A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that Texas roads are some of the most dangerous in the country, with Houston crash fatality rates higher than those from New York or Los Angeles.

Several analyses last year, including LINK Houston’s research, found that Houston area streets are particularly dangerous and deadly for people walking and biking. Together with our partners and other stakeholders, we pushed for the City to act. Mayor Sylvester Turner, through the Public Works Department, committed to further investigating dangerous hotspots identified by LINK Houston and other advocates by participating in two Road Safety Audits from the Federal Highway Administration – a free federal program that helps local entities with high pedestrian/bicyclist fatalities analyze hazards and come up with measures to improve safety for all road users.

The safety analysis is now complete and includes many short- and long-term safety improvement recommendations – some as simple as restriping crosswalks, or reconfiguring pedestrian lights. These recommendations need to be prioritized so that the City can begin a system-wide change in how it addresses, and incorporates into future projects, safety for all road users.

One avenue to fund and implement those safety recommendations is through the annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The City of Houston is currently holding public meetings across all council districts. We encourage you to attend the Capital Improvement Plan community meetings and urge Mayor Turner and other city officials to prioritize walking and biking safety – including accessible sidewalks and street crossings – in all proposed projects.

Additionally, we at LINK Houston, together with partners and stakeholders, plan to get vocal at the March 26 City Council meeting to urge local leaders to not only prioritize safety for all road users in future projects, but to move quicker with proposed recommendations. Please contact us if you wish to join us in advocating for #SaferStreetsHTX on March 26. “There’s no reason for people to die walking in our city.”

LINK Houston
MARCH 8, 2019