Here’s a shocker — Dallas has bad traffic! Everyone knows that, but what we didn’t know until recently was that Dallas is home to the top three most-congested stretches of highway in Texas, and four of the top seven. So we can’t walk here, and we can’t drive. Not a great situation. Here are details from the Dallas Morning News:
It’s not just the heat that has gone from unbearable to insane this year.
In Dallas, already terrible traffic has worsened in the past year to the point where the city is now home to the three most-congested highways in Texas, according to the latest rankings by the Texas Department of Transportation.
And unlike the heat — which must surely break by Halloween, right? — it will be years before serious traffic improvements will be seen, if then.
LBJ Freeway, ranked second on the list issued this week, is just entering five years of reconstruction that will snarl traffic to such an extent that the project’s developers are warning drivers to stay away whenever possible.
Downtown Dallas’ Woodall Rodgers Freeway, where rush-hour vehicles seem perpetually stuck in second gear, may see some relief when the deck park is completed in 2012. It’s that construction, according to the researcher behind the rankings, that probably has contributed to the freeway’s jump from fifth place last year to this year’s top spot.
But it wasn’t everything, not in Dallas. The deck park has drawn attention from urban planners worldwide, but once it’s finished, Woodall Rodgers won’t have a lick more room for motorists than it did before all the work began.
And what about relief on North Central Expressway, No. 3 on the TxDOT list? Don’t even dream about it.
A decade ago, Central was the LBJ project of its day. It already could use another massive expansion, but it’s not going to get one. There’s no money for it, and so far there’s no desire to double-deck the expressway or widen it enough to do any good, anyway.
That’s probably why Central is the only road segment in the Top 10 that TxDOT denotes as having no improvements planned.
It’s best, then, just to think of traffic like this summer’s heat — only without any fall relief coming up.
AT A GLANCE: Top 10 clogged roads
Texas’ 10 most-congested highways, according to TxDOT’s latest rankings:
- Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas, from Interstate 35E to North Central Expressway
- LBJ Freeway, Dallas, from I-35E to North Central
- North Central Expressway, Dallas, from LBJ to Woodall Rodgers
- I-35, Austin, from State Highway 71 to U.S. 183
- I-35W, Fort Worth, from I-30 to SH 183
- U.S. 59, Houston, from I-10 to SH 288
- I-35E, Dallas, from I-30 to SH 183
- I-10, Houston, from I-45 to U.S. 59
- I-610, Houston, from I-10 to I-45
- I-45, Houston, from I-10 to I-610