Existing Bikeways

Columbia Tap Rails to Trails

The Columbia Tap Trail is a Rails-to-Trials conversion project which consists of over 4 miles of a 10-foot wide, concrete, multi-use hike and bike trail along the old Columbia Tap railroad.


The trail corridor extends from Dixie Drive past Polk Street and into downtown, along the former Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way creating a greenway corridor in the Third Ward and downtown area. The project is bound by Dowling Street on the west and Scott Street on the east. The trail is located in Key Map grids 493 V,Y & & Z and 533 C, F & G.

Once completed, the trail will connect the neighborhoods along the tap with the bikeway network's existing designated Polk bike lanes, McGowan and Alabama bike routes, Brays Bayou Trail, and the Dixie bike route which includes a bicycle and pedestrian bridge across Highway 288. These bikeways add east and west connections to the greenway adding to its transportation benefits. The trail offers residents and visitors improved mobility and connectivity to major employment centers; community centers; churches; art studios in the warehouse district; schools such as Debakey High School; and universities such as Texas Southern University and University of Houston; recreational facilities like Hermann Park and McGregor Park; the Houston Zoo; the Museum District; as well as the Texas Medical Center and Minute Maid Park.

The Columbia trail is a welcome transportation option for bicycle and pedestrian travel but it will become an even more valuable transportation connector during the channel widening work along Brays Bayou allowing the neighborhoods to connect with the southern segment of the bikeway network as well as with the Texas Medical Center, the Museum District and Hermann Park during this construction period estimated to last for approximately 2 to 3 years.

The greenway also includes pedestrian crossings at intersections, landscaping with native trees and standard lighting throughout the public trail corridor.

The Columbia Tap - Union Station Extension (the 1.07 miles of trail north of Polk Street) will begin construction in 2006. It extends the trail from Polk Street to Minute Maid Park.

Columbia Tap Rail-to-Trail
Project Status:
Projected Construction Completion: July 2008
Federal Funds: Statewide Transportation Enhancement Project
Local Funds: City of Houston, METRO
Estimated Cost: $2.5 million, $1.1 M
City Council District: D, I

CLICK HERE: for Columbia Tap Union Station Rail to Trail map.