Sometimes, you just need to stop talking and start doing.

Several years ago, the city of Kemah saw it had a problem. As attractions such as the Kemah Boardwalk drew more and more people, those crowds brought something more than a taste for seafood. They bought cars. Lots of them. Thousands of them, in fact.

City officials during the second weekend of spring break determined that 8,000 cars tried to pack into 3,000 spaces in the city’s Lighthouse District and the Kemah Boardwalk.

Last year, working with the Gulf Coast Center, the city began providing shuttle service to locations around town. Those shuttles come in handy during peak tourism periods, including spring break.

We applaud the city for being proactive and putting the shuttle system into service with little fuss. Other cities with large tourist industries should take a look at how Kemah confronted its problem.

Yeah, we’re looking at you, Galveston. Traffic during peak periods can be brutal on the island. A shuttle service could be a real asset to the city and its motorists.

Of course, when you try to start anything in Galveston, you face a turf battle. Who should operate it? Who should fund it? And it’s easy to kill a project by drowning it in details.

But it’s time for the powers that be to make a decision in Galveston — and follow Kemah’s lead.

• Wes Swift

(3) comments

Steve Fouga

I thought I heard somewhere that trolleys were the answer to Galveston's problems...[whistling]

Lars Faltskog

Yes, trolleys!!! [note sarcasm]

In reality, I think Galveston has a rather different type of clientele than Kemah. I think of Kemah visitors as being more new wave, more touristy, and perhaps more willing to "shuttle" than much of our Galveston visitors. Plus, unless I'm not too knowledgeable on this since I don't go to Kemah, they don't have real beaches. Basic geography - a bay isn't a sand, et cetera?

And for that reason (not having beaches), the bringing of chairs, towels, and other beach-type family products is out of the picture there, while it's part of many folks' plans for Galveston. Those beach-goers visiting here don't want to haul all these items on a shuttle/trolley/bus or whatever.

Steve Fouga

Yes, different clientele, no doubt.

If Galveston ever does adopt a transit system for tourists, it seems like it needs a central hub or two, with lines feeding only a few places and cycle time being no more than 30 minutes, preferably 20.

Perhaps a hub at Harborside/Pier 21 stopping at Strand/24th-ish, Postoffice/20th-ish, Postoffice/14th, Broadway/14th, Seawall/University, Seawall/25th. The other hub would be at Seawall/25th, feeding Seawall/39th, Seawall/45th, Seawall/57th, Seawall/61st, and Moody Gardens. 2 or 3 vehicles per route.

Find a company renting shuttles and buses. Try 1-2 of each on both routes to gather evidence on which is most efficient and how many are needed. If none are needed, drop the service.

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