Houston's mayor is looking
to widen a ban on trucks in the left lane of highways around the city. The
announcement comes despite complaints from truckdrivers and other motorists
that keeping trucks in the outside lanes makes merging more difficult and
A pilot program enacted
in fall 2000 banned trucks from the left lane of an 8-mile stretch of the
East Freeway (Interstate 10). A recent study of the program by the Texas Transportation
Institute found that accidents along the segment fell by 70 percent during
the eight-month test.
Pleased with the results
of the program, Houston Mayor Lee Brown has reportedly asked the Texas Department
of Transportation to expand the left-lane truck ban to the North Freeway (I-45)
and the Pasadena-La Porte Freeway (Texas 225) from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays.
The Institute, however,
noted that increased police presence in the area could have helped account
for the decrease in accidents. Police issued more than 850 tickets in nine
months for violating the lane restriction.