Archive for the ‘Traffic Problems’ Category

Woodlands Ramp: Viewer Email
October 28, 2010

A: IH 45 south of SH 242 and north of Research Forest is under construction for ramp reversal. On the southbound side we just closed the entrance ramp that was near St Luke’s Way and moved it to the south. The new southbound entrance ramp to IH 45, just north of Research Forest, was recently opened for traffic. Due to the short weaving distance between the southbound exit ramp and entrance ramps, the location of the permanent entrance ramp being in close proximity to the exit ramp and to the side street, and safety concerns, we decided to close the new entrance ramp just north of Research Forest.  

We are working to add temporary entrance ramp just south of SH 242. The contractor is trying to complete this temporary ramp by Thursday morning which should remedy the delays.    
-TxDOT

NOTE: Ramp is open as of this Thursday morning as TxDOT indicated.

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North Side Jam: Viewer Mail
October 20, 2010

A: This was an emergency closure to repair the roadway pavement (a series of potholes) over multiple lanes.  It was a safety issue and safety is our utmost priority, otherwise it would have waited until after peak travel times.  We could not risk having traffic driving on the pavement. – TxDOT

Texan Game Day Policy
October 14, 2010

HOUSTON TEXANS ANNOUNCE NEW GAME DAY PARKING LOT POLICY

HOUSTON – The Houston Texans announced a new policy related to game day access in the Reliant Park parking lots today.  Beginning with the team’s next home game against the New York Giants on October 10, the Texans and Reliant Park will require all fans who wish to enter the Reliant Park grounds to possess a game ticket or other valid team issued credential.

The rising number of non-ticketed individuals in the parking lots on game day has begun to impact the game day experience of Texans season ticket holders and fans who have purchased game day tickets and parking passes.  The new policy is designed to continue to provide Texans fans with the fun, festive and friendly environment to which they have become accustomed in the Reliant Stadium parking lots on game day.

“The excitement and enthusiasm surrounding our team is at an all-time high and as it continues to build, we want to ensure that our game attendees continue to have an exceptional experience before, during and after Houston Texans home games,” said Texans president Jamey Rootes.  “The tens of thousands of non-ticketed visitors that have occupied the stadium grounds on recent game days have created significant challenges for our traffic, parking and facility management operations.  We feel this new policy is a necessary step in our efforts to provide our game attendees with the fun, festive and friendly game day experience that they have come to expect from us.”

To accommodate fans who would like to tailgate but do not have a game ticket, the Houston Texans will make available a limited number of game day tailgate tickets available only to season ticket holders. The team will offer a maximum of 2,000 passes per game with a limit of four tickets per season ticket account per game.  The tailgate tickets, priced at $10 each, must be purchased prior to game day.  Texans season ticket holders will be contacted with instructions about how they can purchase tailgate tickets.

Texans vs. Cowboys (Reliant Stadium, 2010)

Providing a world-class game day experience is one of the primary objectives of the of the Houston Texans, and the team has been recognized by J.D. Power and Associates and others for customer service excellence.  The team also has a history of making improvements to its game day operations in response to fan feedback.  During the team’s first preseason game in 2002, some parking lots were cash only, but after noting the long lines on the streets outside the parking lots, the Texans moved to pre-paid parking passes only beginning with the next home game a week later.

In 2005, the Texans created the “50-80 Rule” roof policy in response to concerns raised by fans seated in the sun on hot excessively hot gamedays.  In 2008, the team re-issued and mailed out tickets and parking passes to season ticket holders affected by Hurricane Ike.

Sharing Our Environment
October 11, 2010

I moved to Walden in Montgomery County one month ago and this little herd of deer was at the stop sign a couple of blocks from my house.  Yes, we do need to watch for them on the road – especially when it is dark outside.  I see them on the road while driving to work, coming home from work, in my front yard and on my porch during the weekend!  They have really been enjoying my newly planted crepe myrtles!  In one month’s time, this little herd of fawns have lost their spots. –Kathie K. (Local 2 Viewer)

Along with cooler weather, fall months bring about an increase in deer activity so Texas motorists should keep a close watch for animals that occasionally wander onto the highway, especially at night.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 7,000 animal-related crashes occurred on Texas highways in 2009, many involving deer. Twenty-five of those crashes involved a fatality.

Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists predict an increase in deer population this year because of plenty of rain that has created an ideal environment for wildlife to flourish.

