As ABC13 has reported, community groups LINK Houston and Bike Houston helped the city identify the most dangerous intersections for people walking, cycling, and even driving the city's streets. We visited the intersection of Bellaire and Ranchester in southwest Houston with LINK Houston to see the problems firsthand.
The intersection has seen 11 crashes involving walkers and a cyclist in the last 5 years, one of them deadly. Despite the good condition of the sidewalks and road, a huge signal control box blocks drivers' ability to see people walking in one spot, and signals often don't allow walkers to get across Bellaire in time. Transportation experts, federal to local, examined this and other intersections in Road Safety Audits.
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Here are some of the recommendations specifically for this intersection:
In the next couple of months, you'll see the city refresh striping for better visibility, and change the signals to allow walkers to enter the crosswalk first, before vehicles. This essentially gives them a head start into the intersection. The possibility of walkers crossing Bellaire in just one light cycle so they don't have to stop on a median is under evaluation.
It will take longer, but there are also recommendations to relocate the signal box, establish an additional crosswalk across Bellaire, and even reconfigure the lanes on Ranchester - all with the hope of making this intersection safer.
Road Safety Audits have also been completed at these locations:
- 11th and Nicholson
- Airline and West
- Bellaire and Gessner
- Fannin and Pierce
- Patterson and Washington
Road Safety Audits are still underway at these locations:
- Allen Parkway and Shepherd
- Bissonnet and Wilcrest
- Fondren and West Bellfort
- Hawthorne/Holman and the Spur
- Long Point and Gessner
- Taylor and Market Trail/Spring
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