John Long Email to City & Metro

We are reaching out regarding the two people who have died over the weekend to ask if there is any way we can help in a follow-up investigation and in communication with the public.

I know we are all feeling these personal tragedies. We are mourning for the families and friends of these two Houston people. Each of us sees ourselves, our loved ones, in their place and our hearts ache.

BikeHouston has been following up with media and people with bicycles on these deaths as people are reaching out and asking why?

We now turn to you all as leads in these areas for follow-up on the question of why these deaths happened — beyond the immediate answer of “You should never cross in front of the train.” What does an engineering and planning holistic review reveal? How can we improve planning and design to reduce exposure to risk? We must keep working to improve behavior and compliance to the law and we must also ask how we¬†can change design to result in the behaviors that will keep people safe.

Tom, we know METRO cares deeply about the safety of your passengers. We saw your quote in the Chronicle where you asked for time to do a review of the incidents. Thank-you for this.

BikeHouston is ready to assist however we can, including communicating follow-up investigations to the public, as well as with education campaigns. Below are some the questions we have been asking and hearing from the bicycling community:

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? We should use crash data in prioritizing bike plan projects.

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?

The larger picture comes together more via the Houston Bike Plan where we have set the goal of moving from a Bronze to a Gold Level Cycling City to hit this goal we have to increase ridership from 0.8% to 5.5 % mode share and reduce crash and fatality rates by 73% and 85% respectively. We are working hard to make sure this plan moves through City Council and then we will all need to work towards implementation.

Thank-you all for your service, we look forward to hearing from you.

John Long
Executive Director

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