HOUSTON - Walking Houston streets is no walk in the park— and we don't mean the need to avoid crime-ridden neighborhoods! City bus stops are dangers hidden in plain sight, and local buses could be dropping passengers off into a danger zone.
Preliminary data from the Governor's Highway Safety Association estimated 5,984 pedestrian fatalities in the United States for 2017. Thirty-three percent happened on local municipal streets. In 2016, Harris County ranked third in the nation with 128 pedestrians killed.
Along some of the busiest routes in Houston, many bus stops are in awkward spots and some don't even have sidewalks.
On Houston's north side, at the intersection of West FM 1960 and Ella Boulevard, pedestrians face the challenge of crossing the street after getting off the bus.
"Why don't you have a walkway that's accessible? A wheelchair can't even access this right now. So, it's a bad situation," Ken Warfield said.
"When I come to this corner, I always try to find a basket or something to sit on because we don't have anything to sit on," Passenger Lekedra Davis said
Davis said a bus stop across the street is even more dangerous, stating "You gotta watch were you going, because if you don't, you're gonna fall in a ditch; and if it's raining, you're gonna slide right in there."
At least one passenger we spoke with didn't see this particular bus stop as an inconvenience.
However, dropping passengers off at bus stops without sidewalks does put them at a higher risk of getting hit, and could encourage them to not use designated crosswalks.
Laura Whitley with METRO Houston says, "In addition to adding new shelters, we also will make improvements to those stops such as adding concrete pads,extending the area there. Connections from our stops to our sidewalks is something that we think about, too. We look at the stops, we look at the concrete pads, we also work to make links to those sidewalks."
If anyone wants to report a bus stop they feel is unsafe, they can contact METRO Houston at 713-635-4000.
Remember, watch your step. the next one could cost a lot more than bus fare.