Travis Street red bus and HOV lanes by the Downtown Transit Center

METRO Milam & Travis Transit Corridor Improvements

TEI served as traffic engineer for the METRO Operations Department to assess, design, and construct dedicated bus lanes on Milam Street and Travis Street, in Downtown Houston. High-visibility red busway pavement markings, striping, and signage were applied to the existing diamond/HOV and bus lanes on both streets to distinguish from regular traffic lanes and clarify the reserved right-of-way for bus and carpool use only.

As a key component to support the refinement of the design and stakeholder coordination, TEI analyzed traffic signal timing progression on Milam Street and Travis Street in the contexts of Houston’s Downtown Grid. We developed traffic simulation models using VISSIM. The modeling and analyses identified potential improvements in signal timing and supported a more holistic multimodal review of the corridor operations.

In the signal timing evaluation, we considered the combined effects of the dedicated bus lanes, crossing bikeway and leading bike intervals, pedestrians, automobile traffic, and various factors, such as on-street parking during off-peak periods and off-duty officer interruption during PM peaks. TEI observed the on-street and garage parking operations in the field to accurately account for the impedance to the timing assessment. TEI found the existing signal progression would enable acceptable traffic operations with no queue spillback beyond Downtown blocks after the bus lanes were implemented on each corridor. The now-built Travis Street portion is operational, and operates as projected.

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