Archive for the ‘Traffic’ Category

I-10 Katy Freeway Closure This Weekend

Just great. In case you didn’t already know, both sides of the Katy Freeway will be shut down from 5AM Saturday until 5AM Monday (among other inconveniences). You might want to rethink those weekend plans…

Find out more details in this Chronicle Article:

When I59 Flooded

With all this rain ruining our weekend I thought it might be a good time to reflect on the time that I59 flooded during reconstruction. I can’t remember what year this was but the photos (unknown source) are incredible!



Katy Freeway closure updates and hilariously cute freeway graphics


I just saw this on the Houston West Chamber of Commerce (HWCOC) site and wanted to be sure to point all of you towards some upcoming Katy Freeway construction FUN!!!

There are quite a few upcoming freeway closures that I have been in the dark about – perhaps it’s time for you to review your normal routes to make sure you can avoid ridiculously clogged areas in favor of slightly less ridiculously clogged areas.

Since you’ll be on the site anyway, check out the project illustrations that will show you what the finished construction phasing projects will look like. I find them to be incredibly cute, but have no idea why. Can we say easily amused? Yes, I think we can.


Power out, highway closed… bikes win

Behold the power of the bicycle!

When Highway 6 between West Little York and Highway 249 was closed today from a downed power line, it caused confusion, congestion, and elicited more than one horn blown in anger. The entire area was without power as police stopped traffic in both directions….


…through all the turbulence and temper… a lone cyclist rode peacefully down the road. Nice!

On The Street Where I Live

I’ve always had a bifurcated relationship with the police. Don’t get me wrong. I think anyone who wears a badge for us is a saint. It’s just when I’m driving that I sometimes prefer not to see them behind me.

This week, Houston’s finest have had speed traps operating on the street where I live. And I find that I’m grateful for their work.

I have the good fortune to live in a nice neighborhood, but my street also happens to be a major thoroughfare. While the timing of the neighboring stoplights make it easy enough to back out of my driveway, the speed of the drivers going by can be a little perturbing when I’m out in the front yard…or more importantly when my daughter or wife are out there. I swear sometimes the semis going by seem to create vortexes that could suck you into the street.

I find that usually people are all for law enforcement, and even enforcement of traffic laws unless they are driving and their driving is under review. Personally, I don’t like speed traps much in theory, but this week, I’m kind of grateful for the folks trying to get drivers to stop blowing down the 30 mph street at 50 or better.

I understand the desire to go faster and to get to where you’re going quickly. And I have probably been as guilty as anyone else of the same kind of behavior I am hypocritically hostile to these days…and I suppose speed traps beat the heck out of speed bums.

I don’t really care how fast people go on the freeway…but I’d prefer it if the street where I lived was more neighborly than freeway-like. And I’m grateful to HPD for trying to make it that way.

Decennial Insanity?

Perhaps it is just me, but it seems like every 10 years or so, traffic just goes wonkier than normal here. In the last three weeks, my commutes that used to take 25-35 minutes have suddenly become bumper-to-bumper marathons of 45-90 minutes.

I recall this happening in the mid-nineties when suddenly there was just a ton more traffic than usual.

Anyone else notice this? I usually drive 59 or 10 to head to the west side of town and even the Westpark tollway is all clogged up these days.

Yeah, I know, whine whine…

Freeway Closures This Weekend

I hate traffic. I hate it to the extent that I sometimes avoid going to school just because I don’t feel like dealing with the excuse-for-a-freeway that is called 59. I hate it so much that I post about it all the damn time.

So imagine my delight today when I visit the Houston Chronicle’s site only to find that there will be more freeway closures this weekend. What I don’t seem to understand is why the little information billboards don’t show this information anymore. It’s already frustrating enough going home late at night on the weekend and having to deal with drunk drivers all over the place. Road closures without any warning don’t help the situation.

Enough ranting – here’s what you need to know (quoted from the article):

59: The Southwest Freeway will shut down completely this weekend from West Loop to Texas 288 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Southbound traffic must exit to Texas 288; northbound traffic must exit to the West Loop. One lane of traffic from the Loop may enter the northbound freeway but must exit at Shepherd. The southbound freeway will be open west of Greenbriar/Shepherd entrance.

I-10: Katy Freeway construction will see eastbound lanes at the West Loop interchange reduced to one lane for part of the weekend.

From 9 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday, the I-10/Katy Freeway eastbound mainlanes will be down to one lane between Chimney Rock/Wirt and I-610/West Loop, and the I-10 eastbound ramp to the West Loop will be closed.

From 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the West Loop northbound ramp to I-10 westbound will be closed.

When will it end?! I wonder if I will live to see the day where there are no construction projects on any of the freeways…

Navigating Houston’s Roads

So, it’s a busy month for bikes.

May is Bike to Work Month and this week is Bike to Work Week and Friday is Bike to Work Day. Local biking clubs are hosting various bike-y events, and the City’s doing some stuff too.

When I first saw the article about Bike to Work Day, I contemplated taking my trusty Novara hybrid to work. Sure, it would be fun and a good workout – but do I really want to brave these Houston streets? It’s just 8 miles from my house to the office, but I doubt the roads between the Med Center to the Galleria are cycle friendly. Even if I took side streets, I’d still be scared about getting hit. Houston just doesn’t seem very bicycle-friendly to me – we’re such a car centered city.

There are, actually, lots of bike lanes around town – 300 miles of bikeway to be exact. They’re painted in white with a bike symbol or the words “BIKE LANE” in big letters. But, I’ll admit I don’t always notice or pay attention to them. For example, there’s a bike lane here in the Med Center that cuts diagnoally across Cambridge Street just before it reaches Old Spanish Trail. It’s positioned awkwardly, but still, I forget it’s there. I know I’m not the only one.

I’m all for increasing bike awareness and supporting more fitness-related events in Houston. But biking to work seems to be unrealistic for most Houstonians…even for those who live and work inside the loop. I know there must be Houstonians that bike to work every day, so maybe I’m wrong?

On a somewhat related note, Mapquest names Houston as the hardest city to navigate.

Beating Traffic in Houston — scientifically speaking

According to the US Census Bureau, Houston commuters spend, on average, a little under an hour a day commuting to work. That’s approximately 200 hours a year. Driving in your car. Getting cut off. Gazing towards a red sea of brake lights. Cursing construction companies and city planners.


Houstonian Brandon Hansen (of OmniNerd) has created a tremendously detailed account and analysis of his Houston work commute from March 2005 to March 2006.

And I do mean *seriously* detailed – taking the time to record every workday’s departure and arrival times, minute route alterations (like taking a different street to avoid a road full of fast food restaurants), school holidays, etc.

Not for the faint of heart, this mathematically-charged analysis is pretty impressive. Brandon’s final conclusion – we need to work for better a mass transit system. A-freaking-men.

Sure puts my old ‘Check Transtar 5 Minutes Before I Go Out The Door’ routine to shame. I think I’d like to carpool with this guy….

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