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Jensen and Navigation Roundabout


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Can't wait to see the progress from this and the continued growth in the direct vicinity, with the Ancorian Project on Commerce behind the shopping center currently there and the future of the big lot between Canal and Runnels being potentially sold to Midway in the KBR transaction. Hopefully the BBP incorporates more improvements to Guadalupe Park Plaza as mentioned above. 

Edited by I'm Not a Robot
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That’s fair. I was just thinking that if it’s meant to be a gateway to the East End, then it would be silly for one of the streets off of the roundabout to be a short dead end street.

 

Also, I would guess that blocking off Runnels would have an effect on traffic flow and would mean whatever traffic analysis was used to justify this change to the intersection (which I assume was based in part on an increase in traffic volume) may no longer be applicable.

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On 1/9/2019 at 9:25 AM, I'm Not a Robot said:

On the Agenda for the January meeting, the East End District is considering  an additional traffic study for alternatives to a roundabout at Jensen/Navigation. I wonder what caused this seemingly sudden change of plan. 

 

is it the east end district that wanted the roundabout in the first place, or are they just reacting to a situation proposed by the city?

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https://www.eastenddistrict.com/wp-content/uploads/April-Board-Mtg.-Agenda.pdf

 

13. B. 3. is a note that they will report on the roundabout in the board meeting this week. 

 

http://tirz23.org/accountability/agendas/

April 2019 Agenda 

 

10. Consider partial payment of reinvestment zone contribution to construction of roundabout at Jensen and Navigation.

 

So I'm guessing they will pick up where they left off on this? I never heard whether they voted to continue with an additional study to determine how to go forward

 

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On 4/24/2019 at 8:46 PM, I'm Not a Robot said:

 

Glad this is still going to be turned into a roundabout. We definitely need a lot more of these in town. They are way more versatile than a regular intersection. Probably should also be one on Nav. and N. York. 

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24 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

Glad this is still going to be turned into a roundabout. We definitely need a lot more of these in town. They are way more versatile than a regular intersection. Probably should also be one on Nav. and N. York. 

 

https://www.eastenddistrict.com/wp-content/uploads/June-2019-Board-Meeting-Agenda.pdf

 

Looks like the board will be looking to approve the selection of the committee assigned to the project this Thursday. 

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1 hour ago, I'm Not a Robot said:

Navigation-Roundabout-3-14-2013.pngZona-Central-e1567700546803.png

 

They demolished my house in this drawing!

All jokes aside though, interesting that EEMD, or the developer of the roundabout, whoever made the drawing, would have renderings of the new buildings (both of Marquette's) but not incorporate them in their presently designed form.

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I like the idea a lot. It would be great to have some public art at the roundabout, but this just seems to be putting the cart before the horse.

 

Maybe actually sign a contract to get the roundabout built first? I know funding is secured, but that's it...

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Jensen is being resurfaced from Clinton to Navigation. I spoke to the construction crew which said that all they are working on is resurfacing and that they are unaware of any plans to turn the Navigation/Jensen/Runnels intersection into a roundabout. However, there were COH and EEMD supervisors with the crew. I wasn't able to talk to them as they were all on the phone.

 

I had recently seen survey crews on site with markers placed at the intersection. Hopefully they are working on both at the same time...

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1 hour ago, ljchou said:

Never noticed the "proposed street car" line going from east Navigation down commerce

 

Yes, I believe that streetcar is called "desire."

 

I'll show myself out.

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Simplifying the roundabout to one lane may help drivers but I'm not sure if it helps traffic. Two lane roundabouts DO exist in Houston (ex. Washington and Westcott, which is a good example since it also includes of a single road going from north/south to west/east) but every time I see one of the "two lanes narrowed into one" design, it tends to affirm my belief that traffic circles are just form-over-function novelties.

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@IronTiger the current intersection is absolute cancer. You current have a 4-way intersection which, because of the 45 degree angle of the Navigation bend and Jensen, ends up actually being an 8-signal intersection as the left turns aren't properly aligned, so they have their own sequence. Add in the stoplight on the Navigation to Navigation right turn, and you technically have a 9-sequence light for a four-way intersection. It's also important to note that the amount of traffic going from Runnels to Navigation or Jensen is usually 1-3 cars, per cycle, max. The traffic from that side is negligible, but they have their own part of the cycle.

 

Unless you can realign the interesetion into a grid (which you can't), the *only* way to improve it is to add a continuous flow roundabout. I don't care if it's only one lane, anything that keeps this from being a 5 minute light is function over form. Especially when you add in a new 400 unit apartment complex right at the intersection.

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for the size this intersection is currently, I imagine a 2 lane roundabout will fit. 

 

the amount of traffic I ever see in this intersection currently doesn't really warrant/need 2 lanes, but growth in the area will happen, and a 2 lane roundabout will make sense.

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If ever there was an intersection in Houston where a roundabout was warranted, it is here.  Here combined with the Canal/Navigation intersection is more consistently frustrating than any other one-two combo I can think of. 

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On 10/28/2020 at 10:09 PM, JBTX said:

@IronTiger the current intersection is absolute cancer. You current have a 4-way intersection which, because of the 45 degree angle of the Navigation bend and Jensen, ends up actually being an 8-signal intersection as the left turns aren't properly aligned, so they have their own sequence. Add in the stoplight on the Navigation to Navigation right turn, and you technically have a 9-sequence light for a four-way intersection. It's also important to note that the amount of traffic going from Runnels to Navigation or Jensen is usually 1-3 cars, per cycle, max. The traffic from that side is negligible, but they have their own part of the cycle.

