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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


STAFF EDITORIAL: Proper driving etiquette can alleviate highway traffic

Students know Houston has serious traffic problems, but thanks to the Texas Department of Transportation, we now know that immediate relief rests on how we drive.

TXDOT released its list of the 100 Most Congested Roads in Texas on Tuesday, and six of the top 10 are located in Harris County.

The stretch of Interstate 45 between Beltway 8 and the North Loop took top honors. The rankings are based on a comparison of how much longer a commute takes during rush hour, as opposed to when the highway is clear.

With population on the rise in Harris County, TXDOT is attempting to address these issues through construction. The relief won’t come soon, however, as the estimated bid date for many of these plans is set for Sept. 1, 2012. In the meantime, we must create our own solutions for alleviating traffic problems.

One option is carpooling, as using HOV lanes and reducing the number of cars on the road generates more space for drivers. This does not work well for many people, because we are not always going to the same location at the same time.

Public transportation is another choice, but thousands of Houstonians do not feel safe when traveling on a bus or light rail after dark. The best solution, aside from building additional lanes, may be practicing excellent driving etiquette.

For example, the left lane is known as the fast lane, but there are always people who ignore the unwritten rules of the road and create congestion. They decide to travel at 60 to 65 miles per hour when everyone else in the left lane wants to drive 80 to 90 miles per hour.

People who are never in the correct lane when they are approaching their exit also generate trouble. During rush hour, ignorant drivers wait until the last second to get into the correct lane, forcing others to slam on their brakes.

If enough people followed guidelines like these, we would see at least a slight improvement in our city’s traffic problems.

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