Good Lord, traffic sucked last night. Much as it did this morning.
Broken traffic lights have snarled intersections, lack of electricity has closed HOV lanes, everything's a mess.
We asked Metro yesterday why the HOV problem couldn't be solved by just using cops to direct traffic and was told "it was almost impossible" to staff every ramp.
On the radio this morning, a HPD traffic chief said DPS officers would soon be coming to town to do intersection duty.
Our question is: What took so long?
County Judge Ed Emmett apparently has the same thought.
At 1 p.m. he opened a meeting with county, city, Metro and TxDOT officials hoping to find a way to solve the traffic mess.
His spokesman Joe Stinebaker tells Hair Balls:
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The judge is hoping to get Metro to open HOV lanes, to speed up work on broken street lights, to get extra law-enforcement from all available agencies at heavily congested feeder intersections with broken street lights and to implement whatever other actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate the heavy congestion that has arisen yesterday and today. In terms of timing, the individual agencies would probably have to speak to what their reactions have been so far, but this was the first opportunity the judge had to get everybody together since the situation first became apparent yesterday.
We'll see what comes of it. Moments after that message, Stinebaker claimed at least partial victory: "Apparently the meeting has already done some good, because I just found out Metro is skedding a newser at 2:30 for an announcement on their HOV lanes."
We're still betting that tonight we'll be grinding our teeth behind the wheel at 8 p.m., waiting not-so-patiently for the idiot in front of us to master the intricacies of the broken-stoplight four-way stop.
-- Richard Connelly