With summer fast approaching and both bicyclists and pedestrians ready to take to the hike and bike trails and city streets for some exercise and fun, officials want to remind motorists to be cautious when on the roadways.
The City of Brownsville’s Multimodal Transportation Department kicked off its Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Child Safety Campaign in an effort to reduce the number of incidents and accidents on the city’s public roadways and crosswalks.
Eva Garcia, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Rio Grande Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization said there are several factors related to safety including education campaigns.
“The City of Brownsville is taking the initiative to protect its residents through safety across the city and they are doing that with the help of the enforcement, the enforcement is critical,” Garcia said.
Brownsville was the first city in the Rio Grande Valley to pass the Safe Passing ordinance that protects walkers and bicyclists. The ordinance states that cars must stay 3 feet away from a walker or bicyclist and trucks must stay 4 feet away.
Brownsville Police Commander Robert Martinez said intersections can be dangerous spots for pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists and that nationwide, 2 ½ million accidents occurred at intersections and that half of that number involved serious injuries or death.
The city is using the “Three Es” which are engineering, enforcement, and education.
The police department has created impact teams that will address violations at intersections.