– TxDOT speaker says check TranStar first –
Safety improvements are coming to Beltway 8 and West Lake Houston Parkway.
While the “crash history” isn’t too bad compared to other intersections around Houston, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is conducting a study to improve the rapidly developing area around Summerwood and Fall Creek, according to James Keener of TxDOT’s Houston district.
Speaking at the Lake Houston Chamber’s Summer Creek BizCom at Summer Creek High School (SCHS), Keener reported 11 crashes in 2016, eight in 2017, only five in 2018, and no fatalities “… But we know, as you do, that traffic volumes are increasing due to all the new residential and commercial growth, and we know that you’ve only got 600 feet to get from Lake Houston Parkway onto Beltway 8,” Keener said.
The study could result in changing the timing of the lights and perhaps widening the main lane on the bridge that goes over the railroad, Keener told the group.
To find out how road projects are progressing, Danny Perez, TxDOT’s public information officer, encouraged the BizCom audience to follow TxDOT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Before you travel anywhere in Houston, please ‘… know before you go,’” Perez said. “Take a look at the traffic map on the Houston TranStar app. If it is red, there’s a problem. You want green, so find an alternate route.”
BizCom participants also got a pitch from former Dynamo President Chris Canetti to start “loving” soccer.
Canetti joined the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority as president of the Houston World Cup Bid Committee, a group organized to bring the 2026 World Cup to Houston.
“Super Bowl LI had a major positive impact on our Houston economy,” Canetti said, “so think what hosting the World Cup will bring.”
The World Soccer Cup is the most-watched sports game in the world, Canetti said, estimating that the viewing audience is at least 10 times greater than the number of viewers who watched the Super Bowl.
The 2026 World Cup will be jointly hosted by 16 cities in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Ten cities in the U.S. will host World Cup finals. Seventeen U.S. cities, including Houston, are being considered for those 10 spots.
“My only mission is to bring the World Cup finals to Houston,” Canetti said. He has two years to make it happen before the American cities are selected.
“We’ve got a great story, an impressive track record, and we’re a very diverse city,” he said. “We’ve hosted some great events, including the Super Bowl and major soccer events, but we need to show FIFA, soccer’s governing body, that Houston backs us and we’re a true soccer town that can bring out the fans.”
SCHS Principal Brent McDonald would like to bring out as many family and friends of the high school’s seniors on April 22 to celebrate their commitment to education and service beyond high school.
“All schools celebrate National Letter of Intent Signing Day when student-athletes sign letters of intent to participate in college athletics,” McDonald said, “but I’ll bet we’re the only school in Texas and maybe in the country who celebrates every one of our seniors going on to college, trade school, the military or beyond.”
McDonald says 450 of 600 graduating Summer Creek seniors have committed beyond high school.
“We’ve prepared a yard sign for each student who has made a commitment,” said McDonald. “We’ll bring the student up to sign and then we’ll march to the front of Summer Creek to post the signs.”
McDonald invites the community to watch and “…cheer on our kids.”
The next Summer Creek BizCom is June 6 at SCHS. Look for the BizCom directional signs. For information about any of the four BizComs held at Summer Creek, Kingwood, Atascocita and Humble high schools, contact the Lake Houston Chamber at 281-446-2128 or lakehouston.org.