Has The City Outgrown Itself? Traffic Is Bad

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POSTED: Friday, November 18, 2011 - 9:14pm

UPDATED: Monday, November 21, 2011 - 9:01am

EL PASO - Have you noticed an increase in traffic lately? If so, you're not alone. Traffic engineers have noticed the increase of drivers on the road, and now there's some good news for drivers looking for relief.

Car-after-car and bumper-to-bumper, drivers we spoke with say they're seeing a lot of traffic in the city lately.

"Too much traffic. I think this town is getting to big, and I don't think the streets are getting built fast enough for all the congestion," Irma Fierro said.

"It's really frustrating. I think we might need anger management classes," Erika Delgado said.

They're not alone. Traffic engineers monitor El Paso's roadways, and they've seen an increase too.

"Not only has I-10 traffic increased, but we've noticed {an increase} throughout the city in regards to all the roadways," Traffic Engineer Edgar Fino said.

Fino says there are more drivers on the road because more people are moving to Texas, and drivers agree.

"This is a small community and you put people from Mexico, you put the military here, you put all the people coming in from out of town, and it's going to happen. It's bad here in El Paso, and it's going to get worse," Fierro said.

To avoid more congestion, traffic engineers are widening the Border Highway, but what about I-10? It's always packed, especially from the spaghetti bowl East.

"That one is ranked number 68 in regards to the most congested roads in the State of Texas," Fino said. "Eventually, more than likely I-10 heading towards the Westside of town will probably make the list, but right now we're not on there."

To avoid a bigger backup, traffic engineers already have a plan.

"We are working towards... trying to get one additional lane in each direction on Interstate 10," Fino said.

The extra lane may come at the expense of narrower lanes, because engineers don't plan to widen I-10, and even though it will take a couple of years, drivers are worried more construction will only fuel the problem.

"I really appreciate the changes that are coming on, but the time that it consumes and stuff like that, I hope it's worth it in the end," Delgado said.

Besides I-10, there are two other El Paso streets that made the top 100 congested list in Texas. They are Zaragoza and Lee Trevino North of I-10.

Comments News Comments

El Paso is no longer a small community. Traffic is bad. As students, workers, and consumers we will have to live with it and learn to leave earlier to get to our destinations. Excellent report from Cathy Hernandez.

I have lived here for 17 years and I can't believe that the mayor of this city is allowing all the illeagles in to this city. We can put the blame on him since he is in charge. I also see that the Homeland Security peop[le are not doing their job. If they both did what they are supposed do we would'nt have this problem.

DO NOT FORGET THAT YOUR ANCESTORS WERE ILLEGALS TOO.

By the time the lane is built the City will have already out grown the one extra lane, why won't the engineers plan for the future!!!!

people should receive tax breaks if they have only one or two babies.

how about receiving tax credits for home with one vehicle? the world population is growing at a dangerous rate and that creates more cars on the roads. this planet can not take much more we are running out of resources.

it's not so much that the city has grown, of course it has. the problem is bad planning. loop 375 should have been completed years ago with more lanes. when I-10 was made no one vision El Paso growing and the need for perhaps widen the freeway. no one had the vision to create alternate routes before the city started to expand. instead they spend time with the bad idea of an express toll lane on border highway that i'm sure is going to fail.

Planning for future growth comes with the territory. City planners had advance knowledge of the Ft Bliss growth projections and yet failed to act in a timely fashion. You think the current traffic situation is bad, just wait till the Border Highway and Transmountain toll roads come into existence Extreme traffic jams and accidents will increase (tenfold(or more). I am very surprise El Paso did not follow the traffic growth pattern establish by the City of Tucson.

Remember when they built the third lane on Montana? Then a month later closed it because of "too much air polution"? A good start would to be open it back up! Air polution is still going to be there regardless of a third lane or not, the number of cars didn't change. Opening up that third lane, that they spend months on building, would be a good start to less congestion on Montana.

I am from northern Kentucky , and the highway system there is the most organized you will ever find . first of all we have 3 highways to choose from .which is amazing because there is approx. 5 million people in the entire state. in el paso there is only one highway and approx. 1 million people. I-10.I guess they call the highway I-10 because that is how old the person is who designed it. or it is the speed limit.Time is money , and millions are wasted, waiting in traffic in elpaso.

Luckily we retired in Hudspeth County, in the Salt Flats area. If I want to go to San Antonio, we take Ranch Road 1111 to Sierra Blanca and pick up I-10 east bound there. If we want to go to Phoenix, we take 62-180 to Joe Battle, go over the Trans mountain, and pick up I-10 west there.
For local shopping, we just use the WalMart/ Lowes/ Chase Bank on 62-180 just east of Joe Battle, and don't have to go any farther into the "traffic Zoo" in El Paso.
You live THERE we'll live HERE

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