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Rude Drivers, Third Ward Gentrification, and the Texas Music Festival: Houston Matters for Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A recent study released by Auto Vantage suggests Houstonians are the rudest drivers in the country. Yep – worse than Los Angeles, notorious for traffic snarls and drive-by shootings. Worse than New York, a city that has long reveled in its perceived aggressiveness and intense traffic. How did we get here? Whether you accept this particular […]

A recent study released by Auto Vantage suggests Houstonians are the rudest drivers in the country. Yep – worse than Los Angeles, notorious for traffic snarls and drive-by shootings. Worse than New York, a city that has long reveled in its perceived aggressiveness and intense traffic.

How did we get here? Whether you accept this particular survey or not, how do you feel about Houston developing a reputation for rudeness on the roadway? And do you, unwittingly, contribute to it?

On this edition of Houston Matters, we explore what impact a growing population outpacing infrastructure has had on how Houstonians drive. We also consider what impact construction projects – which paradoxically are designed to, when complete, help alleviate the traffic strain on our roads – have on further diminishing traffic options. Then, we talk with an area psychologist about the psychological impact of routinely driving through traffic jams – how it affects us, and how it contributes to our collective behavior on the road.

Also this hour: Houston’s Third Ward has been undergoing an evolution over the past several years. The historically black neighborhood is changing as developers build new townhomes, which may be displacing some of the Third Ward’s longtime residents. We explore how the Third Ward is changing, and what those changes mean for its residents.

And: Since 1990, young orchestral musicians between the ages of 18 and 30 have gathered at the University of Houston to spend four weeks honing their craft and training for possible careers as professional musicians. The program, called the Texas Music Festival, runs throughout June and features a number of public performances. Many musicians who have participated over the years have gone on to successful music careers. Among them: Amanda Swain, a Houston native who returned home to become the principal bassoonist for the Houston Grand Opera, and Texas Music Festival Artistic and General Director Alan Austin, who was a student from the festival’s first year. Swain and Austin discuss the festival’s legacy with Houston Matters’ Michael Hagerty.

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