City Recognizes Safety Problems Facing Bicyclists, Pedestrians

There was another accident Monday involving a car and a bicycle, but this time police said the cyclist was at fault.

According to police, an 18-year old man on a bicycle was leaving a private driveway at around 7:30 a.m. Monday, near the intersection of Holly and Weber. He struck the front right side of a car driven by a 24-year old woman.

The cyclist was taken to the hospital with what police said were non-life threatening injuries. Police ticketed the man for failing to yield the right of way.

Of course, there have been several recent cases of bicyclists in the city hit by motorists. It even happened at Sunday's triathlon.

So just how safe is it to ride a bike in Corpus Christi?

It doesn't seem safe to ride in our streets, and it seems that most people who ride bicycles on the street feel the same way. One Corpus Christi native said he has been running and riding on the shoulder since he was a kid.

"Back when I was a kid and was running here, there was people driving and actually watching what they were doing. And now, what I see is people driving with their knees and texting with their thumbs, and not watching what they're doing," cyclist Rick Cortes said.

A series of car-bike or car-pedestrian accidents have made headlines over the last couple of years, and it makes residents nervous.

"Honestly, I feel like scared sometimes because people don't pay attention and sometimes they don't see you," cyclist Skyler Perez said.

City leaders have heard complaints about motorists driving too fast on Ocean Drive, but they say the speed limit isn't the problem.

"I think the speed limits are fine, but what happens is when you have wider lanes, it's sometimes hard to keep people within the speed limits," City Traffic Engineer Bill Green said. He added that the City is considering some measures to improve safety.

"We may be looking at narrowing lanes on Ocean Drive to slow the traffic as we look at our alignment of Ocean Drive," Green said. "We're looking at maybe shared hike and bike paths along the green belt of Ocean Drive, so as to move bicyclists off the roadway."

This weekend, the Corpus Christi Triathlon held their annual event and also had an accident involving a cyclist and a motorist. The Triathlon Club president, Chris Nelson, said they take every precaution to keep the athletes safe.

"Create an entire bike lane. Coned them off with barricades. Police at all key intersections," Nelson said. "I just don't know that we could have been much safer than we were. It's just a matter of cyclists and vehicular drivers alike paying attention."


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