Could the Proposed METRORapid Bus Line Shrink Hillcroft?

Could the Proposed METRORapid Bus Line Shrink Hillcroft?
A bus stopped on the Silver Line, the rapid transit service that METRO may extend down to Hillcroft and Bissonnet at the southeast corner of Sharpstown

Some residents of Sharpstown worry that METRO's proposed high-speed bus line extension would narrow Hillcroft from three lanes of regular traffic (each way) to two—or even from two to one.

The project would involve building dedicated bus-only lanes in the center of Hillcroft. According to METRO Press Office employee Douglas Delony, "METRO is exploring a combination of the median and general purpose lanes to accommodate METRORapid while minimizing impacts to traffic and right-of-way." In other words, the bus-only lanes may be carved out of the median, the regular traffic lanes, or both.

What might that look like? Here are photos of the only existing METRORapid line—the Silver Line—taken at the station on Post Oak and Richmond:

A thin median strip separates the two bus-only lanes (marked red) from each other. Concrete barriers separate them from regular traffic lanes. The stations also stand between the buses and the regular traffic.

What would it take to construct something like that on Hillcroft? Hillcroft already narrows to two lanes each way south of Leader St., but it leaves a wide median strip with potential construction room (see image below).

The median strip on Hillcroft, north of Bissonnet (camera facing north)

The proposed line would extend south to Bissonnet, where the median narrows, likely making construction more difficult (see images below).

North of Bissonnet, the median widens quickly (see below).

The median strip on Hillcroft, just north of Bissonnet (camera facing north)

Is it a good idea to build a METRORapid bus line here? Whether you drive a car or ride the bus, how would the proposed line affect your daily commute? Subscribe for free to comment below.