Living in the most auto-dependant city in the country means we are going to have traffic congestion in Houston – and it’s going to get worse.

Urban researcher Stephen Kleinberg is a sociology professor at Rice University.  He says the booming local economy has Houston growing so rapidly there is no way for the road system to keep up...

“It’s a downside of the upside of this booming economy,” Kleinberg says. “We have the fast-growing major city in the country.  There will be one million additional people moving to Harris County in the next  20 years and there is no way roads can be built fast enough.”

One solution could be alternative travel like bus and rail expansion, but the roads here are going to be jammed.  Kleinberg says 51 percent of people surveyed say they prefer an urban home within walking distance of shops and work.  Fewer family homes have children living there.

And, even if more people were to ride mass transit, the problem would still exist.

“Ultimately,” Kleinberg explains, “there is no relief for the congestion.  There is going to be congestion and commuters will get used to it.  They'll know that what used to take an hour will now take two hours and, knowing that, I can plan my day accordingly.”