The Texas Department of Transportation is touting new and improved technology to determine the worst traffic spots in the state, and the cutting-edge analysis has discovered...Houston sucks!
Which we kinda knew already.
Fully 35 of the state's 100 worst congested roadways are in the Houston area, the study says. Seven of the top 20 are here.
And that includes, of course, the number one spot: "I-45 North from Beltway 8 to 610 North," which we admit doesn't make any sense to us (Possibly we're just low on caffeine; we have a call in to TxDot to clarify or point out how we're an idiot). (Update: We were just confused by the northbound direction of the road and the southbound direction of the description, TxDOT's Karen Othon tells us. The piece of road is I-45 North from the North Loop up to Beltway 8.)
In second place is the Southwest Freeway from the West Loop to 288 near downtown, which makes a whole lot more sense
Here's why the information is new and improved, according to TxDOT:
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To gather actual travel speed data, TTI contracted with INRIX, a private firm that collects real time travel information nationwide and provides that information to a variety of companies for use by the public through GPS units and smart phone applications. Through the contract, TTI received actual speed data for roadways across the state for 2009 to use with traffic volume data to assess total delay. The analysis is a variable of the comparison of free flow times on those roadways and the expected delay during peak travel times.
And here's why Houstonians need not worry overly about traffic
With the limited funding available, TxDOT continues its planning efforts to include feasibility and major investment studies to address possible alternatives, and recommended design and efforts to obtain the necessary environmental clearances.
However, without adequate funding, potential projects to address worsening congestion are in some cases years away.
Nonetheless, concurrent efforts are underway so that as funding options become available, like the funding allocated to the much anticipated improvements on US 290, we will be ready to move forward with projects aimed at relieving congestion in our area.
Qualifiers abound in that statement, but rest assured solutions are being worked on.