Texas one city away from lane restrictions on Highway 225

| 3/13/2003

The city council in Pasadena, TX, has approved a measure that would restrict trucks from the left lane of Texas Highway 225, The Pasadena Citizen reported March 12.

Texas Department of Transportation has said that cutting trucks from the left lane would reduce accidents and improve traffic flow on the interstate-style Highway 225, the newspaper reported. Pasadena, a Houston suburb that lies on the southeast side of the city, is the third city to give a green light to the measure. Once one additional city, La Porte, approves the restriction, it will run along the highway from inner Houston to the coastline. La Porte’s approval is expected March 24.

Violators will pay a fine of up to $200.

A 1997 state law authorizes cities to restrict truckers from the fast lane of major highways during peak travel hours, The Associated Press reported.

Houston was 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.

San Antonio 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.