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Anyone know anything about the never-ending construction along 11th street between Studemont and Shepherd? Seems like they've stalled and aren't making any progress over the past few weeks. Is this a sewage project? Any information about project focus and/or end date would be much appreciated!

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It hasn't stalled at all. In fact, late last week, they poured one half of the intersections at Beverly, Oxford and Columbia. Tjey also have opened the entire northern half of the street. A few weeks back they finished the curbs and driveways east of Oxford.

Setting up the storm drains takes a little extra time, but if you look at the unpaved sections you'll see that the dirt is being smoothed out. That means rebar is about to go in. And, of course, when they rebuild the street as they are doing here, it does involve replacing the storm drainage pipes. I believe it is only being done between Studewood and Yale, however, not Shepherd.

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Construction on 11th Street is largely complete, including sidewalks and new grass. It appears the only thing left is placement of new poles and lights at the Heights intersection. They also need to paint the white line on the westbound lanes, but that will be done on the last day of construction as the barrells are removed.

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I drove down heights past 11th and it seems this intersection is complete. Though their redesign is really bad. When you get to 11th the main lane transforms into a left turn lane, the main lane is shifted out and then back. It naturally lends itself to using the turn lane to cross 11th creating a real dilema if you have one car following the designed path and one using the natural and obvious way. naturally it will make biking this stretch more dangerous.

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I drove down heights past 11th and it seems this intersection is complete. Though their redesign is really bad. When you get to 11th the main lane transforms into a left turn lane, the main lane is shifted out and then back. It naturally lends itself to using the turn lane to cross 11th creating a real dilema if you have one car following the designed path and one using the natural and obvious way. naturally it will make biking this stretch more dangerous.

I've had this happen already. Three cars lined up in the left-turn-only lane, I used the right lane to go straight, as marked. All three went straight, and there's not really enough room on Heights north of 11th to merge safely before you get to the parked cars/bike lane.

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I don't think they've painted appropriate markings on the street (yet), have they?

they have the white lane lines and the left turn arrow in the new left turn lane. if not for the markings you would never intuitively drive the course set out.

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This change is extremely LAME as is the change on Studemont at I-10. WTF were the transportation engineers thinking when they approved these two projects....

James

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This change is extremely LAME as is the change on Studemont at I-10. WTF were the transportation engineers thinking when they approved these two projects....

James

They were probably thinking that they could not cut a left turn lane into that war memorial in the middle of the median. Admittedly, the layout is not intuitive, but a left turn lane and through lane were needed, due to the number of cars lining up to turn left that blocked the intersection. At least now there is a place to go around them.

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They were probably thinking that they could not cut a left turn lane into that war memorial in the middle of the median. Admittedly, the layout is not intuitive, but a left turn lane and through lane were needed, due to the number of cars lining up to turn left that blocked the intersection. At least now there is a place to go around them.

It is too bad the left turn lane is at the expense of the bike lane. A no left turn sign would be a better scenario than this incredibly bad design

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They were probably thinking that they could not cut a left turn lane into that war memorial in the middle of the median. Admittedly, the layout is not intuitive, but a left turn lane and through lane were needed, due to the number of cars lining up to turn left that blocked the intersection. At least now there is a place to go around them.

A better approach might have been to coordinate the traffic lights for those turning left, so traffic wouldn't back up. In what I suspect is often the case for traffic management around here, the cheapest alternative - in this case, just repaint lines to redirect traffic - was taken.

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i'm not sure what your all whining about, I've been through here a dozen times (by bike and car) in the past few days, it is pretty obvious what you are supposed to do, and I don't feel it is any more dangerous that before for bikes, at least this will prevent people from driving down the bikepath from 100s of feet before 11th to turn right. I'm sure some people not paying attention will go straight from the left lane, but hopefully that can be fixed with better signage and people learning the change.

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A better approach might have been to coordinate the traffic lights for those turning left, so traffic wouldn't back up. In what I suspect is often the case for traffic management around here, the cheapest alternative - in this case, just repaint lines to redirect traffic - was taken.

Let's look at your better approach for a second. The problem with left turns at the Heights/11th Street intersection is that, because of the huge median, left turning traffic cannot continue through the intersection, but must instead stop at the red light. Traffic then backs up behind that light until it turns green for 11th Street. After a couple of vehicles back up, any other left-turning vehicles are stuck on Heights, waiting to turn left. This in turn blocks Heights traffic from proceeding through the intersection.

The left turn lane allows left-turning vehicles to qeue in their own lane, allowing through traffic to proceed through the intersection in the right lane. As noted before, the war memorial prevented an actual left turn lane to be cut into the street. Once motorists get used to the new layout, it will work fine.

