Reporters from the Houston Chronicle looked at 16 years of national data for traffic fatalities, and they were shocked by the statistics for their area. Houston has the deadliest overall traffic safety record for the 12 largest metro areas studied, and ranks in the top half in all categories of crashes. They identify speeding as the principal factor in the region’s safety problems, although a number of factors combine to make the area deadly.
The City of Houston Metro Transit Agency, embarked on an ambitious multi-year effort to redesign its system to better serve the community’s transportation needs with an ambitious goal of achieving a 20 percent increase in transit ridership within 2 years of the system reconfiguration while simultaneously working within the existing budget. Rather than taking an incremental approach, Houston’s transit agency made a complete change overnight.
The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University released the results of their 2012 Kinder Houston Area Survey, which found that Houstonians want better transportation options and housing within walking distance from stores, schools, and work. The survey summary points out that attitudes towards urban living are changing in the Houston area, often considered the most car-oriented large city in the United States.
Along with the steep rise in normal super commuting — people commuting to a metropolitan area’s central county from homes outside the metro area — the number of people commuting across the country by plane has grown dramatically as well, at least in Manhattan. And New York is unlikely to be the only city struggling to accommodate the travel needs of long distance commuters.