This Week's Headlines

County to install traffic signal(s) near Riverstone

Houston police offer holiday safety tips

Man dies in Hughes Road accident

Booster now available to all over 18

City promotes “Protect Our Pipes”

Leader Christmas program begins

BAC hosting two Christmas concerts

Stuchbery Stallions run at South Belt 5K

South Houston announces its second six-weeks honor roll

NASA Aglow meeting set Dec. 9

CTHS criminal justice seniors pass IAED

Dobie Main, Dobie9 FFA compete

Dobie cheerleaders host Friendsgiving

San Jac Gator baseballers sign letters of intent

Hoopsters stand out as season progresses

Onozie is 22-6A volleyball MVP

Wolverines headline Krueger/Carlisle

All-District 22-6A Volleyball First Team Picks

Lion boys’ runners lead cross-country

 

County to install traffic signal(s) near Riverstone

Harris County plans to install at least one and possibly up to three traffic lights in the South Belt community near the Riverstone Ranch subdivision.

Intersections being considered for signaling by county officials include Hughes Road at Riverstone Ranch Drive; Blackhawk at Riverstone Ranch Drive; and Blackhawk at Hall Road.

Officials say the traffic lights may be necessary to accommodate the area’s growing traffic congestion.

At a recent meeting with community leaders held at the Leader office, officials with the county’s engineering department acknowledged that very few traffic studies have been conducted by the county during the COVID-19 pandemic, as results would be skewed due to irregular traffic patterns. The results would be particularly skewed near schools, for instance, as many students are now being dropped off, rather than riding the bus.

Traffic in the area is expected to be further impacted with opening the new Thompson Intermediate campus, which is expected to open in fall 2023 in the 8700 block of Hughes Road near South Belt Elementary.

Utilizing previous traffic data, county officials determined that a traffic signal is warranted at the intersection of Hughes Road at Riverstone Ranch Drive.

The county’s next priority is the intersection of Blackhawk and Riverstone Ranch Drive, where a second signal is proposed.

Although county data doesn’t warrant a signal at Blackhawk at Hall Road, a third light is being considered there. Officials said, however, if a light is first being installed at Blackhawk and Riverstone Ranch Drive, they highly recommended removing the existing three-way/all-way stop sign at the intersection, then studying traffic flow before installing a turn signal.

Community leaders at the meeting expressed concern that such a removal might be dangerous because people are creatures of habit and might still think drivers on Blackhawk have to stop at the crossing.

Concerns were also raised about possible difficulties turning from Hall onto Blackhawk. Officials assured those in attendance that the existing signal at Hughes Road and Blackhawk and the proposed signal at Blackhawk and Riverstone Ranch would ideally be timed to allow access from Hall. Officials further said that studies show significantly more drivers utilize Kirkfair than Hall, except when church is in session at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church.

While draft plans called for installing all three of the new traffic signals, Amar Mohite, who serves as the county’s director of Planning and Infrastructure, told attendees at the meeting the county had not yet considered community input.

Some at the recent meeting expressed concerns that the three traffic signals – all located within 1,500 feet of each other – would be too close to each other, possibly worsening traffic conditions.

Concerns were tamed, however, when officials agreed to address the projects one at a time, starting with the most pressing.

Current plans call first installing a new traffic light at Hughes Road at Riverstone Ranch Drive, then analyzing any changes in traffic patterns at the other two intersections.

Despite the new tiered approach to the projects, officials said they planned to still move forward with the design phase of the traffic signal at Blackhawk at Riverstone Ranch Drive due to right-of-way issues associated with an Exxon pipeline easement in the area. Such issues can often add costly time to construction, should studies determine the light is needed at the intersection.

At press time, it was unclear when construction on the first project would begin.
See future editions of the Leader for additional information.


