also includes a new Bcycle station at the southeast corner of the Dunlavy intersection and extension of the downtown Green Lane bike connector lane from Lamar Street to the hike and bike trail along Buffalo Bayou. The proposed route will completely avoid the I-45 exit ramps onto Allen Parkway.
Project completion is slated for completion in September. The entire cost of the project is $10 million. Funding is being provided by the Downtown Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ 3.