Researchers say more work needs to be done to make Gulfton safe for walkers and cyclists

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A neighborhood notorious for its traffic troubles is getting a closer look from Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

In the southwest Houston neighborhood of Gulfton, there is a higher than average percentage of citizens who walk, cycle and use other forms of transit.

Many of them, however, do not always feel safe doing so.

Researchers say this is also a high traffic area for vehicles, which can make for a dangerous combination.

Researcher Dian Nostikasari spent months studying the area, especially around the Southwest Multi-Service Center on Highstar.

Nostikasari spoke with Gulfton residents who have seen wrecks and near-misses and says safety is about more than just sidewalks.

It's also about whether people feel safe when they leave home.

"We need more investments in terms of thinking -- how can we make our environment more safe, and more pleasant to walk and bike and use public transit?" said Nostikasari.

She hopes the report can be used as a tool for people to organize and advocate for safety changes and improvements, not just in Gulfton, but in other neighborhoods as well.

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