Public Meeting - Family Health Center Auditorium (1615 Colcord St.)
Thursday September 14, 2017
6:00-7:30 p.m., Presentation at 6:30 p.m.

17th-18th-19th Streets Corridor Study

The City of Waco is studying 17th-18th-19th Streets from LaSalle to Park Lake Dr. This study will develop concepts to consider including opportunities to:

  • Enhance sidewalks and bike travel

  • Modify travel lanes to balance mobility and livability

  • Spur economic development in the area

  • Protect and enhance the quality of life for communities

The study will focus on safety and the needs for all transportation types including walking, biking, driving, and transit.

A major part of the study is working closely with community members, businesses, and stakeholders in the area. This will help us identify needs and desires for the area and possible improvements.

Background Information

The City of Waco is studying 17th, 18th, and 19th Streets to evaluate the impact of traffic routing options on businesses and residential development in a portion of Waco known as an important east-west commuter route to the Downtown area and McLennan Community College (MCC).

In recent years, the area has seen fluctuating growth due to the concerns associated with traffic volumes and vehicular speed. This Corridor has been cited as a problematic route due to peak time traffic congestion, accident rates and the lack of safe pedestrian infrastructure.

The Corridor is bordered by a densely developed, but underutilized, mixture of commercial, small office, and high density lower to middle income residential units. Areas of the Corridor include a diverse blend of low-rise multi-family apartment buildings and duplexes intermixed with small businesses. The western portion serves the MCC campus and is identified as a high priority growth area in the City of Waco's 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

With the exception of the segment between Vivian and Live Oak Avenues, the Corridor between Lake Shore Drive and Homan Avenue is an urban 4-lane principal arterial with a continuous left turn lane and contains no parking. The section between Vivian and Live Oak Avenues has no left turn lane. Sidewalks and other pedestrian infrastructure are intermittent and where they do exist are in need of repairs. There are no bicycle facilities currently existing along the Corridor.

Between Homan Avenue and IH 35, 17th and 18th Streets are currently designed as a separated pair and continue to function as a principal arterial primarily serving downtown Waco. Traffic travels from east to west along 17th Street and from west to east along 18th Street. Both streets contain 4 lanes between IH 35 and Waco Drive and 3 lanes between Waco Drive and Homan Avenue. Sidewalks are intermittent and in need of repairs.

In the 1950s and 60s, one-way pairs were implemented in many cities across the U.S. (including Waco) in an attempt to rid downtowns of traffic congestion. The relative efficiency of one-way streets in moving traffic and reducing congestion without street widening or the construction of new facilities was a common response to the suburban migration. There are pros and cons for one-way streets and two-way streets, however conditions change with time and differ from one street to another.

Because of the Corridor's prominence as an east-west commuter linkage, it is served directly or indirectly by 5 of Waco's 10 transit routes. Routes 1 and 2-MCC/Valley Mills directly serve the Corridor between Lake Shore Drive and Herring Avenue. Route 8-Bosque/Sanger travels the Corridor between Morrow Avenue and Franklin Avenue. Between Dutton Avenue and Baylor Avenue, the Corridor is served by Routes 3 and 4-VA/Colcord.

This study shall analyze the current traffic operations and conditions, and provide a consensus recommended plan that accommodates all travelers; pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and drivers. The plan's final recommendation and focus on safety shall improve the physical health of individuals, the environmental quality of the community and further increase opportunities for development.

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