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Old 04-25-2015, 09:17 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 2,819,345 times
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With all the growth in the city, I am very surprised and disappointed that BW8 has one lane, yes, only one lane of EZ Tag through ship channel toll. That causes horrendous backups during rush hour. It doesn't seem like it would be that tough to put one more adjacent EZ tag. Just having two adjacent lanes of "open road tolling" would significantly reduce congestion. It's essentially the same as it was more than 13 years ago, when we were a much smaller metro.

Transportation in SE and East portion of the metro have been neglected and gridlock is horrendous. There is no good way to get from Baytown to Sugar Land during rush hour. It sucks. Some simple fixes would make it much better. 146 to 225 to BW8 would work but there's no direct connector from 225 to BW8, forcing that traffic to the feeder with all the Deer Park surface traffic, making it suck for both the 225 and local Deer Park traffic turning on BW8 south.

With all the construction going on in Baytown and Mt. Belvieu, I don't see this getting better. I can't believe there is nothing planned to alleviate gridlock in this route, while the city continues to grow. BW8 being two lanes between Deer Park and Pearland is a parking lot in both directions, but it's still better than going through downtown Houston - for now.
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Beach City Texas
169 posts, read 425,110 times
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HCTRA does has a widening plan with a construction start date of 2017 although they don't get too specific about it:

https://www.hctra.org/about_construc...20955698546353
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Houston
6,870 posts, read 14,003,395 times
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I thought that side of town had significantly less traffic compared to the west side. The north and west belt are horrendous during rush hour. They may need to double deck it to relieve the congestion.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westhou View Post
I thought that side of town had significantly less traffic compared to the west side. The north and west belt are horrendous during rush hour. They may need to double deck it to relieve the congestion.
Yes, BUT there's significantly less lanes there. There's only ONE EZ Tag lane on ship channel bridge. 95% of vehicles try to cram into that one lane. Then only 2 lanes each way from there to West Pearland. An alternative from Baytown to Pearland would be 146 to 225 to BW8 but there's no direct connection from 225 to BW8 putting on local feeder and gridlock trying to make left turn on BW8 feeder.

It sucks.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Mo City, TX
1,728 posts, read 3,208,589 times
Reputation: 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Htown2013 View Post
With all the growth in the city, I am very surprised and disappointed that BW8 has one lane, yes, only one lane of EZ Tag through ship channel toll. That causes horrendous backups during rush hour. It doesn't seem like it would be that tough to put one more adjacent EZ tag. Just having two adjacent lanes of "open road tolling" would significantly reduce congestion. It's essentially the same as it was more than 13 years ago, when we were a much smaller metro.

Transportation in SE and East portion of the metro have been neglected and gridlock is horrendous. There is no good way to get from Baytown to Sugar Land during rush hour. It sucks. Some simple fixes would make it much better. 146 to 225 to BW8 would work but there's no direct connector from 225 to BW8, forcing that traffic to the feeder with all the Deer Park surface traffic, making it suck for both the 225 and local Deer Park traffic turning on BW8 south.

With all the construction going on in Baytown and Mt. Belvieu, I don't see this getting better. I can't believe there is nothing planned to alleviate gridlock in this route, while the city continues to grow. BW8 being two lanes between Deer Park and Pearland is a parking lot in both directions, but it's still better than going through downtown Houston - for now.
hmmm...no sympathy here, I have to go through downtown from southside to Greenspoint every day. No, I did not plan it this way, my office moved
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Clear Lake, Houston TX
8,373 posts, read 29,192,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westhou View Post
I thought that side of town had significantly less traffic compared to the west side. The north and west belt are horrendous during rush hour. They may need to double deck it to relieve the congestion.
Yes it does have much less traffic.

Houston TranStar Speed Charts

This shows the traffic on a 5 mile stretch (on both sides of the bridge) dips to about 40-45 mph from 5-6 pm. Otherwise it's sailing.

You should try to do the Uptown to Midtown drive during that time of day and then write back here.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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Those speeds aren't too accurate. From the point where I cross under I10 on bw8 at 5p.m. or later, it takes about 15 minutes, and on some rare occasions closer to 20, to finally reach the ez tag toll booth. My speed is much less through that area. That's some slow moving for such a short distance. I've done the Pearce elevated through town at that time too. Unless there had been an accident, which there often is, it does seem to move faster through there than the toll bridge at 5:00 pm. The people going toward i10 from hey 225 have it rough on their side too. Agree that only one ez tag only lane isn't enough. They obviously weren't expecting the heavy use at peak times that it currently gets. Shows the willingness of commuters to pay to get off the main freeways as it is $2 to go over the bridge. So for $2, they should be able to offer a smoother pass through that area.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Houston
4,506 posts, read 3,539,234 times
Reputation: 3593
Tolls pay for two potential things:

1. For the facility to be there in the first place.
2. To allow "price-managed flow" whereby the tolls are raised to discourage traffic, thereby allowing those who are willing to pay to have a faster trip.

To say that "I'm paying a toll, therefore there shouldn't be congestion" is a flawed argument without merit unless strategy #2 is specifically being pursued. Then and only then is such a complaint legitimate. You could potentially justify complaints about congestion on the Katy Tollway under this condition.

You hear the same complaints regarding the Ship Channel Beltway bridge about the Westpark Tollway; again, they are without merit. A proposal to pursue strategy #2 for that facility was shelved due to public outcry.

No one - NO ONE - is "owed" congestion-free travel unless you are paying a toll specifically for that.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
8,811 posts, read 18,660,787 times
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Dude - don't take everything so literally. There's no flawed argument because most of that was nothing more than a fluffy opinion. The main points of my comment were that Google under estimated the speed at which one moves through that bottleneck at 5 p.m. And, that it appears that the amount of cars expected to be going through there must have been under estimated to only have one easy tag only lane vs two - the rest is fluffy opinion and not something I would actually argue as a point.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:01 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 2,819,345 times
Reputation: 1467
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstone View Post
Yes it does have much less traffic.

Houston TranStar Speed Charts

This shows the traffic on a 5 mile stretch (on both sides of the bridge) dips to about 40-45 mph from 5-6 pm. Otherwise it's sailing.

You should try to do the Uptown to Midtown drive during that time of day and then write back here.
It is stop and go gridlock traffic from I-10 exit to the one lane EZ Tag booth when I take this. After passing through the one lane EZ Tag it goes to 40-45 mph. Wastes 15 minutes every day.
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