2 pedestrian accidents highlight dangers of Allen Parkway

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by Kevin Reece / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 19 at 7:00 PM

HOUSTON -- Three pedestrians have been hit by vehicles while jaywalking across Allen Parkway near downtown Houston in the past two days.

Monday, in a frightening accident captured on surveillance cameras at KHOU 11, a man trying to cross all six lanes of traffic was hit as he crossed the parkway from Buffalo Bayou. Fortunately the vehicle only sideswiped him – did not hit him head on. He was seriously injured but was expected to recover after being taken by ambulance to Ben Taub Hospital.

Then Tuesday two young children were seriously injured as they tried to bolt across Allen Pkwy closer to downtown. They ignored a pedestrian bridge just a few hundred feet away and darted across traffic instead.

"I've never done it but I've seen people who've almost gotten hit doing it,” said jogger Lisa DeVille.

“Yeah it’s tough because cars fly through here,” said Matt Stillings who admits he crosses Allen Pkwy often because it’s a faster than heading to a crosswalk at Studemont or taking the pedestrian bridge near Eleanor Tinsley Park.

"Well it's very dangerous,” said Quinton Adams after taking the pedestrian bridge he says he uses every day instead of taking his chances with speeding traffic. “If you're not looking where you're going and you're crossing the street anybody can hit you at any time."

The parkway has been the scene of numerous vehicle and pedestrian accidents over the last few years. The posted speed limit is 40 mph but drivers tend to take the speed limit as more of a guideline than a rule. Houston Police have frequently targeted the parkway for radar enforcement.

But city leaders and developers say despite the millions in upgrades to make Buffalo Bayou Park more inviting for foot traffic that additional pedestrian crossings on Allen Parkway are not part of the master plan. With a pedestrian bridge near Eleanor Tinsley Park and a signaled crosswalk at Studemont one mile away, city planners say the traffic engineering is considered adequate and that pedestrians have safe available options if they choose to use them.

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