Cyclist killed in hit and run crash
A Houston-area cyclist was killed in an apparent hit-and-run accident that sent him into Brays Bayou, Houston police said Tuesday.
The unidentified man was found around 7:45 p.m. Monday, though police said the accident in the 8200 block of Harrisburg likely happened around midnight Sunday. In a release, officials said the man appeared to have been struck by a vehicle that propelled him into the bayou. Harrisburg crosses Brays Bayou near 81st Street, then turns into Broadway.
The spot is close to the Brays Bayou lower bank bike trail, which is separated from cars and allows cyclists an unimpeded ride.
Two other Houston bicyclists have been killed in hit-and-run accidents in the past 45 days. Chelsea Norman, 24, was struck and killed Dec. 1 riding home from work along Waugh Drive. Stephen Belle was killed Dec. 20 crossing the 1000 block of Normandy outside a crosswalk.
No one has been identified as the driver in any of the accidents, frustrating some area cyclists, with some suggesting that city has to do more to protect riders.
"It has been proven time and time again, in city after city ... that the way to make it safe for cycling is by incorporating safe cycling into street and road design," said Michael Skelly, a local cyclist and Houston Bike Share board member.
Skelly noted that Portland, Ore., is probably the most cycling-friendly city in the U.S., with hundreds of thousands of frequent riders, and yet didn't have a single bike fatality in 2013. According to Bike Portland, a pro-cycling group in Oregon, the city also didn't have a fatality in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008 or 2010.
Houston has far fewer cyclists and many more fatalities, Skelly said.
The Houston City Council last year passed a law requiring drivers to give cyclists at least three feet of space. As of last month, police had not written a single ticket for violating the law.