To Err is Human

I’m not out there to witness the lane closures of 345 this afternoon as TxDOT reviews structural problems with the columns holding the thing up, but I have been checking in on the traffic throughout the day.

There was some worry that these closures would create gridlock in order to prove 345 is necessary.  I don’t believe that to be the case.  It’s simply TxDOT going through the due diligence to review exactly what state of disrepair this hulking relic of the 20th century really is. Here’s one clue:


It might cost $150 million to repair.  It might cost $250 million to repair.  To find out they have to inspect the structural integrity of all of the support columns just so we can have the exact same debate in 20 years with no value generated by simply keeping the thing from falling down.  It’s a liability.

The real question is just how bad the carmageddon would be during the lane closures.  Turns out not bad at all:

closure 1

The yellow dots popped on on 345 southbound for a while around 11 am.  Then a few hours later on northbound.  Speeds of yellow dots seemed to range from 22 to 45 mph.  Minor delays and only a few of them (if unaware those dots are from your cell phone gps being tracked).  But what about all of those black dots up 75?

closure 2

It turns out there is a wreck on 75 near Lovers Lane.  I hope everyone is alright and the only damage is property and the amount of delay for those stuck in the jam because there is no where to go once stuck on a limited access highway.  That’s the inherent problem and contradiction of highways through the city.  A city is built on multiplicity of accessibility.  Highways limit access.  They’re also incredibly dangerous.

It’s not highway capacity that causes congestion.  It’s human error.  And the error of humans planning and building transportation networks to not understand this.