Who could have predicted that drivers wouldn't like $AFEclear?

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In what is a surprising development, Houston-area drivers are less than thrilled with the new $AFEclear towing program. Well, it’s surprising to some supporters of forced-towing:

James Kahig knows the tow truck industry isn’t always well respected. He didn’t expect such a backlash from Houston’s new towing ordinance. “It just blew up in our face,” he said.

Every stop he makes along the freeway is a challenge.

The Goffneys knew nothing about the Safe Clear program until they broke down on the Southwest Freeway.

“I’m a little shocked at having to pay $75 when I pay an annual fee to AAA,” said Carolene Goffney, stranded motorist.

Motorists aren’t the only ones questioning the mayor’s new plan.

“I think it may be time for the State of Texas to put a dose of common sense into the enforcement. There are questions I have that no one seems to be able to answer at the city level,” said Senator John Whitmire.


It’s been in effect for four days now, but the city’s new Safe Clear towing program remains the talk of the town. There’s growing frustation over the program and changes are already in the works.


“I do believe it’s a good system,” said council member Pam Holm. “I think there are some definite issues that frankly, I wish we would have worked a little bit harder up front rather than reacting.”

City lawmakers say they expect some studies to be done in the coming months about how this program is performing.

Aha. Now that the burdensome program is in effect, city folks want to do some studies. Since the Katy Freeway program has been underway for nine months, we should already have “some studies,” with answers even. And that quote from councilwoman Holm, about wishing they had worked harder “up front” as opposed to “reacting,” is just priceless.

Almost makes you think this idea was dreamed up in some back room by a group of out-of-touch city bigs looking to clear their commute path.

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.