Before the major pedestrian-friendly developments along Allen Parkway, Houston officials joked at a press conference Thursday, trying to cross the parkway was like playing Frogger, doing gymnastics like Simone Biles and running across like track star Carl Lewis.
"Before all the improvements were made, we had a really difficult situation of watching people literally jump across the traffic just to get across Allen Parkway," said Bob Eury, president of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority. "It was really difficult, so we're finally bringing some order to it."
The Redevelopment Authority joined Houston City Council members Thursday to unveil the changes that they expect will allow more joggers, dog walkers and bike riders to enjoy Buffalo Bayou Park thanks to better and safer accessibility.
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After 14 months of construction, there are now 132 parking spaces along Allen Parkway in a protected area; two new stoplights and various pedestrian crosswalks so people don't have to play Frogger; new landscaped medians from Montrose to Sabine; and safer connections to the north- and southbound I-45 ramps. The speed limit has also been reduced from 40 to 35 miles per hour.
"We've reverted it to no longer being Allen Raceway but Allen Parkway again," said Mayor Pro-Tem Ellen Cohen. "And I am thrilled to have it in my district and for all Houstonians to enjoy it."
Eury then invited all the attendees to go back to 1969, "back to Abbey Road," and safely cross the parkway with him, posing like the Beatles.
We hope the next time you hop on the parkway to get to Buffalo Bayou Park that you have as much fun out there as they did.