There might be some things the Texas Department of Transportation could do make the work zones along Interstate 45 near League City safer, but there are definitely some things drivers could do to achieve that.
A Daily News reporter interviewed several League City residents this week who are concerned about their own safety and that of other drivers who have to navigate the work zones often, sometimes twice a day on weekdays.
They suggested better lighting and signs that better warn drivers about traffic flow changes might make the work zones safer.
A spokesman for the transportation department said the signs, lights and other safety devices had been placed according to construction plans and design standards. That means they meet at least the minimum requirements of what a safe work zone ought to have.
The transportation department should inspect the work zones and ask itself whether the methods and devices as they exist on the ground are actually sufficient, or whether they are sufficient just on paper.
The bottom line, though, is that there is only so much the state can do make traveling along any road safe, work zones or not.
The largest share of that burden falls on drivers themselves, who far too frequently fail in their responsibilities.
If everybody tomorrow would just slow down, back off and stay in one lane unless there’s a reason to change lanes, every mile of road everywhere would be safer by far than it is today.
Rising water costs demand a change in thinking
The city of Galveston warns that water is going to get more expensive over the next five years. The costs could go up by nearly 30 percent as the city’s supplier, Gulf Coast Water Authority, passes along increases in its own costs and as the city makes capital improvements to its water system.
This is not a Galveston issue. Cities all over Galveston County and Texas will be facing the same increasing costs as demand for water increases and supplies shrink.
People can and certainly will grouse about that, but what we should be doing is rethinking how we use water and adjusting our concept of what’s cost-effective and what’s not.
We need to rethink what a proper yard looks like, for example. Many homeowner associations need to amend their rules to allow more efficient alternatives to traditional yards and landscaping.
We need to consider things such as residential graywater irrigation systems and large-scale desalinization systems.
Demand for water is going nowhere but up in Texas, where the population grew by 542,432 — 2.1 percent — from 2010 to 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
• Michael A. Smith