TxDOT proposes converting Hwy. 290 main lane to HOV lane during off-peak hours, will host public meeting in October


The Texas Department of Transportation is collecting public comments on a proposal to convert a Hwy. 290 main lane to a high occupancy vehicle lane during off-peak hours.

If enacted, the plan calls for the left-hand outbound main lane to be used as an HOV lane during a set time period each weekday morning, when outbound lanes are less congested. The left-hand inbound main lane would be used as an HOV lane during a set time in the afternoon, when inbound lanes are less congested.

TxDOT has given preliminary times of 5:30-9 a.m. and 3:30-7 p.m. for the off-peak HOV lane to be in effect, but officials said those times are subject to change. The lane would be available between W. 34th Street in Houston and Barker Cypress Road in Cypress.

The highway is currently under construction as a part of a project to widen main lanes between Loop 610 and the Waller County line. Work on main lanes is projected to be complete by the end of the year.

Once the widening project is completed, Hwy. 290 will feature five main lanes in each direction between Loop 610 and Hwy. 6, four main lanes between Hwy. 6 and the Grand Parkway and three main lanes between the Grand Parkway and the Waller County line. The off-peak HOV proposal would not affect the total number of lanes and would not require any additional right of way, officials said.

Part of the reasoning behind the change is to provide carpool drivers and METRO buses quicker access to the Cypress Park & Ride facility on Skinner Road, according to a TxDOT press release. The final Hwy. 290 configuration will also include a single reversible HOV lane down the center of the highway.

“Paired with the [Hwy. 290] barrier-separated reversible HOV lane, the project provides routes for HOV traffic in both directions during peak travel hours,” the release stated.

A public meeting on the proposal has been scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Jersey Village High School cafeteria, 7600 Solomon St., Houston. The meeting will be conducted with an open house format with no formal presentation.

Attendees at the meeting will be able to view information on the proposal—which is also available online—ask questions and submit comments. Comments can also be submitted via email to hou-piowebmail@txdot.gov or online. Comments can also be mailed to the TxDOT Houston District Office, Director of Project Development, P.O. Box 1386, Houston, TX 77251.

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  1. No no no!!!!! Let the traffic run smoothly, don’t mess with 290, everyone is tired of the relentless work and restrictions.

    • How will this negatively affect people’s commute? It makes it easier for outbound commuters to carpool or use METRO, which will lower congestion for others on the main lanes.

      We already have had relentless work and restrictions due to the 290 reconstruction. Why not ensure the work isn’t wasted?

  2. This is a great idea. People that are carpooling should be given higher priority as they are reducing congestion on the freeways. This will also make METRO operations more smoother to get buses out to the outbound stations with fewer delays, which will also help outbound commuters as well.

  3. Terrible idea! We’re finally beginning to see improvement in the flow of general traffic in the mainlanes (which means fewer drivers opting for Metro’s HOV/HOT toll lane.) Now Metro wants to grab control of our mainlanes to make even more special purpose lanes, choking down our mainlanes to just 4.

    Of course this will simply increase traffic in the general purpose lanes (forcing drivers to go back to using Metros HOV toll /HOT lane). How convenient for them. HELL NO METRO! Keep your hands off of our Mainlanes!

    Fellow 290 Commuters, please be sure to email Metro to register your opposition to this plan before Thursday, October 11, 2018. Email hou-piowebmail@txdot.gov or visit https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/houston/101118.html

Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.
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