Houston police offer holiday safety tips

With the holiday season now here, most people are preoccupied with the details of holiday plans and shopping. Unfortunately, the safety precautions normally taken are sometimes forgotten, or the excitement of the season causes one to let down their guard. The Houston Police Department wants residents to have a safe and joyous holiday season so they have provided the following safety tips:

While shopping
– Stay alert to one’s surroundings and the people around one. Trust one’s instincts; if something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not – call 911.

– Shop with a friend; there is safety in numbers.

– Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

– Pay for purchases with a check, credit, or debit card.

– Do not leave one’s purse/wallet in shopping carts.

– Do not carry wallets in a back pocket. It should be placed in a front pocket for safety.

– Be alert, criminals look for the “high dollar store” shopping bags with one’s purchases. When possible, slip bags/purchases in a plain nondescript bag.

– Watch purchases while eating in mall food courts; bags as well as purses can easily be switched or taken.

– Avoid overloading oneself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to open car doors, etc. When possible have packages sent to package pickup where they may be retrieved in a well-lit and heavily populated area.

– Get keys in hand before leaving the store.

– Do not leave packages in vehicle. If changing locations, put them in the trunk before leaving one’s destination and get to the other. Be watchful to observe if anyone is following in the parking lot or in a vehicle once leaving the store location.

– Shop early and leave early to avoid evening darkness and park in a high visibility and well-lit area as close to the store as possible.

– Put all personal valuables out of sight before going out to shop.

– If one feels uncomfortable, ask the security officer for an escort to one’s vehicle.

– Walk briskly, confidently and directly through the parking lot. Do not be distracted by talking or looking at one’s cellphone.

– Be cautious of people handing out fliers or asking questions in the parking lot.

– Watch for people who many be following inside as well as outside the store. If one suspects one is being followed, report it immediately to store security.

At home
– Lock doors and close windows when leaving one’s house, even if it’s only for a minute.

– When leaving home for an extended period of time, have a neighbor or family member watch one’s house, pick up the mail and newspapers, or put a hold on mail and newspaper delivery.

– More and more purchases are made online so if one is expecting a package and one will not be home, track packages online, ask a neighbor to pick it up or request a signature for proof of delivery to ensure that someone is home. Research possible delivery options.

– Thieves usually don’t approach homes that appear to be occupied.

– Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer so it appears someone is at home. Put timers for lights in different rooms and have them come on and go off at different times.

– Large displays of gifts should not be visible from the windows and doors of one’s home.

– Do not put out boxes from either large or small purchases on or before garbage day. Doing this allows others to see what new things that are in one’s home.

– If someone knocks on one’s door who is unfamiliar, don’t answer it. Speak through the door to let them know someone is home. Teach children to do the same thing but never let the stranger know they’re home alone. Tell them their parent is busy and can’t come to the door.

– If they seem suspicious, call 911 immediately.

– Don’t leave keys hidden outside or in fake concealment rocks. Burglars often know how to spot the most common hiding places quickly.

Decorations
Pick the right holiday lights. Check for broken or burnt out bulbs. Choose LED lights over incandescent lights.

– Be smart about one’s decorations. Do not leave decorations near the fireplace. Placement of decorations and wires should be carefully considered.

– Don’t overload one’s outlets. Don’t go over the maximum that the extension allows. Overloaded outlets are a fire hazard.

– Pick a fresh tree and water it daily. A dry tree could be a potential fire hazard.
Traveling

– Don’t post on social media that one is traveling. Never advertise an empty house.

– Check all fluids, tire pressure and tire tread and get any maintenance needed before getting on the road.

– Always have an emergency safety kit in your vehicle (first aid, water, snacks, blankets, flashlight, flares, jumper cables and cellphone charger).

– Plan one’s trip, know the route in case your GPS stops working and make sure someone else knows one’s itinerary.

– Check weather, traffic and road conditions before leaving the house.

– Always be aware, drive sober and make sure all occupants are buckled up or in car safety seats.

For emergencies, dial 911. For nonemergencies, call 713-884-3131. For additional information, visit www.houstonpolice.org.

 

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