Walking seems almost antithetical to living in a big city like Houston. The climate is enough to make you pine for the air conditioning of your car, but the infrastructure makes it downright dangerous to trust bipedal locomotion over four wheels on pavement. A recent study has found that there are quite a lot of very dangerous intersections in the state of Texas—the entire state isn't exactly a walker's paradise—and a handful of them are in Houston.
The Hill Law Firm pulled crash data from 2012 through 2015 and marked up a digital map with all of the pedestrian accidents. Austin's Trinity and 7th Street (not a shock) was the top spot (another Sixth Street crosswalk at Lavaca and 4th was third) on the list with Dallas's West End close behind. Houston, somewhat surprisingly, didn't show up on the list until 14, but had five of the next 11 spots on the list.
Wheeler at Main
With 19 accidents and 20 injuries, this is the most dangerous pedestrian intersection in Houston. It should come as no surprise to those who traverse the Midtown area and/or ride the light rail. The entire area around Wheeler (which is Richmond Avenue until it crosses Main Street) and Main is a hotbed of homelessness. Driving down Fannin or Main often means having to slow down as someone slowly makes his way across the street, traffic be damned.
Gessner at Westview
A large swatch of apartments on one side of the street, a series of fast food restaurants lined up on the other. This does not make for a safe environment for people walking, especially how fast some of the traffic moves through the Spring Branch area. The area always feels like it is under construction as well. Notably, there were two fatalities at this intersection during the period studied.
Pierce at Main
Not only do you have the light rail and downtown, but you have the bus station and perhaps the world's most popular McDonald's, all of which is surrounded by a rather sizable homeless population. That combination makes for some tricky driving. It is not uncommon to see people zig zagging in and out of traffic stopped at the light on Gray to get between the bus terminal and Mickey D's.
South Voss at Westheimer
It's amazing that anyone would try to cross upper Westheimer on foot, period. The road is eight lanes wide and cars are zooming along at all hours of the day and night. Voss (which becomes Hilcroft south of Westheimer) is one of the busiest intersections along the entire street making it a popular spot for panhandlers.
West Belfort at Fondren
This is yet another massive intersection with six lanes of traffic plus left turn lanes converging in two directions. The intersection is surrounded by a group of shopping centers and the whole thing is near apartments and neighborhoods. Much like Westheimer, it is difficult to understate how dangerous crossing these roads can be, even at the crosswalk with the light. Ideally, no one should.
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