Midtown officials have approved a design modification request for the reconstruction of Bagby Street. The changes will not significantly divert from the original pedestrian-friendly two-lane plan, however.
The decision was announced at a joint regular meeting, open to the public, held between the Boards of Directors of the Midtown Redevelopment Authority and the Midtown Reinvestment Zone this past Thursday.
This was good news for many local residents who were up in arms and signing petitions after rumors circulated that the City’s Public Works Department was attempting to revert the model Complete Street design to a car-centered three-lane thoroughfare. (See Houston Tomorrow’s previous stories here and here.)
As explained during the meeting, the Midtown Redevelopment Authority had received a letter from the Houston Public Works Department expressing concerns that the reconstruction failed to meet requirements of the City’s Major Thoroughfare Plan (MTP). The pedestrian-friendly design for Bagby, which already received permits and is well under way, calls for two lanes of traffic, but the MTP shows Bagby as a three lane street.
The compromise accepted will allow the current plan to continue, while also ensuring space for a third lane to be added in the future if traffic demands require it.
The minor revisions will include the removal of several corner curb bulb-outs, but the changes will not effect Bagby’s candidacy for becoming the first official Greenroads-certified sustainable roadway in Texas.
Board members reported that the changes agreed upon will only add minor delays to the construction schedule and will cost under $100,000.
A City Hall source characterized the project as being “back on track.”