At a press conference at noon at the Reflection Pool at Hermann Park on Mar 4, Mayor Parker, joined with Skip Wagoner, President and CEO of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and representatives of the Medical Center, Museum District, and Houston Zoo, to announce plans to accommodate the 350,000 daily visitors to Houston's major tourist attractions in March.
The Mayor explained that this year, the Houston Rodeo has moved its dates somewhat later so that the Rodeo coincides with spring break. The timing encourages visitors and families with school children to enjoy the many activities available in March. Houston's most popular attractions are the Rodeo and the Museum District. The Museum District and Zoo are just north of the Medical Center, and Reliant Park, the site of the Rodeo, is just south of it, so tourists, visitors, care providers, and patients converge in an area about 5 miles long. With 350,000 visitors a day added to the 160,000 visitors to the Merical center frequently- congested traffic, logistics can become a major issue. An accute problem is the impact of traffic congestion on emergency vehciles transporting patients needing urgent care.
But the Mayor has been working with the major stakeholders affected by the traffic to plan ways to assure that visitors reach their destinations. In addition to designated parking areas, the city will have electronic signs and cell phone applications with realtime updates on traffic conditoins.
Skip Wagoner, explained that the Rodeo has purchased additional land qt astroworld, so there is more parking than ever before.
John Kajander, Senior Vice President , External Relations and Information technology, Texas Maedical Center, explained that about half the Medical services of Houston are at the Medical Center. This year, like last year, the Medical Center wil make parking facilities available to tourists visiting the Rodeo, Museums, and the Zoo, with free shuttles to those destinations.
Laurette Canizares, Executive Director of the Houston Museum District Association, emphasized the museums that already have their own parking garages and designated parking areas
Deborah Cammon, President and CEO of the Houston Zoo, invited to public to special zoo exhibits, including a newborn giraff. As the mayor explained a few moments later, parking lots within Hermann Park, including the zoo, fill up quickly. However, the park provides a train that circulates around the perimeter of the property with easy bording points near the zoo and the Metro rail line.
The City and directors of each area have developed recommended driving directions. Notably, Skip Wagoner and Mayor Parker urged those attending the Rodeo to approach Reliant Park from the south or the west. The most congested areas are on Kirby from southbound traffic and Old Spanish Trail westbound from the Medical Center.
For plans, driving directions, and Spring Break activities see the City of Houston e Government website.