HOUSTON – Houston is expecting to see an influx of visitors to some of the city’s biggest attractions during spring break, which starts next week for some students.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said as many as 350,000 people per day will travel to the Museum District and NRG Park between March 7 and March 22.
Turner said he expects the coronavirus may encourage some Houstonians to opt for a so-called “staycation.”
“Be a tourist in your hometown,” Turner said.
Here are some suggestions from city officials and event organizers to help make your spring break travel as pleasant as possible.
Turner said most of the places that are frequented by Houston’s spring break travelers are within five miles of each other. These places include the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, the Houston Zoo and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
“Naturally, mobility is an issue,” Turner said. “I encourage Houstonians to plan ahead and find the best route to your spring break destination.”
METRO use encouraged
People are being asked to use Houston’s METRO bus and rail services to get around.
Thomas Lambert, METRO’s president and CEO, said the Red Line will take people to the most popular spring break destinations, while the Green and Purple lines will take people to places like Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center and BBVA Stadium.
Park-and-ride services and 22 high-frequency bus routes will also be available for visitors.
Fares are $1.25 for both bus and rail services. A $3 day pass is also available for purchase.
There are a ton of parking options available to visitors with varying prices, but organizers and officials encouraged people to use mass transit or ride-sharing options instead of driving.
“Leave the driving to someone else,” said Joel Cowley, president and CEO of the Houston Rodeo, which is being held at NRG Park.
Cowley said for those who do drive to the Rodeo, real-time parking information is available in the event’s app and at RodeoHouston.com.
Turner also encouraged people to park in the Texas Medical Center area and use one of the shuttles or METRO services to get to their final destination.
Bill McKeon, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center, said the complex has the largest parking operation in North America. Overflow parking is also available for $10 a day.
Garage 4 in the Medical Center is for patients and doctors only, McKeon said.
Turner said drivers can expect traffic to be strictly managed, especially in the area of Hermann Park and Houston Zoo.
Suggested routes and parking options are also posted at HoustonSpecialEvents.org, Turner said.
Turner said there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Houston or Harris County areas, but officials will alert the public if that changes.
“We can’t let fear paralyze us,” Turner said.
The mayor said people should practice good hygiene and wash their hands frequently. He also encouraged people to bring along hand sanitizer and use it often.