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Traffic and roads: the chicken or egg

The never-ending tension between greater speed and efficiency of transport and greater safety of residents is playing out in Copperfield in Northwest Houston. Residents are complaining that too much traffic and too little enforcement are creating a deadly combination that could lead to tragic consequences on the once quiet neighborhood streets.

Like most suburbs throughout the Houston area and across the country, when the first residents move in to a new development, there is often very little traffic, and their homes may be surrounded by farm fields and ranch land. Then, as developments spread further out, they notice increased traffic and more congestion. 

The Copperfield Coalition has worked with the Harris County Sheriff's Office to see to greater enforcement of the traffic laws, and while the Sheriff's Office points to increased citations, residents are still not happy.

They point to two recent car accidents involving an 8-year-old how was hit by a truck and a bicycle accident that resulted in the rider going to the hospital in serious condition. There have not been any fatal accidents in the area, residents fear the day is growing sooner when that will happen.

Part of the problem lies in suburban design that funnels traffic to a few major arterial routes that encourage drivers to speed to make up for time lost at traffic lights and the maze of cul-de-sacs.

Some residents want the speed limit on West Road lowered to 35 mph to match Longenbaugh. While increased traffic enforcement may help reduce the risk of traffic accidents, traffic, like water always finds the weak spots and exploits them.

Source: Cypress Creek Mirror, "Recent accidents spark safety concerns in Copperfield," July 30, 2013

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