Turner Says Houston Needs New Transportation Options To Remain Competitive

The Mayor notes public transit is the most critical component as Houston plans for its future transportation needs and outlines some specifics in his State of Mobility speech

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered his annual State of Mobility speech before the Transportation Advocacy Group.

Speaking before the Transportation Advocacy Group (TAG), Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered his annual State of Mobility speech on Thursday and noted that, as the roads get more crowded, he thinks Houstonians are now ready to start using transit.

“But we have to make it attractive, we have to make it more convenient, and they have to move faster on the public transit system than they would be moving in their car or their trucks,” added Turner.

The mayor said the most crucial transit needs include better connections between downtown and The Galleria. He also called on Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) to come up with new options for getting riders to Bush and Hobby Airports.

“What we have to do is create more of a transit grid so people can get to wherever they need to go as quickly and safely as possible,” explained Turner.

“We have a number of business, economic centers all throughout our region. So we have to create a transit system that connects better to these economic centers.”

In addition, Turner wants METRO to study whether HOV lanes should be open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, instead of just during the business day.

On the issue of cycling and pedestrian safety, Turner said he is asking Bike Houston and cycling advocates to help identify the city's most dangerous intersections for bikers and walkers.

“And I've said to Public Works, then let's quickly go out and assess those areas, those intersections, to see whether or not the design is creating problems, making these areas more hazardous,” the mayor explained.

Turner also mentioned efforts to improve I-45 North, a project that calls for part of the freeway to go underground. The mayor said he has put together a task force to look at ways to create new public spaces as part of that project.


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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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