The Energy Corridor District Creates West Houston’s First Protected Intersection
January 6, 2021 – In December 2020, the Energy Corridor District turned on the pedestrian lighting at the Memorial Drive and Eldridge Parkway intersection. This action was a final step involved in completing the District’s Memorial Drive and Eldridge Parkway Protected Intersection Project, which resulted in the first intersection of its kind in West Houston. The District designed intersection improvements for better vehicular movement, safety, and protection of pedestrians and bicyclists. Additionally, the District’s efforts resulted in beautification improvements including enhanced curb appeal, pedestrian lighting, and landscaping.
Due to the work of the District, Kimley-Horn (engineering consultant), and Main Lane Industries (contractor), the following accomplishments were achieved:
- Enhanced safety for pedestrians and cyclists by building 12’ wide sidewalks and raised islands that improve ADA, walkability, and bicycle access across the intersection.
- Improved right-turn movements for vehicles onto Memorial Drive so that drivers have a better line-of-sight to safely merge onto Memorial Drive from Eldridge Parkway.
- Installed placemaking components such as trees, landscape beds, pedestrian lighting, and bollards to enhance the intersection’s modern and inviting appeal while also defining a new visual standard for the District.
“The Energy Corridor District is excited to use the advanced design standards developed through this project as a model for potential future intersection enhancements within the District,” said the Energy Corridor District’s Executive Director, Elijah J. Williams. “As the District improves mobility for all road users and enhances its sense of place, the Memorial Drive and Eldridge Parkway Protected Intersection Project demonstrates how we’re at the forefront of advancing economic vitality through integrated planning efforts.”
The planning phase of this project started in 2015 when the Energy Corridor District identified opportunities to maximize Houston Public Works’ multimillion-dollar Memorial Drive Paving and Drainage Improvements Project (CIP # N-000798). Houston City Council approved the District’s Change Order, which involved a complete redesign of the Memorial Drive and Eldridge Parkway intersection, in September of 2018.
“Guided by our Service Plan, we redesigned the intersection for better vehicular movement, safety, and protection of pedestrians and bicyclists along Eldridge Parkway, Memorial Drive, and at the intersection crossings,” said Urban Planner Fabiana Boero. “We couldn’t have completed this project without the generous easement donations from Watkins Harris, LLC and the Protestant Episcopal Church Council of the Diocese of Texas.”
The finished outcome of this project resulted in a safer, more appealing sense of place that benefits the District’s property owners, businesses, employees, residents, and visitors every day. The Energy Corridor District will continue to partner with the City of Houston to advance future projects that benefit District stakeholders.