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Katy Freeway Congestion and Gus Wortham Renovation: Wednesday’s Show (January 20, 2016)

In 2004, the American Highway Users Alliance labeled the Katy Freeway at 610 as the second worst bottleneck in the nation. Of course, the group had a motive: they were lobbying to increase federal highway spending. But after a $2.5 billion-plus expansion of the Katy Freeway, was it worth the headache and cost? In the […]

In 2004, the American Highway Users Alliance labeled the Katy Freeway at 610 as the second worst bottleneck in the nation. Of course, the group had a motive: they were lobbying to increase federal highway spending.

But after a $2.5 billion-plus expansion of the Katy Freeway, was it worth the headache and cost? In the final analysis, was it wise to expand the highway to such a degree that we now have one stretch that encompasses 26 total lanes (12 main lanes, 8 feeder, 6 managed)?

Some urban planning groups, Houston Tomorrow among them, question it. That group notes how, according to its analysis of Houston Transtar data, traffic has only grown more congested in recent years: as an example, “traveling from downtown outbound on the I-10 Katy Freeway to Pin Oak took 51 percent more time in 2014 than in 2011.”

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss whether the Katy Freeway expansion worked with Greg Cohen (no relation), the President and CEO of the American Highway Users Alliance, and Tim Lomax, research engineer and Regents Fellow with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

Also this hour: Houston Matters producer Paige Phelps tours the Houston Recovery Center, a sobering center in downtown Houston. We learn the latest about efforts to renovate the historic Gus Wortham Park Golf Course. And Marian Luntz, the Curator of Film and Video at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston drops by to discuss the museum’s longest-running film festival, the 23rd annual Houston Iranian Film Festival.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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