Polk Street Bikeway and METRO #40 bus

Polk Street Bikeway & Bus Improvements

TEI led planning and design of protected bike lanes and floating bus stops along Polk Street from Emancipation Avenue to Cullen Boulevard (1.1 miles). This project was part of the Houston Bikeways Initiative, a Harris County project to rapidly implement high-comfort, on‑street bikeways within Harris County Precinct 1 and the City of Houston.

The project extents along Polk Street overlap with METRO routes 40 and 41, which combine to provide frequent local bus service to the corridor every 15 minutes. Working in close coordination with METRO, the project team optimized the corridor for faster and more reliable bus service by implementing: approximately quarter-mile stop spacing, far-side stop placement at signalized intersections where feasible, and floating bus stops.

The floating bus stops include accessible boarding islands and back-of-curb bicycle lanes with transition ramps, to minimize conflicts between bikes and buses. The boarding islands allow buses to stop in-lane, making it unnecessary to merge back into traffic after pulling out from a stop. This reduces the time required to board and alight passengers at the stop, and reduces stop time variability, making bus travel times more consistent and more reliable for passengers.

These floating bus stops with back-of-curb bike lanes were the first stops of their kind built in the Houston region. Shortly after this project completed its design phase, TEI helped METRO develop a standard detail for a floating bus stop so that they may be included more easily in future bikeway projects along bus corridors. Construction completed in September 2020.

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