TEI led a monumental effort with the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) to help the agency develop new multimodal mobility projects that align with their new mission for a sustainable, evolving mobility system for all residents. This project focused on identifying active transportation projects that cross or provide other mobility connections along the current HCTRA-operated tollways in Harris County. Five goals, or Foundations for Future Investments were developed to guide the identification of opportunities and guide future investments: maintaining momentum, breaking down barriers, supporting healthy communities, advancing equity, and building great places.
TEI’s work included developing an evaluation tool to help identify benefits of projects to be able to rank and score them against key community benefits such as access to parks, transit and schools, as well as breaking down barriers, improving safety, and addressing equity. The evaluation tool also included an “Ease of Implementation” score that factored in feasibility, project complexity, and cost estimates to understand where the greatest opportunities exist and aid in project prioritization.
TEI also developed tools to help HCTRA and its partners work together developing facilities that are well designed, accessible to the community, and inclusive of community input. The tools include design guidance, a framework for identifying trail connections, and a public participation process. Design guidance regarding amenities and enhancements will help projects connect to community history and culture creating a unique sense of place and adding economic value.
Outcomes of this project include 236 miles of new trails and active corridors in Harris County , project profiles with prioritization and typologies, the multiple tools, and an online interactive map. With a total cost over $600 million, HCTRA has begun implementation with allocation of $23 million for quick wins and partnership projects.