Houston Mayor Pauses Complete Streets Projects

The move raises concerns among road safety advocates who point out that traffic deaths continue to rise.

1 minute read

April 16, 2024, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Texas Bike Lane

Brett Holmes / Shutterstock

Complete Streets projects in Houston could be in jeopardy after Mayor John Whitmire called for a reevaluation of projects involving pedestrian and bike infrastructure, alarming safety advocates and other local leaders. Writing in Governing, Jared Brey explains that“More than 300 people died on Houston's streets last year, a substantial increase from pre-pandemic figures that aligns with an upward trend of traffic violence nationally.”

The administration called for a pause on all projects involving road diets, crosswalks and other pedestrian infrastructure, and bike lanes, including those already under construction and some that received federal funding. 

According to a Houston Chronicle article, “To date, Whitmire's perceived approach has focused on curing the symptoms of the disease, but not the cause, calling on increasing police activity to enforce traffic laws and suggesting bikers stay in recreational lanes to avoid danger.” A spokesperson for the mayor’s office says the administration wants to focus on the city’s high-injury network, a database of the most dangerous streets and intersections that account for the most deaths and injuries.

Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Governing

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