HOUSTON (CBS Houston) Mayor Annise Parker and Houston Houston City Council Members unanimously approved an ordinance protecting Houston’s cyclists and pedestrians.
The Safe Passing Ordinance protects non-driving road users by requiring motorists to keep a separation of more than three feet while passing. Trucks or commercial vehicles are required to keep a separation of more than six feet.”The ordinance is effective immediately, stated officials.
“Vulnerable road users are defined as a walkers or runners; the physically disabled, such as someone in a wheelchair; a stranded motorist or passengers; highway construction, utility or maintenance workers; tow truck operators; cyclists; moped, motor-driven cycle and scooter drivers; or horseback riders,” added Houston city authorities.
Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker sees the ordinance as one that protects bikers and those who choose to walk as a means of transportation: “As a city, we need to protect everyone and anyone who uses our roads,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This ordinance will make our city even more attractive to those who want to enjoy traveling in forms other than by car.”
In addition to requiring safe passing, the Safe Passing Ordinance prohibits any motorists or passengers in cars from throwing objects or items out of the car at bikers and those who choose to walk.
“BikeHouston is pleased to see this ordinance pass and proud of the Mayor’s continued efforts on helping Houston become a more bicycle-friendly city,” stated Kathryn Baumeister, Chair of BikeHouston. “Houston is a city of cars, but also has a big population of people who rely on cycling for transportation and recreation. We feel it is important for cyclists and drivers of automobiles to respect one another on the road. This ordinance will help provide a measure of safety for the vulnerable road users.”
Senator Rodney Ellis, BikeTexas, AARP, Better Houston, Bikin’ Babes, Citizen Transportation Coalition, Houston Access to Urban Sustainability Project, Houston Tomorrow, Northwest Cycling Club and Richmond Rail all showed tremendous support for the ordinance.
Similar ordinances have already been implemented in such Texas cities as Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio.
“The Safe Passing ordinance is another initiative, led and/or supported by Mayor Parker, to encourage more cycling in Houston. Others include the launch of Houston Bike Share last month, closing gaps in Houston’s bike trail system; the voter-approved Bayou Greenways initiative; and approval of HB200, which will allow Houston’s utility easements to be used for hike and bike trails,” added city of Houston officials.
Watch the video below to learn more about Bike Share Houston: