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Toll lanes coming for SH-288

Via Houstonist, I see that some major changes to SH-288 are in the works.

The plans that were introduced have crews building toll road lanes on a 26 mile stretch of Texas 288.

Two lanes in each direction will be build along the median from 59 to 610.

Three lanes will be build from 610 to the Beltway in each direction.

From the Beltway to County Road 60 near Rosharan will be back down to two lanes in each direction.

“TexDOT always planned for 288 to be a major corridor. We knew there would be a lot of expansion. There would be of course a lot of residential and a lot of coming from Brazoria county into Harris County,” said Norm Wigington With the Texas Department of Transportation.

The drivers would have to have EZ tags.

Pearland City Councilman, Kevin Cole supports the plan. “It’s a good thing. The 288 corridor is the last major corridor in Houston, with this close proximity to Houston to develop.”

I’m okay with adding toll lanes. 288 is almost entirely a commuter road, especially south of 610 – it’s pretty convenient to Reliant Stadium, the Medical Center, and the Museum District, so there is some non-rush hour traffic as well, but the vast majority of people driving it are folks living in places like Pearland who work in Houston. It’s fine by me to put more of the burden to pay for the extra capacity on them. The current lanes will remain free, so people will still have a choice, and unlike the Trans Texas Corridor, I doubt there will be a non-compete agreement that will disincentivize maintaining the free lanes. I sympathize with The Facts, but only to a point. SH-288 is not I-10 or US-59. Its toll lanes will be like the Hardy or the Westpark toll roads, optional for getting where you’re going rather than mandatory.

Tory has more on this. I will say, as one who drives south on that freeway in the morning and north in the afternoon, it’s not entirely a one-way road, and the northbound direction gets pretty crowded from folks heading to 59 and 45 on their way home. Not really enough to worry about for the most part, but it is there.

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  1. Sal Costello says:


    You said you are cool with the toll lanes, right? Are you still cool if the toll lanes are paid for with gas tax dollars, which were intended for free roads?

    In other words, if these new lanes are already paid for – why toll them?

    TxDOT has been diverting all our gas tax dollars into tolling lanes we’ve already paid for. I suggest you might want to ask TxDOT HOW MUCH OF OUR GAS TAX DOLLARS will be paying for the project.

    Also, a non-tolled road costs much less than a toll road.

    Sal Costello

  2. Maria Isabel says:

    March 1, 2007

    It’s interesting to the majority of property owners within the TIRZ No. 13 District including neighbors representing over 230 properties in and near the Sixth Ward how a few citizens carry on about “historical preservation, protecting old buildings, and maintaining neighborhood character” when they themselves are owners of derelict dilapidating houses. How can this be?

    On February 25, 2007 the Mayor spoke regarding the Old Sixth Ward: “Houstonians who are frustrated by the fact that our City’s preservation efforts are overdue, and should have commenced five or ten years ago, if not earlier.” Was he referring to some of the noise makers about preservation sitting on derelict dilapidating old buildings such as 720 Sabine owned by Claude Annello, the Chair of our TIRZ No. 13? Or perhaps our decorated and well know preservationist Bart Truxillo my next door neighbor on 1818 Lubbock and owner of other dilapidating properties in the Montrose area? Or maybe he is talking about Jane Cahill owner of old beat up properties in the neighborhood that she leases for extra income, but refuses to preserve, protect, or maintain? Maybe he is talking about Larissa Linsday, the president of one of the civic clubs here in the Sixth Ward, have you seen her historical house? By the way, the Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association is not a Homeowners Association in the Sixth Ward, it is simply a neighborhood club, and it does not represent the voice or opinions of this entire community.

    We the neighbors of the Sixth Ward and members of SWPO are curious on how the new “design guidelines” will impact these community members so eager to regulate our area. The OSWNA is asking for a new course of action for protecting historical buildings, maintaining neighborhood character and integrity, do they realize that repairing, maintaining, and loving their existing old properties will be part of the future plan? Are they expecting to be appointed the panel in charge of implementing, regulating, and enforcing the new restrictions in our community? Are they expecting to be exempt from their own laws?

    The Sixth Ward Property Owners is in opposition to any Zoning Plan by the TIRZ No. 13. The TIRZ Board did not stick to their original plan and is unaccountable. The majority of property owners within the district do not want zoning, restrictions, or any other type of land use controls in our neighborhood.

    Installing restrictions in an already established neighborhood is wrong, it is unconstitutional, and it violates property rights.

    Maria Isabel