Your Highway's A Parking Lot, But The HOV Lanes Are Clear

Categories: Hurricane Ike
Traffic has been a complete, total, unrelieved pain in the ass since most downtown workers have returned to their jobs. Highways like 290, 59 and 288 have become parking lots, mostly due to the lack of traffic signals on the off-ramps and service roads.

But as you sit and stew in the stop-and-go, you might look over and see the HOV lanes sitting empty. In fact, five of the six HOV lanes around town are not being used because they lack power for signal lights.

I-45 northbound’s HOV lane opened this morning, and the others will be open once power is restored, a Metro spokesperson told us this morning. Unfortunately, they do not have an ETA for when the others will open.

If you don't have lights, can't you just go back to the days when traffic cops kept things moving?

Apparently not.

Staffing all of the lanes does not seem doable at this point, spokeswoman Raequel Roberts tells Hair Balls.

“There are so many entrances and exits on the HOV lanes that it’s almost impossible to staff it,” she said. "It’s a balancing act between keeping people safe and opening up the system as fast as we can.”

This may help with traffic safety, but there may be a chance the increased congestion might lead to more people shooting at other people out of their driver’s side windows. (That’s not a Metro prediction – we’re just sayin’….)

-- Craig Malisow

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