Hey my friends! Welcome back to another week of “What’s Driving Houston.” There’s a lot to talk about, we’ve got gas prices, many events happening in Galveston this weekend that will close a lot of streets on the island and a recent survey.
Is it cheaper to sit in Houston traffic?
If you’ve ever driven in rush hour traffic here in Houston you know things can get pretty bad out there, but how do we rank compared to other big cities across the U.S.? WalletHub just released their 2022 best and worst cities to drive-in, and I gotta warn you, in most categories Houston is closer to the bad side. The survey shows, despite sitting in traffic more than an hour for your commute, Houston’s not even that bad. Wallethub compared the 100 largest cities across 30 key metrics. Overall, Houston ranked 69th out of 100... meaning it is better and easier to drive in 68 other cities. The study looked at traffic and infrastructure, but also the cost and maintenance of owning a vehicle, safety and access to vehicles and maintenance. When it comes to annual hours spent in congestion per commuter, we ranked 60th out of 100, and Houston is on the higher end of accident likelihood as well from the list out of 100. According to the survey, there were only 27 other states where you would be more likely to get in an accident, so be careful out there! But hey -- it’s not all bad news! The research found that Houston had some of the cheapest gas in the country, and on that list, gas prices here came in at number 8 out of 100.
Another weekly jump for our statewide pump price average, as more expensive crude oil enters the market. The statewide gas price average in Texas is $3.32 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch. That price is 12 cents more than on this day last week and is 40 cents more per gallon compared to this day last year.
Heads up if you’re planning a trip to Galveston this weekend!
October is a busy month for Galveston with numerous festivals and events. Three events are taking place this weekend that residents should be aware of as they navigate the island. These events include: The Toughest 10K, the Beach Girl Triathlon, and ARToberfest Galveston. Each event will have some associated road closures for residents to be aware of while navigating the island.
The Toughest 10K
This annual race returns to Galveston on Sunday, October 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The run is the second race in the Texas Bridge Series, which is organized by Running Alliance Sport. The race primarily occurs on the I-45 Causeway with the start and finish lines at the Galveston County Daily News, 8522 Teichman Road, and the turn-around point occurring on Tiki Island.
The following lane closures will begin at 6:45 a.m. and will reopen immediately after the race. More information here.
- I-45 southbound turn lane
- I-45 westernmost southbound traffic lane (lane next to turn lane)
- Exit to Teichman Road ramp
- Feeder road (Teichman Road ramp to Lewis Lane)
- Lewis Lane (Feeder Road to 89th Street)*
- 89th Street (Lewis Lane to Teichman Road)*
- Teichman Road (89th to Daily News)*
Beach Girl Triathlon
The Beach Girl Triathlon is taking place this Saturday, Oct. 15 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The women-only triathlon will primarily occur on property at the Holiday Inn Seaside Resort, 19320 FM 3005. The only portion occurring outside of private property is the bicycle portion on FM 3005 from Kahala Drive to 1st Street.
Bicycle participants will remain exclusively on the shoulder of FM 3005/San Luis Pass Road, with no lane closures expected until the U-Turn and Finish Points when officers will temporarily stop traffic to allow the participants to safely cross to the other side of the shoulder. Once the participants cross, officers will quickly reopen these areas.
The 25th annual ARToberFEST hosted by The Grand 1894 Opera House returns this weekend, Oct. 15-16. The festival will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The event will be in the same location as previous years: Post Office between 21st and 23rd Streets, and 22nd Street between Market and Church. There will be temporary street closures beginning Friday, Oct. 14, at 12 p.m. until Sunday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. at these locations.
Drive safely my friends :)
KPRC 2 traffic expert
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Flying internationally? Remember to check your passport! People should really consider applying for a passport during the off-peak travel season in the fall or winter because demand is lower and processing times are faster. It’s always great to get into the habit of routinely checking a passport’s expiration date and increase your understanding about passport validity requirements (many countries require six months of validity).
Please see above for list of Galveston closures.