HOUSTON – The intersection of Main Street and Sunset Boulevard near Rice University has a history of dangerous accidents, especially for cyclists.
In fact, a science professor at Rice University died in a crash in 2017 while cycling into work.
A student was also killed in a crash at the same intersection while riding her bike in 2018.
Houston Public Works was set to redesign the intersection and they tell KPRC’s Traffic Expert Anavid Reyes residents in the area can expect to see those changes by the end of this summer.
These changes come after multiple calls for safer roads west of Hermann Park near Rice University by several local organizations.
Carla Godoy is a student and she especially is appreciative of these changes, saying, “Anything we can do to improve this intersection, and also you can see a ton of people and students walking around and running.”
According to a study done by Rice University, this intersection proves to be dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, as the space was originally designed to prioritize car traffic.
Residents and community activists heavily pushed for the change to protect those who travel on foot or bike and the City of Houston listened.
The Sunset Boulevard and Main Street intersection project is part of Mayor Turner’s safe streets initiative.
Underground utility work has been completed and curbs have been reconstructed. They now include barriers to protect runners and cyclists.
New traffic signals are also underway to help with flow and the next phase includes testing those traffic lights.
Right now, the pedestrian and cyclist signals don’t have push buttons. They cross on a signal cycle, so in the final phase, they’ll be installing those pushbuttons as well.
The city is planning on installing a vehicle detection system that can track information like traffic volumes at any certain point in time.
The project is expected to wrap up later this summer.