January 08, 2004
Timing is everything

Even if this is the only thing he does in office, Bill White will still be a success in my book.

City crews have begun a yearlong project designed to ease congestion -- and reduce those exasperating, one-block-at-a-time trips through some areas -- by adjusting the timing on traffic signals along 14 major corridors, White announced.

"It's a waste of time and energy of our citizens to be out there with traffic signals that aren't timed," the new mayor said, calling traffic congestion one of Houston's greatest aggravations.

The work already has begun in the Midtown area, where the lights along major streets should be coordinated by Jan. 15, said Wes Johnson, a spokesman for the Public Works and Engineering Department.

White said his plan calls for timing the traffic signals at 1,500 intersections by the end of the year.

"It's taken us awhile to get into this jam of a traffic nightmare," he said, "and it will take us awhile to get out."

I can feel our collective blood pressure going down already. Not having to listen to me swear at certain intersections is probably more than enough to get Tiffany to vote for White again in 2005. Hell, it's probably enough to get her to block-walk for him.

Councilman Michael Berry said White's choice of tackling Houston's problematic traffic signals is an "easy win."

"It is a discrete piece (of the congestion problem) that is high-profile, that is fixable and can show immediate results that affect people's lives," Berry said.

The next time someone asks you why certain politicians have longer honeymoons than others, you can show them this article and that quote. I better stop here before I swoon.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 08, 2004 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack

Imagine what will happen if the traffic problem gets resolved and the light rail takes off.

I better stop before I make you hot ;-)

Posted by: William Hughes on January 8, 2004 9:12 AM

I don't know how this will be implemented..but, other cities that have "timed" their traffice lights have serious problems with lightning strikes. The "cheapest" way to time lights is by some minimum wage worker and his Timex. Then comes Mr. Lightning and resets the internal clocks. But gee, we in southern Texas don't worry about little ole rain showers?!?!?


Posted by: Michael Todd on January 8, 2004 10:41 AM