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On Jan. 1, 2005, Mayor Bill White's new traffic-management plan, the SAFEclear Program, declared all Houston freeways as tow-away zones and signed contracts with 11 wrecker companies to patrol 29 freeway sections, immediately removing any stalled or wrecked cars. The program expands a pilot project that's been in place on the Katy Freeway since March.

White said the policy will reduce traffic congestion created by stalled cars and crashes and is expected to reduce the potential for secondary wrecks and decrease motorists' commute times.

As part of the program, motorists no longer will be allowed to change a flat tire on the freeway shoulder, walk to the nearest gas station to obtain additional fuel or call their own help. The wrecker companies contracted by the city are to respond to all disabled vehicles and remove them from the highway within six minutes once authorized by a police officer at Houston TranStar, the region's traffic-control center.

Drivers will be able to say where their cars should be taken, within 30 miles. They'll be charged $75 for the first five miles and $1.50 per mile thereafter.

Members of auto clubs offering roadside assistance will no longer be allowed to wait for that service to show up. They will be towed by the city contractor and can get reimbursed later. A spokeswoman for AAA Texas said members would be reimbursed for any police-ordered towing.
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In the words of your baby's daddy, "wtf?!?!"
 

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That sucks- the whole point of having Infiniti RoadSide Service means you don't have to have $75 (or whatever) to get towed to a dealership. I'll bet you CA gets this within 5 years. :(
 

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CA SHOULD get this within 5 years, it will help the 10 miles of slowing traffic every time a car stops on the side of the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
kcrudup said:
That sucks- the whole point of having Infiniti RoadSide Service means you don't have to have $75 (or whatever) to get towed to a dealership. I'll bet you CA gets this within 5 years. :(
Exactly! At least AAA members can get reimbursed for this tow, but when I bought the FX, the roadside service was part of the package and thus, negated needing to purchase AAA membership.

:evil:

wtf is this Mayor doing? Basically, you breakdown, this requires $$ in some way to get it fixed (flat tire patch, new tire, running down the road to pay for gas). On top of the $$ required out of your pocket to fix whatever, the city now hits you with a minimum $75 charge. x_x

I don't ever remember voting for this during the previous election. What covert operations and kickbacks is this Mayor doing?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ShadyJC said:
CA SHOULD get this within 5 years, it will help the 10 miles of slowing traffic every time a car stops on the side of the road.
I do agree that this would help ease congestion, but what I'm tiffed about is the mandatory minimum $75 charge. Most of us are middle class to lower class income range (well, at least I am; some of you are Tiger Woods/Shaq/McNabb in disguise on these boards :lol: ) and can't afford that hit.

Maybe if they towed it to a designated lot and then started charging $$ per every 24 hours that it stays there unclaimed, I would like that better. But to hit you with $75 everytime you need assistance? :/

Secondly, I don't ever recall voting for this.
 

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I live in Houston and I like it. It's a nightmare on the highways (59, 610, 10) and even the streets (hope they do the same there as well) when someone breaks down and the rubberneckers come in full force to slow down traffic. It's really helped so far.

Maybe the $75 fee is an incentive for people to start taking care of their cars and having them get checked out on a regular basis. :twisted:

Not to dog you or anything but if you're in a lower income class why are you even driving a FX? It'll be a lot more financially responsible to drive a lower-priced vehicle. Then you can have extra money around to pay for your vehicle being towed...:p
 

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Don't EVEN get me started on this. It will not last, I gaurantee it; there have already been cases of double standard and politicians bitching about it. The general idea is good, but it needs to have guidelines. It's easy for one driving an ultra-reliable FX to say they like it, but what happens if you get a flat? What about sports car owners that require a flat bed? What about a mother with three kids in car seats? You gonna have Bubba Tow strap them all in his truck and be responsible for saftley towing them off the road? Liability issues abound. Oh... I'm not going to get into it... Just going to watch it fall apart and come crashing down on Bill White's head. :roll:
 

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It is no different than going to your local Infiniti dealer and asking for synthetic oil and having to pay a $7.00/qt. over the std. price with an oil change.

I was listening to Pat Grey this morning on 950am. He had one of our illustrious councilmen on to explain their side of this issue. He stated that it may not be perfect; but is a start and a way to clean the stranded vehicles off the side of the road. Traffic slows down way too much when everyone has to take a look at how flat the tire is. He also stated that this is a work in progress, and changes may be made. At least Lee P. Brown is finally gone...What an embarassment he was, and he was actually re-elected.

I do agree 6 minutes is not very long to try and fix anything. Those without a good credit or debit card better stash $75.00 somewhere.

Good luck Houston.
 

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MGFR, You have a great point. I imagine this will help subsidize our wonderful light rail.
 

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MustGoFastR said:
Don't EVEN get me started on this. It will not last, I gaurantee it; there have already been cases of double standard and politicians bitching about it. The general idea is good, but it needs to have guidelines. It's easy for one driving an ultra-reliable FX to say they like it, but what happens if you get a flat? What about sports car owners that require a flat bed? What about a mother with three kids in car seats? You gonna have Bubba Tow strap them all in his truck and be responsible for saftley towing them off the road? Liability issues abound. Oh... I'm not going to get into it... Just going to watch it fall apart and come crashing down on Bill White's head. :roll:
Sorry but having sympathy for a guy broken down the road while I'm waiting an hour backed up in traffic is the last thing on my mind... :evil:

The more guidelines you place on a measure like this, the more chance of abuse by people ("oh, I already called AAA, please leave and let me sit here another 30 minutes blocking traffic"). Then the whole idea breaks down. Ok, maybe change the 6 minutes to 10 minutes then and possibly have a free cab ride for cases of two or more people :p

PS: The extent of the light rail system as proposed today sucks. What they need is something akin to the BART system in the Bay Area of CA to really make it work.
 