Deer-car accidents tally to more than 1.5 million crashes in the United States, costing an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damage, according to recent reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Institute suggests the following defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer:

  • Drive carefully in areas known to have high deer populations. Places where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland are particularly dangerous.
  • If you see a deer, slow down. Others are probably nearby.
  • Use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will reflect off deer’s eyes and warn you of their presence.
  • If a deer is in your lane, brake firmly but stay in the lane. The most serious crashes occur when drivers swerve.
  • Don’t rely on deer whistles, deer fences or reflectors to deter deer.
  • Wear seat belts.
  • If your car strikes a deer, don’t touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call the police.

Remember, it is unlawful to possess a deer or part of a deer that has been hit by a motor vehicle.

Medical Center: Construction
October 4, 2010



Aeriel view of Houston Medical Center

The intersection of Bates & Fannin streets and Texas Children’s Hospital entrance 10 will be closed beginning Saturday through next March to make way for construction of a new oval sky bridge. This “miracle bridge” will connect Texas Children’s Hospital patient facilities with the new maternity building under construction to provide a safe and convenient passageway across busy Fannin Street. [FANNIN WILL NOT BE CLOSED, JUST A TURN LANE TO BATES]

Please see the advisory below and attached. Patient families and visitors of Texas Children’s are advised to check the web site at www.maps.texaschildrens.org for updates. All parking garages remain open.

Texas Children's Sky Bridge

Report Highway Potholes
September 29, 2010

To report a pothole or other maintenance issues on a state highway, call 888-885-8248.
For issues on routes off of state highways, contact county, city or other local government officials.

Red River Rivalry Traffic Delays
September 28, 2010

Orange Barrels Ahead for Texas-Oklahoma Game Travel

Thousands of football fans will converge on north Texas this weekend for the annual Texas-Oklahoma game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Cotton Bowl, and transportation officials in both states are urging motorists to use caution navigating heavy traffic and active construction zones. TxDOT and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation have no lane closures planned between Oklahoma City and Austin during peak travel periods, however a portion of southbound I-35 north of the Austin area will be reduced to one lane beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday, October 3.

In addition, due to our efforts to expand I-35 to six lanes through central Texas, motorists should use extra caution in our active work zones and reduce distractions from the task at hand – driving to the Metroplex safely.

To ease the flow of traffic through the construction zones south of Waco and south of Hillsboro on I-35, active construction will be limited, and contractors are prohibited from closing lanes or ramps due to construction throughout Texas-OU weekend.

Highway conditions and safety information will be available to motorists in a variety of formats:
For Oklahoma traffic advisory information, call 1-888-425-2385. On twitter, follow @OKDOT.

For Texas road conditions, or www.my35.org, or call the TxDOT road conditions line at 1-800-452-9292. Each TxDOT district will keep their twitter feed updated with the latest highway conditions throughout the weekend. Follow @TxDOT for statewide information, or visit for a list of district twitter feeds.

Helpful Numbers
September 10, 2010

Here are a couple of numbers you may want to store in your cell phones. The INCIDENT number is to report anything on the highways such as accidents, stalls and/or debris. The second number listed is to report SMOKING VEHICLES. Help keep our community clean for future generations by reporting those who need to be notified for driving a car that pollutes.

Report Incidents (TxDOT): 713.222.7328

Smoking Vehicles: 1.800.453.SMOG (7664)

HPD (Non-Emergency): 713.884.3131

I-45 Gulf Freeway Accident
August 26, 2010

A woman was hit and killed as she tried to cross a southeast Houston freeway on Thursday.

Houston police said the woman died after she was hit by a Honda Accord on the northbound main lanes of the Gulf Freeway near Griggs Road at about 6:15 a.m.

Investigators said the woman was homeless and lived under a nearby bridge. Her name was not released.

All of the northbound lanes were closed to traffic while police investigated the death. They reopened at about 9:30 a.m.

METRO opened the HOV lane to all traffic while the main lanes were closed.

Gulf Freeway Accident
July 27, 2010

Freeway Reopens After Police Investigate Double Fatal Wreck
Michael Gregory Petty Charged With Intoxication Manslaughter

POSTED: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HOUSTON — A freeway reopened after it was closed for about two hours on Tuesday to allow police to continue to investigate a double fatal collision.

