How To Make Houston's Streets Safe For Everyone

What if you could safely walk or bike on any street in Houston? That's the idea behind a new initiative called Houston Complete Streets.

A complete street is a street designed for everyone to use, drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit.

Jay Crossley with Houston Tomorrow says about 40 percent of Houstonians don't drive and Houston streets could be safer
for everyone.

"We have very high rates of bicycle and pedestrian deaths in the Houston region, but we have even more shockingly high rates of people dying in cars. And so redesigning the way we do our streets to focus on safety, and perhaps not to emphasize driving as fast as we possibly can all the time, would actually save lives."

One of the goals of Houston Complete Streets is to get local officials to pay more attention to planning and funding safer
and more user-friendly thoroughfares.

But Crossley says there are small things residents can do to improve the streets.

"We've all gotten used to the idea that our sidewalks are cracked, or even just missing, or there are cars parked in the bike lane, or there is no bike lane. And so we're asking everyone — we're saying that's not okay, that's not acceptable — so we're asking everyone to go out and walk and enjoy the streets of our city, but when you see things that are wrong and you see things that are dangerous, call 3-1-1 and report it today."

This weekend and next week, 33 organizations will coordinate lectures, bike rides, walks and social awareness about the
condition of Houston's streets.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...