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The idea of having cameras at the stoplights of main thoroughfares has also been proposed here in Houston. Finally we can join the more progressive cities around the US in finding ways to deal with idiot drivers...:p
 

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GeoFX said:
Sorry but having sympathy for a guy broken down the road while I'm waiting an hour backed up in traffic
But does this really happen? I mean, even here in CA the only time people rubberneck (and I agree with another poster- this should be a capital offense!) a guy on the side of the road ... is if there's a tow-truck or CHP behind him. :oops:

If it's an accident or on-road breakdown, there's gonna be a tow-truck dispatched ASAP anyway, so this won't make any difference at all.
 

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I grew up in So. Calif., went to college in northern Calif. Everythin is close and convenient there. Houston is divided into three or more areas. 1) Medical center, 2) Downtown, 3) Galleria, 4)? The Woodlands which has multi bus service. 5) Katy, which is growing, and close to 20+ miles from the main areas. None of these areas are all that close to each other.

People in Houston are too used to driving long distances. ****, lets face it, we believe it is our Texas given right to use as much gas as possible. The Govt. already took our right to drink and drive away. That was a big shocker when I moved here in 1980. I almost felt obligated to buy a sixer for the drive home from work. I still lmao over that one. My friends in Calif. still do not believe that you could legally drink and drive.

One of the positive things I see about the tow law is at least they are doing something. They need to throw some more mud against the wall and see if it sticks. You have got to try something. As I stated earlier, we had a mayor that did nothing.

I love living here, almost as much as I love visiting Calif 6-8 times a year. They have fxlnt mountain and coastal roads.
 

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GeoFX said:
The idea of having cameras at the stoplights of main thoroughfares has also been proposed here in Houston. Finally we can join the more progressive cities around the US in finding ways to deal with idiot drivers...:p
Don't be fooled. While there's some benefit to Red-Light Cameras, consider that in San Diego a little while ago a Judge threw the entire set of convictions out, partially because (surprise, surprise!) the lights where the cameras were installed somehow had the time for the yellow decreased as well.

With almost anything governmentally related to the road, it's about the money first, and the safety or road capacity second. That's why one can get a ticket for 70 in a 55 (on roads designed for 75) but a left-lane blocker holding up hundreds of cars pacing another in the lane beside him is A-OK.
 

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kcrudup said:
GeoFX said:
Sorry but having sympathy for a guy broken down the road while I'm waiting an hour backed up in traffic
But does this really happen? I mean, even here in CA the only time people rubberneck (and I agree with another poster- this should be a capital offense!) a guy on the side of the road ... is if there's a tow-truck or CHP behind him. :oops:

If it's an accident or on-road breakdown, there's gonna be a tow-truck dispatched ASAP anyway, so this won't make any difference at all.
Oh yeah it happens and often. If there is an accident on the road it used to take a longer time to get there because of the rubber-necking. With the tow trucks roaming the roads chances are a lot better of the stranded vehicle being taken off the road expeditiously.

I don't think major or multi-car accidents are covered by this law, just stalled or stranded vehicles. Can't legally remove evidence from a "crime" scene and all that...
 

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You cannot compare CA. drivers to TX. drivers. LA drivers are used to driving fast in traffic, because they do it all the time. TX. drivers are only exposed to traffic in spurts, when they get near downtown areas. Then they get stupid. Don't get me wrong, not all are this way. CA has heavy traffic from Long Beach to downtown, Pomona to downtown. They live traffic.
 

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sealman28 said:
I grew up in So. Calif., went to college in northern Calif. Everything is close and convenient there.
What?! You must be talking about Northern California (and particularly "San Francisco") in that statement above. SoCal (and to a lesser extent, the BA) is a model of urban sprawl!

It's funny. I'm from the Midwest and East Coast. where things are really "close and convienent" due to the limited land-area, and if I had to go more than 10 miles to get something, I'd complain about it being too far. Now that I'm here in SoCal (which I define as roughly the 120 miles from Santa Clarita to the Southern OC border) it's not unusual for me to go 150 miles in a single day.
 

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sealman28 said:
You cannot compare CA. drivers to TX. drivers. LA drivers are used to driving fast in traffic, because they do it all the time. TX. drivers are only exposed to traffic in spurts, when they get near downtown areas. Then they get stupid. Don't get me wrong, not all are this way. CA has heavy traffic from Long Beach to downtown, Pomona to downtown. They live traffic.
I agree. I was born and raised in the SF Bay Area and traffic is a fact of life. Down here, you have rednecks racing one another down the streets and highways in their 3 ton dualies. Cost of living here is so much lower than CA that the ration of fast cars to stupid people is very high compared to CA. Call that the "Texas Ratio" :p.
 

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In So. CA. during the 70's many moved out of the city to the suburbs....If you look now the city has come to them.

I remember when there was lots of farmland between LA and San Diego. I remember when there was alot of open land between Pamona and San Bernadino. The city has come to the burbs.

Houston is becoming the same way.
 
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