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All The Traffic Problems Solved!

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Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has announced how he's going to tackle the massive traffic headaches caused by Ike.

HOV lanes will be open, and cops will staff major intersections to keep cars flowing faster than the herky-jerky four-way stop system.

So what took so long?

"The real answer, they were looking at the whole safety consideration and they did it when they felt like it was the safe thing to do," he said at a press conference.

An HPD officer added, "I think initially nobody really realized how many traffic signals were down."

It wasn't until yesterday's commuting nightmare that officials realized how bad the situation was, apparently.

HOV lanes will be open on 290, I-45 North, the Southwest Freeway and the Eastex. The Gulf Freeway's HOV lane is too damaged to open, and the one on the Katy Freeway is still under construction from a renovation. (Normal HOV-lane rules apply, by the way. No single drivers.)

Officers will be at the gates and enter/exit ramps; yesterday a Metro spokesperson said doing that would require far too many officers to be feasible.

It will be at least 10 days before all the city's traffic lights are fixed to the degree that at least one of the lights in the intersection is working; fixing all will take until November, officials said.

There was no word on how many intersections will be staffed with officers tonight and in the days to come.

We'll see how all this works soon enough, we guess.

-- Cathy Matusow

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