Now, let's look at the suggested light coordination suggestion. Again, because of the median, left-turn vehicles cannot proceed through the oncoming lanes unless the oncoming lanes are red. To do this, a protected left turn signal would have to be installed. This would add a cycle to the light sequence, making the wait at the light longer. Perhaps the notoriously complaining Heights residents would not mind an extra 30-45 second wait to get through the intersection. BUT, here's the problem. The motorists wishing to turn left would need their own LEFT TURN LANE on Heights. Otherwise, they would get stuck behind a motorist going straight, defeating the entire purpose of the left turn signal. In other words, a traffic signal solution would require the exact same lane configuration!

Like SilverJK, I haven't found it to be a problem, though both times I came to the light a motorist went straight through the turn lane.

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So did you slow down to go behind the offending motorist, or did you speed up to go in front of him/her?

Cheers

James

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So did you slow down to go behind the offending motorist, or did you speed up to go in front of him/her?

Cheers

James

I turned right onto 11th. :blush:

I would have slowed down, since I was slightly behind her. I suppose I would speed up if I were slightly ahead. I was only watching her because of this thread.

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It is too bad the left turn lane is at the expense of the bike lane. A no left turn sign would be a better scenario than this incredibly bad design

Really? You think the thousands of cars per day should be prevented from turning left so that the hundred bikers per day don't have to be in a vehicular lane for 100 feet or so? They made the correct decision...you inconvenience the people who use the road the least....in this case it is clearly the bike riders.

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Really? You think the thousands of cars per day should be prevented from turning left so that the hundred bikers per day don't have to be in a vehicular lane for 100 feet or so? They made the correct decision...you inconvenience the people who use the road the least....in this case it is clearly the bike riders.

Most people go straight.

The design heavily favors left-hand turners at the expense of the majority of travellers going straight (including cyclists).

Previously, you could travel all of heights blvd in the same lane like on 99% of other roads. Now what at every other intersection is on the street parking and bike lane is now a travel lane. It is not intuitive at all. Much like the Studemont south at I-10 design, you are driving on a lane that changes underneath you in an awkward way.

In both cases it is to make left hand turns at intersections that the majority of drivers are not making. I doubt either intersection has thousands of left hand turners.

But I do like your logic. Since there is plenty of sidewalk, running trail, and no one uses that green space, we could put a left turn lane at every intersection.

Edited by J008

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Most people go straight.

The design heavily favors left-hand turners at the expense of the majority of travellers going straight (including cyclists).

Previously, you could travel all of heights blvd in the same lane like on 99% of other roads. Now what at every other intersection is on the street parking and bike lane is now a travel lane. It is not intuitive at all. Much like the Studemont south at I-10 design, you are driving on a lane that changes underneath you in an awkward way.

In both cases it is to make left hand turns at intersections that the majority of drivers are not making. I doubt either intersection has thousands of left hand turners.

Its interesting reading this thread, but I tell you what, with some of the more difficult or time consuming to turn left, I just pass the block and turn right and circle around.

Sometimes its just not worth the headache and potential road rage.

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Most people go straight.

The design heavily favors left-hand turners at the expense of the majority of travellers going straight (including cyclists).

Previously, you could travel all of heights blvd in the same lane like on 99% of other roads. Now what at every other intersection is on the street parking and bike lane is now a travel lane. It is not intuitive at all. Much like the Studemont south at I-10 design, you are driving on a lane that changes underneath you in an awkward way.

In both cases it is to make left hand turns at intersections that the majority of drivers are not making. I doubt either intersection has thousands of left hand turners.

But I do like your logic. Since there is plenty of sidewalk, running trail, and no one uses that green space, we could put a left turn lane at every intersection.

I believe that the reason you point out is exactly why they did the dedicated turning lane. Previously the majority of cars would have to wait if the left turners weren't able to go during the green light. This is why so many people would get in the bike lane early to turn right as well. Yes it is a little akward, but clearly better.

The bike lane is still there (narrowed) and marked. I had no issues on my bike, but i did pay attention to cars in the left turn lane. (nobody went straight when i was there)

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BUT, here's the problem. The motorists wishing to turn left would need their own LEFT TURN LANE on Heights. Otherwise, they would get stuck behind a motorist going straight, defeating the entire purpose of the left turn signal. In other words, a traffic signal solution would require the exact same lane configuration!

Perhaps not. If lights are alternated between northbound straight/left turn and southbound straight/turn, I don’t think you’d need extra lanes on Heights.

Upon reflection, the real problem with that may be that it would require a green light in the median to allow turning traffic to pass through but a red light at 11th and Heights to stop traffic coming down 11th. That is probably about as “intuitive” as the new left turn lane, but involves a dissonance in light signals.

