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Downtown Houston Transit Lanes Getting a Fresh New Look

HOUSTON, TX — A faster, more reliable commute is coming to downtown Houston. METRO's latest project, in partnership with the City of Houston, will bring a fresh new look to existing transit-only lanes in the city's central business district.

New markings, striping, and signage will update dedicated bus and carpool lanes along Milam and Travis. The high-visibility overlay will be applied to existing diamond lanes on both streets to distinguish them from regular traffic lanes and clarify they are reserved for bus and carpool use only.

The project is an opportunity to refresh and update the lanes using an industry best practice of red striping and markings to provide visual instruction to users. According to the Federal Transit Administration, red lanes improve traffic flow by having designated lanes for public transit vehicles. Dedicated transit lanes can also improve safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians — making streets more equitable for all.

"We see this very much as a safety project," said METRO Chief Innovation Officer Kimberly Williams. "It creates structure among all users downtown."

The project is divided into three phases. Four blocks of the existing diamond lane on Travis, between Pierce and Leeland, will be treated with the red markings and signage during the first phase. Phase two will cover the remaining 14 blocks to Congress. The last stage will apply similar treatment to the entire stretch of Milam between Pierce and Congress. Completion of the project is expected in the spring of 2022.
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