 

Unless you can realign the interesetion into a grid (which you can't), the *only* way to improve it is to add a continuous flow roundabout. I don't care if it's only one lane, anything that keeps this from being a 5 minute light is function over form. Especially when you add in a new 400 unit apartment complex right at the intersection.

Part of the problem with the existing intersection is I see is the insistence that eastbound Navigation has to have two lanes going continuous to the southbound part (requiring an additional light), which the roundabout would get rid of anyway. So if that were the case, I present to you a cost-effective alternative, for your consideration.

 

http://www.carbon-izer.com/files/haif/jnavi-1.png

 

 

 

Edited by IronTiger
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9 minutes ago, Texasota said:

That would be terrible for pedestrians. 

 

That is something you have to consider. A lot of pedestrian and bike traffic in the area. And again, soon to be even more once Forth is complete (and presumably even more once The Mill is underway/finished).

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I didn't draw in pedestrian crosswalks in my little mockup, the idea was to "improve the intersection without completely throwing it out". If such an idea was under consideration, it would have some sort of additional crossings for the corner cut there.

 

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Those corner-cut slip lanes are inherently bad for pedestrians, exactly because they add unnecessary crossings and cars have little reason to slow down (or stop) through them.

 

If we're trying to fix the intersection with minimal changes, then I would actually argue for filling in the slip lane. Pedestrian safety should be the primary consideration, as un-American as that may sound.

Edited by Texasota
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Here's my proposal. Fill in the slip lanes, get rid of the island in the middle for a traffic light and mount them at the corners with long mast arms, and realign/extend sidewalks as needed.

jensen and navigation.jpg

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On 10/30/2020 at 2:35 PM, Texasota said:

Those corner-cut slip lanes are inherently bad for pedestrians, exactly because they add unnecessary crossings and cars have little reason to slow down (or stop) through them.

 

If we're trying to fix the intersection with minimal changes, then I would actually argue for filling in the slip lane. Pedestrian safety should be the primary consideration, as un-American as that may sound.

Enh, I think that the "slip lanes are bad" rhetoric comes from the same "transit blogs" that hate private automobiles and work everything around that theory, even skewing data they don't like to promote their opinions. One thing to note about "pedestrian safety" in their world is that bicycles are never seen as a threat to pedestrians, despite the fact that a fast-moving road bicycle with considerable mass could injure someone, yet the only people who advocate for bicycle speed limits are governments with a seeming contempt for actual citizens, like Toronto.

 

Besides, corner-cut slip lanes eliminate the idea that a car could not see a pedestrian waiting at the corner and cut them off in a right turn.

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That argument would be a lot more convincing if people on bikes killed tens of thousands of people per year (like people in cars do). Besides, what would you set the bike speed limit at? How fast do you think people on road bikes are going? I would think maybe 18-25mph realistically which is slower than the car speed limit in most cases and definitely slower than how fast drivers are actually going.

 

Slip lanes allow drivers to maintain speed. Even if they see someone crossing, if they're still going 30 mph they don't have time to stop. 

 

Overall I think the roundabout is the correct choice for this intersection though. It's just weird and big enough to benefit from it. 

Edited by Texasota
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On 11/1/2020 at 5:48 AM, Texasota said:

That argument would be a lot more convincing if people on bikes killed tens of thousands of people per year (like people in cars do). Besides, what would you set the bike speed limit at? How fast do you think people on road bikes are going? I would think maybe 18-25mph realistically which is slower than the car speed limit in most cases and definitely slower than how fast drivers are actually going.

 

Slip lanes allow drivers to maintain speed. Even if they see someone crossing, if they're still going 30 mph they don't have time to stop. 

 

Overall I think the roundabout is the correct choice for this intersection though. It's just weird and big enough to benefit from it. 

 

your average person is probably going to average 10mph, depending on wind direction and speed. in Houston, we don't have many hills, but we do have plenty of false flats, which can impact a rider as well.

 

people who are riding for fitness are probably going to average around 15-18mph, depending on fitness level, of course, if they are riding in a group, that might be higher.

 

in the near future where people have easy access to electric assist bikes that will enable them to go 20mph with as much effort as they have going 10mph, but they are still infinitely safer than a car going 20mph.

 

anyway, as stated, roundabouts are safer. as a driver, you are forced to slow down, that is number 1 reason for being safer. there is no possible scenario where a driver is doing a left turn into oncoming traffic, so no chance for a head-on collision. you have to slow down, so does everyone else, which makes it safer too.

 

even from a fuel saving standpoint, they are better, you don't have to sit waiting for an empty intersection, and only as someone comes on the cross street does the light change and they have to stop so you can go, does the light change. it's like some guy is sitting in a room watching and changes the lights at the least effective time. anyway, yeah, you get to save fuel as well as having a faster trip.

 

other than the fact that a roundabout is a foreign idea, and change, I don't see why roundabouts are so vehemently opposed? I mean, Westheimer and Post Oak levels of traffic intersections will never merit a roundabout, but this intersection is perfect for it.

Edited by samagon
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in context, Iron Tiger said bicycle, so that's why I assumed when you said bike you were referencing bicycles.

 

anyway, neither here nor there.

 

the number of low cost (relative term) e-bikes, scooters, and mopeds that are starting to become available is astonishing (if you're ok with ordering online, rather than getting from a LBS). for Houston, with a fast growing network of safe bike lanes, add an electric assist bike to help keep from sweating too hard in the summer, the capacity is there for a shift.

 

all that's really missing is a way to keep them from being such an easy target for thieves. 

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