Transportation

Transportation Officials Discuss Traffic Safety in Annual “State of TxDOT” Address

Millions of dollars in transportation projects are now moving forward in Houston and around the state. Two top transportation officials said safety is a major concern.

Speaking before the Transportation Advocacy Group, TxDOT District Engineer Quincy Allen said they’re looking at doing things differently as they design major projects like the widening of the Gulf Freeway and I-45 North.

That includes spacing out ramps and merge points so drivers won’t be making last-minute decisions.

“We’re going to make the transitions longer so it’s smoother,” explained Allen. “We’re going to increase the signing and improve it so you can see there’s a decision point coming up and you don’t have to make a last-minute move.”

And with the region’s high rate of drunk driving, Allen said they’ve also added heightened awareness devices in spots where people tend to drive the wrong way. That includes things like red striping to indicate to drivers they’re traveling into ongoing traffic.

“Yes, I wish it would disappear,” said Allen of Houston’s high DWI numbers. “But until we’re able to help it disappear we’re going to have to deal with the symptoms of the problem.”

TxDOT Commissioner Laura Ryan said there also needs to be a strong educational component to keep the roads safe.

“Each and every time there is a fatality on Texas roadways multiple lives are impacted. And put yourself in the shoes of those lives.”

Last year 455 people were killed in crashes in Harris County alone.

 

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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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