Buffalo Bayou Park Skatepark Returns; Fixing Metro’s Safety Problem


Photo of Aris Market Square: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool


11 Comment

  • The sleek, urban-chic gray trains will gradually evolve into clownish things with bright colors and messages with each death of a distracted or risk-taking citizen.
    Maybe a better approach would be a more sinister skin with red notches painted on a train representing each kill. That way people would feel some real sense of their own mortality and responsibility .

  • You can paint the trains as garishly as you like, but you can’t make cyclists obey red lights.

  • Houstons car obsessed mentality…Light rail collides into vehicle or person = light rail at fault…..Vehicle collides into pedestrians or cyclist = Pedestrian/cyclist at fault.

  • @ Purple City: when cyclists running red lights results in statistically significant injuries and deaths, I’ll start worrying about them. The most sensible approach to regulating bicycles in traffic is to have them treat red lights as stop signs (i.e., wait out the traffic that has the right of way and then proceed) and to treat stop signs as yield signs (i.e., yield to traffic that has the right of way and then proceed).
    This is already legal is some rare pockets of the planet (http://bikeleague.org/content/bike-law-university-idaho-stop), and the fact that it isn’t legal here is because of two things: 1) our traffic laws haven’t caught up with current realities and best practices; and 2) the animus and jealous envy of car drivers.

  • @ Dana-X: I have to agree with you that each death means more garish/clownish coloring of the trains. But, I also agree that maybe we should draw on some scary looking “faces”. I’m thinking of the fanged look of the “Tower of Traffic” logo of Ashby high-rise fame.
    Seriously, they should amp up the volume of the horn, rather than that meek bleating it has now. Lay on it as you go through all intersections. Put some bright strobe lights on the front of it – get one from the vendor who supplies the rotating light at the top of Williams/Transco Tower.

  • In exactly zero of these train-auto, train-bicycle, train-pedestrian incidents has the auto/bicycle/pedestrian had the right of way. If people would heed the existing traffic control devices — the “no left turn” signs, the stop lights, the crossing gates down by the Loop where the two homeless guys walked in front of the train, the crosswalks, the walk/don’t-walk indicators — these incidents wouldn’t happen.

  • …but isn’t that like saying we should stop trying to solve heart disease because people ignore doctors?
    Deterrence and warnings are not a replacement for overall smart HSE policy…which would be not mixing big things that kill people with pedestrian traffic and expecting people to be able to adjust to new right of ways based on signage. Nobody puts on a hard hat and stands under a falling load expecting to be okay. Why would you change existing right of ways for a train and NOT expect there to be collisions?
    Anyone care to provide the traffic engineer details on exactly what percentage of motorists even see any one given warning sign on the roads? I would expect it to be in the high 60’s, low 70’s.

  • @joel, Don’t get me started on the topic of medicine. I can tell you won’t like my position. Hint: personal responsibility, people!
    At this point, the train has been there for 13 years. It didn’t just pop up overnight. And before the train was there, it was a four-lane busy street, which still required caution and paying attention to cross safely.
    Given by the number of drivers I pass who are focused on their laps, I would say your estimate of the percentage of motorists who see any given warning sign is high by at least 30 percentage points.

  • I think it’s about time to close all of Main Street to vehicle traffic and make it one big pedestrian zone. Car traffic on Main serves little purpose anyway, there is no place to stop or drop off passengers except for one or the other hotel and I’m sure there is a work around for that.

  • @houstonreader
    I really like the Idaho biking laws. It would be great to have this added to the new biking plan.

  • Watch where you’re going, people. Especially around the golden trains.