At the June 10 press conference at 10 th Street and Shepherd Drive, Mayor Turner and City officials announced safety and accessibility improvements at the location as part of the Safer Streets Initiative. To top off the list of the improvements, Mayor Turner announced that the City of Houston will adopt a Vision Zero strategy with a goal of reducing or eliminating traffic deaths by the year 2030. He plans to formalize the announcement through an executive order.
The completed improvements at 10th Street and Shepherd Drive follow the tragic deaths of Lesha Adams and Jesus Perez, who were struck and killed by a driver on March 30. In April, City leaders promised to do more to address the deadly carnage on Houston’s streets. The City also completed the short-term recommendations at the 12 most dangerous intersections identified by LINK Houston and BikeHouston. These include striping crosswalks, better signage, adjusted signal timing, and removal of hazards and visual obstructions. Public Works Director Carol Haddock said the long-term improvements will be programmed in upcoming Capital Improvement Plans.
In addition to these changes, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities helped streamline the Pedestrian Accessibility Review Program, making it very easy and quick for residents to report problems. This resulted in four times the amount of calls from April to June than in the previous year. The Commission on Disabilities also formed a special task force that has already met six times to discuss recommendations to the City of Houston for long-term mobility solutions.
LINK Houston created an inventory of all the safer streets commitments made by the Mayor and other city officials to help us keep track of the updates and hold our leaders accountable. The improvements at 10 th Street and Shepherd Drive, the 12 priority intersections, and others are also possible because community members called 311 to report problems; demanded changes in letters and social media; and outlined their safety concerns for months at City Council meetings. As the City develops a Vision Zero policy, we can continue to do our part by communicating our safety needs through 311 and to our elected officials, management districts and TIRZes, and contacts in local government agencies.