The flaw: Crappy public transportation
Urban sprawl or not, Houstonians are dependent on cars (why do you think so many damn buildings are being turned into parking lots?). The sad truth is, we have no reason not to be. We’re not exactly a walkable city, and in the past, our transit sitch has kinda blown, with a stronger presence in the city’s center that gets weaker as it spreads out (before the METRORail opened in 2004, Houston was the largest American city without a rail system). That means our freeway system -- all 4,206 lane miles of it -- is heavily traversed and constantly under construction, which leads to traffic (the fourth worst in America last year), which leads to frustration, which leads to road rage and this study showing Houston has the most a-hole drivers around.
Can it be fixed? It’s getting better
No, for real. With Houston leading the nation in population growth, a spotlight has been placed on the importance of having effective public transportation. Last year, Metro went back to the drawing board, scrapping its 80-route bus program and launching a major redesign, then adding even more late-night and early-morning trips earlier this year. The METRORail has seen significant improvement as of late, as well. At the end of 2013, it completed the 5.3-mile North/Red Line extension from UH Downtown to the Northline Transit Center. In 2015, the 3.3-mile Green Line and 6.6-mile Purple Line opened, extending into Houston’s East End and Southeast side. The city also launched its bike sharing B-Cycle program in 2013, and today, it has over 30 stations stretching from Downtown to Memorial. Over the next two years, it will more than triple in size, adding 71 stations with 568 bikes. And in 2014, Houston began its $215 million hike-and-bike trails project, adding trails along the bayous over a continuous 150 miles throughout the city.