Crash and congestion report supports Northpark Drive expansion

The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority, a subsidiary of Kingwood's TIRZ 10, is designing the expansion of Northpark Drive in Kingwood.

The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority, a subsidiary of Kingwood's TIRZ 10, is designing the expansion of Northpark Drive in Kingwood.

The crash rate for Northpark Drive between Hwy. 59 and Woodland Hills Drive was 69 percent higher than the state average between 2011-2015, according to a report from The Goodman Corporation.

The report was released Thursday and presented at a board meeting for the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority, a subsidiary of Kingwood’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10.

The LHRA is proposing the expansion of Northpark Drive from four to six lanes between Hwy. 59 and Woodland Hills Drive and commissioned a report studying the impacts. The proposed $60 million project also includes a bridge across the Union Pacific Railroad at Loop 494. Accidents and congestion on Northpark Drive could be significantly reduced by expanding the road, the report stated.

Kingwood area drivers will be safer with the proposed improvements to Northpark Drive, and the monetized safety benefits are substantial," Houston City Council Member Dave Martin said.

The crash rate for this section of Northpark Drive is 211.2 crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Meanwhile, the state average is 125.01 crashes per 100 million VMT. The 330 crashes analyzed on this portion of the road included no fatalities, five incapacitating injuries and 71 non incapacitating injuries. One hundred and twenty-nine of the crashes occurred during peak drive times in the morning and afternoon.

Expanding Northpark Drive would save travelers on Northpark Drive a minute each trip or 14.5 hours in traffic each year. It would also have the residual effect on Kingwood Drive, saving drivers about 3.5 hours each year.

This data shows that the Northpark Drive Mobility Improvement Project will be a game changer with regard to congestion for those residing in the Kingwood area," said Stan Sarman, Chairman of the LHRA and TIRZ 10. "The built scenario also supports research in the Kingwood Area Mobility Study about both congestion and vehicular crashes. It's a huge quality of life issue.


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