In an effort to enhance mobility in a dynamic high-traffic city, the City of Pearland Transportation Operations Division is posting signage reminding drivers not to block the box at critical intersections around Pearland. When a driver enters an intersection and is unable to travel all the way through, they prevent cross traffic movement and endanger other travelers by blocking crosswalks and bike lanes. Blocking the box is unsafe, illegal and causes traffic congestion. Vehicles should not enter an intersection if they cannot get through the intersection within the allotted traffic signal time.
The City is beginning the campaign by focusing on the intersection at FM 518 and Business Center Drive – a critical Pearland intersection. The campaign has facets of enforcement, signage and education, following examples from other cities.
“The current campaign is an important strategy designed to both reduce congestion, and increase traffic and pedestrian safety. In addition to placing signage, we are also looking at other areas where we can improve including modifying traffic signal timing. There are physical improvements forthcoming. For example, we are working with TXDOT to potentially add dual left turn lanes when traveling eastbound to northbound on the SH 288 frontage road and working with Brazoria County to increase the number of lanes under SH 288 as part of the SH 288 Toll Lane Project,” said Clay Pearson, City Manager.
“All of these efforts will play a significant role in improving transportation in Pearland in the years to come,” he continued. “Blocking the Box” is when drivers have entered an intersection when cars on the other side prevent them from making it all the way through. In the state of Texas, this is illegal. If the light turns red before a driver can get out of the intersection, drivers end up blocking cross traffic from moving forward and preventing mobility in crosswalks and bike lanes.
To avoid blocking the box:
• Wait to enter an intersection until you can make it all the way through, in accordance with Texas law. Drivers who block the box face a fine up to $200.
• Wait behind the stop bar, not in the crosswalk, and look to see if the vehicles in front of you on the other side of the intersection have left enough room for you to make it through without stopping in the crosswalk on the other side.
• If you can’t clear an intersection, don’t enter it.
When cross traffic cannot get through, neither can emergency vehicles. Additionally, blocking the box can cause pedestrians to weave between cars if the crosswalk is impacted, decreasing their visibility to other travelers. Everyone on Pearland roads is trying to get somewhere, be courteous and don’t block the box ensuring we all get to our destinations safely. Read more on the initiative at pearlandtx.gov/thebox.