Michael Gregory Petty

Michael Gregory Petty

The collision happened in the southbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway near El Dorado Boulevard at about 12:30 p.m. Monday.The driver suspected of causing the collision, Michael Gregory Petty, 28, has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.Witnesses told police they saw a black Toyota Tacoma traveling at a high rate of speed and dodging in and out of traffic.Investigators said the pickup truck hit the rear left area of a gold Toyota Tacoma, causing that vehicle’s driver to lose control and the vehicle flipped several times.The 55-year-old driver of the gold Tacoma, Manuel Portillo, died at the scene.The 67-year-old passenger, who police said was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle and taken to Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, where he died.The victims’ families said the men were good friends and neighbors.The freeway was shut down for nearly five hours Monday while police investigated the collision.

249 Accident (Wednesday)
July 21, 2010

A Precinct 6 Reserve Deputy is in Critical but Stable Condition after being involved in a Motorcycle Accident

A Harris County Constable Precinct 6 Reserve Deputy is in critical but stable condition at Memorial-Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center after being involved in an accident on the Tomball Parkway (State Highway 249) near Boudreaux Road this morning. According to Precinct 6 Cpl. Jarrel Caldwell, the deputy, Randall Turnage, 50, was traveling southbound on the Tomball Parkway when he crashed into a vehicle that had just rolled over at about 4:30 a.m. He was off duty at the time. As a result of the crash the deputy – who was in uniform – received multiple fractures and was flown by Life Flight to Memorial-Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center.

Slow Downs: Viewer Mail
July 14, 2010

A: Doris,

I understand. I have passed your message along to my contacts at the Texas Dept of Transportation (TxDOT). Most likely…you wont see change in the near future, but they’ll have gotten your message. Sorry for the frustration. Thanks for watching, Jennifer

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/contact_us/

Zoo: 2010 Spring Break
March 1, 2010

Are you heading to the Houston Zoo during SPRING BREAK? (March 12-March 21)

Each year, the Houston Zoo experiences high attendance, averaging 8,000 or more guests each day. As you can imagine, that level of attendance brings with it increased traffic and increased demand for parking in Hermann Park. There’s obviously not 8,000 parking spaces in the area. So, we have a suggestion to help the flow of traffic.

TAKE AN ALTERNATE MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION:

* Carpool: Meet at one house and pack your car full of friends.

* Consider being dropped off and picked up.

* Ride METRO’s bus system or METRORail to Hermann Park.

Find More information: www.houstonzoo.org.  Information will also be posted on the Houston Parks and Recreation Department Web site at http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/index.html.

Up ... close.

Once you get past the parking/transportation situation – it’s ALL fun! Just check out how close I was to the 15 foot giraffes. They are incredibly friendly and docile.

Giraffe kiss! (Only under zoo keeper supervision.)

I didn’t think twice about getting even closer! If you are interested, take a look at the Houston Zoo’s website or Michael’s blog which gives more information on how to go behind the scenes with the tallest mammals on Earth. http://houstonzooblogs.org/zoo/2010/02/cross-zoo-traffic/

Michael Reina helped the Channel 2 crew get around the Houston Zoo.

Michael’s blog has a more detailed version of the day…his view point and other pictures from the day as well: http://houstonzooblogs.org/zoo/2010/02/cross-zoo-traffic/

After feeding the giraffes, it was time for work.

I couldn’t play forever though. I had a story to turn. After taking pictures with our tour guide, zoo keepers, photographers and the giraffes…it was time to interview, Kim Siegl, a Hoofstock Keeper. She said working at the zoo was a dream job. The toughest element was having to deal with the weather changes-as Houston can go from sweltering hot to bitterly cold. And a lot of the time they have to be out with the giraffes.

Questions, questions and more questions.

My visit wouldn’t have been complete without dropping by the newly renovated jaguar exhibit. Angie Pyle, the senior carnivore keeper says that one of the most popular questions she gets asked is about Kam Balam, one of the cats. He hops along because of an old injury. In another facility, Kam Balam put his paw in another jaguar’s cage and it was taken off. This was years ago and they say he’s adapted just fine.

Inside the re-designed Jaguar Exhibit.

Houston Highways
November 19, 2009

By popular demand…

I’ve created this list for those of you who are new to Houston. Welcome! Yes, it’s true and often confusing…every one of our freeways has “another name.” We have about 16 major highways which you can read more about by heading to wikipedia’s website.

Highway 6                          turns into FM 1960

Viewer Mail: Alief
October 28, 2009

alief viewer

A:

Jennifer, I will get this information to the project managers to try and get them to come up with a better traffic plan. Since the project is new the contractor may need to make some adjustments. This project will end on October 27, 2010 and will include new storm drains, curbs and gutters, street lights and more. Total street reconstruction. -City of Houston