Free Summer Zoo Days Cancelled to Help Congestion in Medical Center
The Houston Zoo has cancelled it’s free “First Tuesday” of the month afternoon admission policy for July and August.
The change will go into effect immediately resulting in the cancellation of the July 3 and August 7 free “First Tuesday” afternoons. The free First Tuesday, 2 p.m. to closing, afternoons from September through May will remain in effect.
The change in the Houston Zoo’s free ‘First Tuesday’ afternoon admission policy was prompted by the severe traffic congestion in Hermann Park and in the Texas Medical Center that accompanied the free ‘First Tuesday’ afternoon on June 5.
“Approximately 12,000 people came to the Houston Zoo in a 3 hour period that afternoon,” said Houston Zoo President and CEO Deborah Cannon. The traffic congestion that resulted on Cambridge Street created a potential hazard for Houston Fire Department ambulances and other emergency vehicles making their way to the emergency rooms at Ben Taub and Memorial Hermann hospitals.
“The Houston Zoo has worked diligently to identify opportunities for free and discounted admissions. However, in doing so we cannot adversely impact public safety. We must be a good neighbor to the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and to the Texas Medical Center,” Cannon said.
“In taking this action, the Houston Zoo is being a good neighbor, taking responsible action and doing the right thing,” Texas Medical Center President Dr. Richard Wainerdi said. “The Zoo is just across Cambridge Street from the Texas Medical Center and two of Houston’s Level One trauma centers at Ben Taub and Memorial Hermann hospitals. By eliminating the summer free ‘FirstTuesday’ afternoons traffic congestion will be reduced ensuring that emergency vehicles arrive at TMC emergency rooms without needless delays.”