Transportation

Study Focuses On Commuting Alternatives For Busy U.S. 290 Corridor

H-GAC says it hopes to encourage teleworking and public transit.

As the Houston-Galveston Area Council looks into ways to ease traffic on one of the area’s busiest roadways, a new study will focus on alternative ways for people to get to work. 

To do that study, H-GAC is using money the state allocated to find way to ease congestion on the state’s most crowded corridors. Much of the study will focus on U.S. 290.

The population along the 290 corridor is expected to grow to close to a million people over the next couple of decades, and the roadway is currently snarled by construction  that’s estimated to last through 2019.

As part of that study, H-GAC Director of Transportation Planning  Alan Clark told  Metro’s Finance Committee they plan to survey bus ridership. Clark says they’ll also talk to employers about letting people work from home.

“And our incentive might be, for example, go in and train their staff, and underwrite some of the costs of developing a telework program. So it might not be a payment to an individual traveler as it is an arrangement we make with a company.”

And compared to the nearly $2 billion price tag for the 290 widening project, Clark says they’re focused on low-cost solutions.

“And because it’s not a traditional investment in building new highways, we expect to have a frank conversation with the Texas Transportation Commission, our state legislature. They seem to be open to these ideas.”

Clark says once the study is finished, they hope to put new mobility programs into place within the next two years.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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