El Paso is
considering joining the list of Texas cities restricting tractor-trailers
to the far right lanes of interstates, the El Paso Times reported
The City Council
in El Paso, which sits along the Rio Grande River on the Mexican
border, was scheduled to vote Jan. 21 on whether to start the ball
rolling on an ordinance by scheduling a public hearing Feb. 4.
A 1997 state
law authorizes cities to restrict truckers from the fast lane of
major highways during peak travel hours, The Associated Press reported.
the first city in the state to implement the rule, acting in September
2000 to restrict lanes on an eight-mile stretch of I-10, roughly
from I-610 to Sam Houston Parkway. Trucks were ordered to stay out
of the far left lane from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays,
except when passing other vehicles.
is considering a six-month pilot program to restrict truckdrivers
to the slow lane on U.S. Highway 90 and I-10, a stretch of almost
20 miles inside the city's Loop 410, the San Antonio Express-News reported. That test, if approved, would occur this summer.
A Texas Transportation
Institute study conducted after Houston implemented the change found
that accidents decreased 68 percent on that portion of I-10 over
a nine-month period, with no deaths in the crashes that did occur.
Houston officials then decided to expand the lane restrictions to
portions of I-45 and State Highway 225.
The El Paso
proposal would order tractor-trailers to use only the two right
lanes from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays on I-10 from Mesa Street to
Zaragoza Road, according to city documents quoted by the El Paso
newspaper. That section of I-10 runs from the center of the city
roughly 18 miles to the southeast suburbs.
If El Paso
decides to move forward, its ordinance would also require study
and approval by the Texas Department of Transportation and another
council vote. The city rejected a similar restriction five years