fbpx

From Buffalo Bayou and Memorial Park, to Towne Lake and Terry Hershey Park, Houstonians have more than 1,800 miles of bike trails and paths to roam and explore. The city’s recent initiative to revamp public spaces and add outdoor friendly options – including an additional 150 miles of bike paths – to enjoy means more and more bicyclists take to the streets each year. While Houston has active plans for transitioning its vision of a bike-friendly community into reality, there is still much to be done before cyclists can feel at ease sharing the road with other drivers.


Currently, Texas takes a top spot for worst states in the country for bike safety. Of the average 857 bicyclists killed annually in the United States, 245 fatal accidents in took place in Houston alone. When citing accidents per every 10,000 bicyclists, Texas reports a fatality rate of about 16.7 on average. Supporting these woeful statistics is a lack of bike safety laws adopted by the state. While the state has adopted the Complete Streets Law, it has yet to take progressive action to widen the safety net and enforcement of cyclist-centered policies. Safety regulations that could help include the Safe Passing Law, which requires vehicles to maintain a three-foot distance between their vehicle and bike commuters, as well as a statewide bike plan for the next 10 years aiming infrastructure efforts toward bike safety improvements.

For cyclists, the lack of action to not only formally outline bike safety regulations but also to enforce existing rules highlights the problem of lack of representation for cyclists, not only just with Houston lawmakers, but statewide as well.

Houston dominates the nation as a top-producing, innovative city that’s home to nearly 2.3 million people; however, it lags greatly behind in comparison to large American cities making similar strides to improve road safety for their citizens like bike-friendly Austin. Recently, Houston was ranked number six on the list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities for Cyclists, further proving up the dangers Houston cyclists face every day.

Cyclists not only deserve to safely travel along Houston roads, they have the right to. Under Texas Transportation Code §551.101, bicyclists are endowed the same rights and duties as drivers operating motor vehicles. When drivers fail to comply with transportation laws, such as engaging in distracted driving behaviors, cyclists’ lives are put at risk. The most common fatal accidents involving bicycles include:

  • Distracted driving (calling, texting, changing the stereo)
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Left-turns (striking cyclist)
  • Unmaintained roads

Many Houston bicyclists beg the question of how they can avoid such accidents given our city’s lack of bike friendly infrastructure, including a lack of adequate bike lanes throughout popular areas like the Heights, Montrose, Downtown, and East Downtown, as well as properly marked and timed crosswalks.

Improved trails and bike paths are wonderful additions to our city and are a testament to ongoing changes. As more people move to Houston for its low cost standard of living and available jobs, our transportation and recreational habits will shift. As the city grows, so does the need to implement solutions and protections for all residents. The attorneys at Adame Garza are experienced advocates for cyclists’ rights and safety who are firmly committed to each unique case. Our experienced personal injury trial lawyers work tirelessly to understand each client’s individual needs and to take aggressive measures to ensure just and fair compensation for victims.