Given my decidedly negative experiences with the stampeding that Houston drivers do when an intersection light goes out, it might actually be expecting too much of them to understand that signal configuration. I’ll table the suggestion pending further comments.

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Its interesting reading this thread, but I tell you what, with some of the more difficult or time consuming to turn left, I just pass the block and turn right and circle around.

For this particular intersection, when heading north on Heights I sometimes slip over to Yale beforehand because I find it easier to turn left on 11th from there. Going south I might turn left at 14th, it's usually got less traffic.

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Perhaps not. If lights are alternated between northbound straight/left turn and southbound straight/turn, I don’t think you’d need extra lanes on Heights.

Upon reflection, the real problem with that may be that it would require a green light in the median to allow turning traffic to pass through but a red light at 11th and Heights to stop traffic coming down 11th. That is probably about as “intuitive” as the new left turn lane, but involves a dissonance in light signals.

Given my decidedly negative experiences with the stampeding that Houston drivers do when an intersection light goes out, it might actually be expecting too much of them to understand that signal configuration. I’ll table the suggestion pending further comments.

I thought of that one, but decided that the amount of time required for a 3 light cycle (North/South/11th) made it a non-starter. I'd certainly take the disjointed lanes over that scenario. Maybe others would like the extended wait at the extra light cycle. Who knows?

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Its interesting reading this thread, but I tell you what, with some of the more difficult or time consuming to turn left, I just pass the block and turn right and circle around.

Sometimes its just not worth the headache and potential road rage.

Actually, since only the major cross streets have traffic lights at Heights, I find it easier just to turn beforehand or go another block rather than to sit through traffic lights. That's the beauty of the grid system. The trade-off is hitting a few stop signs along the way. But I suppose routing more traffic down neighborhood streets is not desirable for residents of those streets.

Edited by barracuda

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Actually, since only the major cross streets have traffic lights at Heights, I find it easier just to turn beforehand or go another block rather than to sit through traffic lights. That's the beauty of the grid system. The trade-off is hitting a few stop signs along the way. But I suppose routing more traffic down neighborhood streets is not desirable for residents of those streets.

I do the same - I always cut left at 9th. There are no stop signs until you get to Waverly....but I do this because the intersection at Heights has always been so bad for turning left. I much prefer Heights to Yale because Yale will shake the bojeezers out of you...but since continuing north to 12th passes my street and 12th has so many stop signs, I use 9th.

Personally if they could improve anything, I would ask for a protected left at Yale. It would not be hard at all since the turn lane is already there. I think that one should be a given...it could trigger only during regular high traffic times and go back to unprotected the other 19 hours per day.

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This is why so many people would get in the bike lane early to turn right as well.

Or worse, get into the bike lane, and go straight.

Yes it is a little akward, but clearly better.
This new layout is better for cyclists, but really goofy for drivers.

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Or worse, get into the bike lane, and go straight.

This new layout is better for cyclists, but really goofy for drivers.

It is goofy, but it has definitely helped traffic flow through the intersection better. Before the adjustment, you almost always got caught at the light when traffic was heavy because someone would sit on Heights waiting to turn left onto a full 11th street (you can't fit very many cars between Heights NB and SB at 11th). Now, cars can move around turning traffic, ableit in a goofy way.

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Not sure why the new configuration is "goofy"....Given the space limitations and increased traffic, it seems to me to be very smart. And as a regular (almost daily) bike rider on Heights, I see no issues with the narrow bike lane. I noticed today that there are "No Parking" signs on Heights Blvd north of 11th (northbound) and south of 11th (southbound), which should prevent parked cars from impeding bikers before they clear the narrow section of the bike path. Heck, I will go a step beyond "very smart" and say this set-up is "almost genius."

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I think I noticed today that there are no longer two traffic lights for east/west traffic on 11th at Heights (one at SB lanes of Heights and one at NB lanes). It seems like this could cause a problem because the lights are actually positioned where the 2nd light was before (west of SB Heights for WB 11th traffic and east of NB Heights for EB 11th traffic). If an EB 11th street driver was just looking at the red light facing him as he approached Heights, he could easily just drive right across SB Heights traffic to get to the stop line at NB Heights, which would be the natural place to stop based on the position of the light.

Edited by heights

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I haven't noticed the lights yet.

But wow, it's amazing how the addition of some simple broken white stripes improves the flow of traffic coming up to 11th street! I'm at that intersection multiple times a week. Since they added the broken white line delineating the main lanes from the left turn lane, I have not seen any drivers trying to tardily change lanes or otherwise indicating they were in the wrong lane. I'm sure the passage of time and the wearing off of novelty helps too, but there's no doubt the addition of the stripes improved matters almost instantaneously. Human Factors technology is amazing!!

I also bike Heights several times a week and, agree with Gooch and MOpens -- the bike lane works great.

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