A study by the Texas Department of Transportation concluded that restricting left turns at five Main Street intersections in Tomball—Pine, Oak, Cherry, Walnut and Elm—would likely make congestion worse. The study looked at three separate scenarios that the city was considering: restricting left turns at all five intersections, restricting left turns only at the two signalized intersections at Cherry and Pine and not restricting them at all.
In both scenarios that involve restricting turns, the city’s Level of Service—the traffic signal industry’s standard for rating efficiency—declines, said David Kauffman, director of public works.
“Restricting turns at signalized intersections showed a slight increase in congestion, dropping our LOS rating from the A–B range to the B–C range,” he said. “Restricting turns at all intersections showed a significant increase in congestion, giving us a C rating or worse.”
TxDOT’s recommendation is in line with a Houston-Galveston Area Council study, which suggested removing on-street parking on FM 2920 and creating a center turn lane. The city is still looking into that possibility, Kauffman said.
In the meantime, the city will continue to look for off-street parking opportunities. Parking lots have recently been put in on North Elm Street, at the corner of Main and Cherry streets and at the corner of Walnut and Fannin streets.