March 25, 2019
LINK HOUSTON, BIKEHOUSTON, AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO ADDRESS CITY COUNCIL ON SAFER STREETS INITIATIVE
HOUSTON, TX: LINK Houston and BikeHouston, together with community members from across the city of Houston will address City Council on March 26, 2019 AT 2:00 PM to urge elected officials to prioritize improvements for safer streets for all road users.
Specifically, the People for Safe Streets coalition will share personal stories of how crashes as well as unsafe and inaccessible infrastructure impact their lives and call on City officials to:
1. Appoint a transportation safety official to lead a task force to address the systematic traffic safety issues in Houston.
2. Prioritize the short-term recommendations identified in the Federal Highway Administration’s Road Safety Audits and commit to a system-wide change in ways to address safety for vulnerable road users.
3. Lead a safety campaign to promote safe mobility habits using media resources the city has available including HTV, audio recordings, and press conferences.
In spring of 2018 LINK Houston and BikeHouston answered Mayor Turner’s call in analyzing and identifying the most dangerous intersections for people walking and biking in Houston. LINK Houston analyzed crash data and used the federal guideline for a statistical value of life to equitably identify priority intersections, and BikeHouston conducted a member survey to identify where cyclists feel unsafe. LINK Houston found that the greater Houston area experienced over $6 billion in ped/bike impacts over a five-year period. This is a huge cost to society.
The City has opportunities for resources from federal, state, and private partners to address the public safety crisis it currently faces. Safety pays.
Mayor Turner directed City staff to investigate corrective measures at 12 intersections, which resulted in two Road Safety Audits from the Federal Highway Administration at no cost to the City of Houston. The City of Houston invited LINK Houston and BikeHouston to participate in the Road Safety Audits, which concluded in early February with a list of short and long-term safety recommendations for each intersection. The City of Houston committed to sharing its plan and timeline to implement some of these recommendations, which range from design, engineering, law enforcement, and education tactics, that could save people’s lives. The plan is not yet available to the public.
Meanwhile, crashes continue to hurt or kill people across Houston. Advocates have decided to come together once again to implore city leaders to act now. No one should die while driving, walking or biking anywhere, including in our great city of Houston. Improving safety for vulnerable road users will make our roads safer for everyone.