Houston Needs Safer Streets

There have been two deaths in three days in Houston. Marjorie Corcoran, a physics and astronomy professor at Rice University, was killed by the train as she crossed the tracks at Sunset Blvd. Another man, whose identify is not yet know publicly, was killed by the train while crossing at the 610 feeder road (we will update when we have more information on his identity). Our hearts go out to the families and friends of these two people.

BikeHouston is asking for the following actions from the public and our City officials in response:

  • Everyone should follow the law and be vigilant while on the streets.
  • Following each death, the City and other officials should start an investigation asking: “Why did the death happen?” A full investigation should be done that includes, how could the designs of these roads and intersections be improved? Does an alternative route need to be provided? What were the human mistakes and how do we change the road design to make it harder for these mistakes to happen? BikeHouston has reached out to officials asking how we can support them in this work for these two incidents. Beyond the direct answer of always stop for trains, what are the underlying and contributing factors in these cases?
    • Regarding the 610 crash: Why was a person riding a bike on the 610 feeder road? Can we provide a safer route through this part of town?
    • Regarding the Sunset crash: How can this complex intersection be simplified? How can the signals be improved to result in more compliance with the signalization?
  • Pass the Bike Plan. These are two tragic reminders of why the Houston Bike Plan is so important. No deaths on our streets are acceptable. City Council should vote yes and adopt the Bike Plan to make the streets of Houston safe for all people riding bicycles. The Bike Plan provides a toolbox for designing streets and intersections to create a safe bike network across town and it includes education programs. The Houston Bike Plan sets the goal of moving from a Bronze to a Gold Level Cycling City to hit this goal we have to increase ridership from .8% to 5.5 % mode share and reduce crash and fatality rates by 73% and 85% respectively. 

We reached out to news organizations with a statement: Click Here To Read It.

We also reached out to the city and metro to ask questions and offer help: Read Email Here.

What you can do.

We are asking people to send in letters of support for the bike plan to put Houston on the path towards being a safe city for cyclists. The City of Houston will be reviewing and voting on the Houston Bike Plan in February.

Here’s how to send in your letter: (cut and paste the following emails)

To: sylvester.turner@houstontx.gov, bikeways@houstontx.gov, atlarge1@houstontx.gov, atlarge2@houstontx.gov, atlarge3@houstontx.gov, atlarge4@houstontx.gov, atlarge5@houstontx.gov

Find and add your district council member (this step is critical!). districta@houstontx.gov, districtb@houstontx.gov, districtc@houstontx.gov, districtd@houstontx.gov, districte@houstontx.gov, districtf@houstontx.gov, districtg@houstontx.gov, districth@houstontx.gov, districtI@houstontx.gov, districtj@houstontx.gov, districtk@houstontx.gov

Bcc: info@bikehouston.org

Email Body: Write an email, 2 sentences fine, saying why you support the Houston Bike Plan and asking City Council to pass it. Some simple examples below. Note you must write your own letter. And your District Council person really cares about their constituents only, so please do add them. Council needs to see personal letters but simple is fine:

Example # 1:

Dear honorable Mayor Turner and City Council Members,

My husband and I both bike to work everyday. We only have 1 car at home and use bikes to get everywhere. My husband has been hit on his bike – making Houston safe for people on bicycles is deeply personal and important to me. The Houston Bike Plan is the guide for improving bicycling in Houston – please pass it.

Sincerely,

Your Name and Address.

Example #2:

Dear Mayor and City Council,

Vote yes on the Houston Bike Plan. My kids ask me to ride bicycles with them – I want to be able to but don’t feel safe in many parts of the city. Passing the Houston Bike Plan puts us on the path toward having a city where kids can safely ride bicycles.

Thank-you,

Your Name and Address.

Example #3:

Dear Mayor and City Council,

I moved here for work and want to be able to ride a bike. Bicycling in Houston is okay right now but it could be a lot better. I’ll probably leave Houston as soon as I can, unless the bicycling improves. To keep talented people of all ages in Houston, you need to pass the Houston Bike Plan and begin building more safe places to ride.
Your Name and Address.

I WANT TO BIKE HOUSTON

Join BikeHouston and help change the way Houston bikes, walks, drives and lives.

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