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Simbha

"Dangerous" Richmond exit ramp off Spur 527

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I've been wondering about this for a while, and I finally thought about posting it here. Maybe someone can give some advice...

I live near the border of the museum district and midtown. I often move around the southwest quadrant of the Loop, so I take the Richmond Exit off Spur 527 and then make a right at the light.

When I arrive at the light, I'm in the second-to-right lane. There's a rightmost lane which is right-only and then my lane, from which I'm allowed to make a right turn or go straight. (The origin of the rightmost lane is unknown to me but it appears to come from Garrott St on Google maps.)

The rightmost lane is very often empty - but when there's a car there, its driver most often tries to go straight or even make a left turn(!). I've noticed two accidents that have occurred there and I'd narrowly missed several when I moved into the area and didn't know the behavior of these drivers.

My question is: Is there something that can be done? I don't know what they're called, but there are these short bumpy barrier thing-ies that separate the lanes, but they don't actually block anyone from going forward through the light or making a left turn - and I've seen people just hop them. The only solutions of which I could conceive is to either (i) inform HPD that the intersection may be a gold mine for them to hand out tickets or (ii) request that the city build a barrier in a quarter circle so that it forces those drivers to make a right turn.

I've become much more cautious myself, but I don't think it's right that the drivers get away with such a dangerous action - and I'm very afraid the next accident may be deadly.

Any advice on actions I could take would be appreciated.

Edit: Changed description of the existing 'barrier'

Edited by Simbha

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I know that intersection well, and NEVER even try to make a (legal) right from the middle lane because the people in the right lane rarely make their mandatory right. My understanding is that these intersections are the jurisdiction of TXDoT, and any changes would need to come from them. Their Houston district doesn't have a very good track record of applying common sense to access road intersection layout, but hopefully you can bring it to their attention and at least get some dialogue going.

IMO, a partial solution will be to disallow a right turn from the middle lane and allow straight and right from the right lane. It won't stop the left turns from the right lane, but hopefully it will cut down on some of the problems, and is a quick (cheap) fix, which will appeal to TxDoT.

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There's a mechanics shop on that "feeder" road. If somehow that shop got bought out and incorporated into that veterans assistance living project maybe then the road could have been closed. I also understand that Centerpoint probably has an interest in keeping the access road open.

Edited by infinite_jim

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I know that intersection well, and NEVER even try to make a (legal) right from the middle lane because the people in the right lane rarely make their mandatory right. My understanding is that these intersections are the jurisdiction of TXDoT, and any changes would need to come from them. Their Houston district doesn't have a very good track record of applying common sense to access road intersection layout, but hopefully you can bring it to their attention and at least get some dialogue going.

IMO, a partial solution will be to disallow a right turn from the middle lane and allow straight and right from the right lane. It won't stop the left turns from the right lane, but hopefully it will cut down on some of the problems, and is a quick (cheap) fix, which will appeal to TxDoT.

Thanks for the advice. I'll contact TxDoT and perhaps relay your suggestion. I live down Wheeler from there, so I'd prefer if there could be a solution that allows me to continue making my right turn - but I'd support anything that simply makes the intersection safer.

I think I'll go ahead and inform HPD of the intersection, too. Perhaps some enforcement of the rules would incentivize those right-lane drivers to do the right thing - or, at least, the 'regulars'.

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There's a mechanics shop on that "feeder" road. If somehow that shop got bought out and incorporated into that veterans assistance living project maybe then the road could have been closed. I also understand that Centerpoint probably has an interest in keeping the access road open.

I'm not familiar with the mechanics shop (unless you're referring to the gas station).

Do you know what interest Centerpoint has in the access road? It may be obvious, but I've never been down that way at all...

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I used to live in that area of town, there's a mechanic's shop there (I think they have a pink garage door if you look at google streetview).

Centerpoint probably appreciates the HPD patrols vs. having a cul-de-sac which might collect vagrants and crime.

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TXDot are morons. At least their engineers are. How could they have made such a silly design on the spur, or countless other places around Houston! Crazy.

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What they need to do is make that right lane a forced right turn like you'll find at many intersections by utilizing a small, triangular median island. Then, separate the lanes via a raised curb with pylons on the top. There's a similar setup at 59 and Highway 6.

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