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Is there enough time to list all of them? I'll keep it to the top 10 in my daily travels. These would be in the north side, since I rarely travel down to the south side of Houston.

10. Gulf Bank @ Hardy Rd. Gulf Bank goes over Hardy Toll Rd. yet there is a light to stop Hardy traffic going southbound for a one lane right turn for the one car every 3 hours that doesn't cross the bridge on Gulf Bank. The other side has the poles for the lights from when the toll road was built, but never had lights placed on them. Shows how pointless these signals were from the start.

9. Yale at I-10. That one has always been a mystery to me. What's the point, when there's no light on the other side of Yale and 10? I think it's because if there were no light there, the county believes the 10 westbound feeder traffic would snarl up Heights Blvd. In all my years in the Heights, this has never been the case.

8. Yale at 22nd. I know. Hamilton Jr. High is there, 22nd is the back entrance to Hamilton, but for years there was a light at 21st and Yale and nothing at 22nd. The city then removed the light at 21st and traffic flowed well...until the 22nd st. light was erected. This light means that at 3 of 4 intersections between 19th and 22nd there is a stop light. It's overkill.

7. North Shepherd @ W. Montgomery. It's a left turn light off of N. Shepherd onto W. Montgomery. It needs to be eliminated. You can turn left at the very next street which is also lighted and make your way to W. Montgomery adding no extra time to the trip. This whole intersection is screwy since they redid N. Shepherd.

6. Cotillion Rd. @ Hwy 525/Aldine Bender. Not enough cross traffic on Cotillion to warrant this light whatsoever.

5. Airline Dr. @ Burress. It used to be a simple red light that when a handicapped person from Independance Hall pushed the button, the light would stop Airline traffic for the pedestrian to cross. Now, they have incorporated the light with Burress and it is a huge mess with 4 different red lights (2 on each side of Airline). Traffic snarls here constantly.

4. W. 24th @ Durham & Shepherd. Never understood these lights as W. 24th is just not that busy. Ever.

3. Airline Dr. @ Service Rd./Link Rd. Service and Link are not directly across from each other, and Airline is way too busy in this area to warrant a stop light at this "intersection".

2. Yale @ Victoria. Can not for the life of me figure out why this one ever made it up. Victoria dead ends into Yale. Just like many other streets along Yale, so what makes this intersection so special? Light on Yale stays red way too long and again is overkill since there is another red light one block south at Thornton Rd.

1. Parker Rd. @ Northline St. The city's worst placed and least needed red light, and it's brand new. This was an installation after they rebuilt Parker into a 4 lane road. This is the biggest waste of electricity and signal use in Houston, at least in the Northside.

Taking it in a different direction, how about intersections that NEED a red light desperately? Right off the top of my head I can think of W. Little York at Stuebner Airline. That is a scary place to cross even for a seasoned driver such as myself, and always has been. Actually, it used to be even worse when K-Mart was still open at that intersection.

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Actually I found out if you can maintain a speed of 85 mph you can make the majority of the lights downtown.


interesting note, I had expected that doubling your speed would have an effect of making the majority of lights as well, but it doesn't.

there are a few examples of properly timed lights through downtown though, in all directions.

Louisiana is timed if you go about 25mph to catch all green.

La Branch and Smith is timed if you go about 25mph to catch all green.

West Gray is good at about 15mph until you get to San Jacinto, then you can go 30mph, but at Milam (or main, if a train is coming), you have to stop every other light.

Pierce is timed so if you go 25mph from Louisiana all the way to 59 you catch all green.

Capitol is timed pretty decently as well, as is McKinney.

I do a lot of biking downtown and like to do sprints in an effort to build my endurance, so I've spent a lot of time on my bike finding the streets that are timed decently. of course, this is around 6 or 7 pm, so I can't speak for other times of day.

Also, I've done a fair bit of pedestrianing around DT and find that you can usually walk anywhere you want and not have to stop too much for DON'T WALK signs (or as they are more recently, the red hand).

I'm sure the new LR lines they are adding down Capitol and Rusk will adjust the timing a little as well. but that's a whole nuther discussion.

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  • 1 month later...

I found another pointless one, but I think this can be chalked up more to its timing rather than its location. Telephone at Winkler. You can see it at the link below.


I got caught by the red light and noticed there was not a spec of oncoming traffic. Then I witnessed those who knew better. Instead of getting caught at the red light, they would stay on Telephone, turn left onto Golfcrest behind the Allstate building and turn right onto Winkler, bypassing the light. Now I know better.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 9 months later...

This post got me to actually register and add my $0.02. I usually cut through downtown to avoid the 59-45-288 fiasco and there are a couple streets that have red lights that are utterly pointless. Because its all one way streets, there will NEVER be a need for a light to give traffic right of way in another direction. Such as Franklin at Caroline intersection in front of the courthouse and Crawford at Prarie in front of minutemaid. Yes a couple hours during the day there is a need for a light to allow pedestrian crossing, so put in one of those things you push on the sidewalk to allow the light to turn red. other wise these should be green all the time. IMHO

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Westheimer at River Oaks Blvd... this light is agonizingly long for no apparent reason. Very frustrating when heading east on Westheimer getting stopped at Buff. Speedway, then this stupid light just a block away.

As far as I can tell only 4 people live on River Oaks Blvd. Definitely a candidate for a roundabout,.....

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At least for now, the light at Post Oak Blvd. and BLVD Place Dr. (at least that's what's on the pole there. If you look on a map you won't find it because it doesn't even exist yet.) is pointless. Once BLVD Place is actually built, there will be a use for it, but right now it just stops people on Post Oak for no reason at all.

Also, at South Post Oak Ln. and Westbriar Ln. That light just stops people up on S. Post Oak, and confuses people coming out of the Rice Epicurean parking lot. It used to be a stop sign, and it worked fine. I know they built it expecting an increased traffic load from the Cosmopolitan, but there is never more than one or two cars that go through from the side street at any time.

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Odd ones out?

Bissonnet, Banks, Richmond, Alabama, Hawthorne, Westheimer, Fairview, West Gray, West Dallas, Allen Parkway, Washington...




.......Banks, Hawthorne and Fairview. They're all two lane street intersecting Montrose that have their own sets of lights onto Montrose. Hawthorne serves the Disco Kroger, fair enough. Fairview is a busy enough thoroughfare into Midtown. But Banks...?

Edited by sidegate
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