WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - This month, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is rolling out a new campaign, focusing on the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.
“If you’re going twelve miles per hour and something goes by you at thirty or more, that’s a very large speed discrepancy and that’s very unnerving to have something go by you that fast,” said former Midwestern State Cycle Team member Sean Brown.
Last year in the 9 counties of the TXDOT Wichita Falls District, there were 29 traffic accidents involving pedestrians and 14 involving bicyclists making the area statistically one of the lowest for accidents in the state of Texas. TXDOT says these numbers have been on the rise over the last 5 years in other areas of the state. Many cyclists training for races like the Hotter n Hell Hundred will train on roads outside of town and say they are put at higher risk.
“Especially on like FM 1954, there are some people who had traditionally ridden out there for the training routes for hotter n hell that found other rides because some neighborhood person out there was terrorizing them in their vehicle and they didn’t feel safe anymore,” said Brown.
“Over the last several years, we have been granted a ton safety money,” said Lewis. “And for several years now, we (TXDOT) have gone about widening all of our roadways and having shoulders on them.”
For Brown, he appreciates these efforts but feels there hasn’t been enough done yet.
“I am proud to say that the city is making great strides in correcting that efficiency,” said Brown. “But as things are, there’s not many true bike lanes or appropriate shoulders to be riding a bicycle in.”
In Wichita Falls in 2019, there were 15 wrecks involving pedestrians with one death. There were zero cycling accidents reported in Wichita Falls.