Old 10-05-21, 10:14 PM
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Waller County Judge Trey Duhon posted the following on the Waller County (Official) Facebook page on September 30. Many of you may remember a few years ago when Waller County cracked down and started issuing tickets to bicycle riders who ran stop signs and other violations. He met with members of the MS150 Steering Committee and representatives of other organized rides and bicycling groups. I attended the meeting as part of the MS150 contingent. He was friendly, non-confrontational, and genuinely worked with us reach a solution. I see no reason to doubt his sincerity on the current matter.

From County Judge Trey Duhon:

I just got off the phone with Linda Bates. Linda is the current President of the South Central Chapter of the National MS Society, which oversees and organizes the MS150. We are going to work together to organize another Cycling Summit meeting in Waller County between my office, Sheriff Troy Guidry, some folks with MS150, and bike ride presidents and cycling group leadership individuals from the Houston area.
We hope to have this meeting scheduled in the coming weeks to have a discussion on continuing our efforts to improve safety in Waller County for cyclists and motorists, including education and outreach, working together with TXDOT to bring more shoulders and bike lanes to Waller County, and re-establishing lines of communication between the various bike rides and Waller County through the WCSO, so we can keep people apprised of organized rides and routes as they occur during the year. I spoke to Sheriff Troy Guidry today and he is more than ready to engage and meet with the MS150 and bike ride organizers as well.
If there are any bike groups or bike ride organizers that would like to be a part of that meeting, please email my office at t.duhon@wallercounty.us and we will make sure to include you when it is scheduled.
On another note - it has come to our attention that there may be some individuals or groups of cyclists that may be looking to come out to Waller County to make a statement or to cause issues and/or antagonize motorists... This is unfortunate, but I have seen some posts myself on some Houston FB cycling/bike pages that seem to point to this as well. Please keep in mind that this is not representative of the cycling community in Houston and these are not part of any organized rides (just like this past weekend's incident is not representative of Waller County), but there's always the possibility that some folks may look to cause trouble or to make a point.
I want to take this opportunity to strongly encourage everyone to welcome any cyclist that comes to our community. Be courteous. Wave hello. Offer them a water. Follow the rules of the road. Remember that bikes have the right (whether you like it or not) to be on the road, regardless of whether there is a shoulder or not. Do not let anyone antagonize or cause you to lose your cool. Remember - you can not control others. You can only control how you react to them. Choose not to react. Smile and be friendly. Take a different route if you can.
Below are some tips for when you encounter a cyclist or group of cyclists on a Waller County road. And before some of you inevitably criticize me for being “pro-cyclist”, please keep in mind that the advice that is being given is in the vein of giving people options in terms of reacting to bicyclists rather than losing one’s temper…. I’m not saying that everyone who encounters a cyclist should find another route…. (Keeping in mind that for organized rides - avoiding certain areas probably works best if you need be somewhere).
The advice being given is about being pro-safety…. I was on the scene in Pattison several years ago when those cyclists were run over and killed. I will never get those images out of my mind…. I don’t not want to ever see that happen in Waller County again…. There’s alot of work to be done to help change this situation on both sides…. But until then I want everyone to take a deep breath, and be safe.
1) Always be on the look out for cyclists.
2) Bicycles are entitled to ride in the lane of traffic.
Bicyclists are required by law to follow the same traffic laws as vehicles; however, they are also permitted to ride in the lane of travel. This means that they may travel in the same lane as you – in front of you, even if they are travelling slower than you. Most cyclists prefer to ride on the shoulder, however, road conditions sometimes make that impossible or extremely unsafe. If there is a cyclist on the road in front of you, chances are that they will return to the shoulder as soon as it is safe to do so. Just be patient.
3) If you pass a cyclist, do so safely.
If you insist on passing a cyclist, do it safely. Get as far away from the cyclist as possible and leave plenty of distance in front of them before you return to your lane. Wide mirrors or things hanging off your vehicle can make contact with a cyclist and cause serious injury or death, even if your car doesn’t hit them. A good rule of thumb is to “give them three feet” (i.e. always leave at least three feet between the outside edge of your car and the bike you are passing).
4) NEVER harass cyclists.
This can include honking, yelling, cursing and threatening. There is simply no reason whatsoever to initiate any type of road rage whether it is against another car driver or a cyclist. There isn’t anywhere you need to be soon enough that justifies uncivil behavior. AGGRESSIVE DRIVING towards a cyclist will not be tolerated. Period.
5) Pay attention to your surroundings.
This rule applies, regardless of when and where you are driving. You have a legal duty “to see what is there to be seen,” which means you need to be looking! Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, putting on makeup, reading and talking to people in your vehicle reduce the amount of attention you are paying to your surroundings and the approaching hazards. “I didn’t see you” is never an excuse when you hit someone.
6) Be careful when backing up or opening your car door.
Before backing your car, look in the rear view mirror, side mirror and through your windows to see if cyclists are approaching. Back up slowly so that they will have time to react if they approach after you have looked for them. Before opening your car door after parallel parking, look to your left to see if cyclists are approaching on the road. Opening your car door in front of a cyclist is a violation of the law.
7) Look Left and Right before pulling out onto a road.
Some drivers get so focused on pulling out onto a roadway, especially if the traffic is heavy, that they focus only on finding that one gap in traffic that they call pull into. As a result, although they may look toward the direction of where they are turning, they fail to look the other direction. There may be a cyclist approaching, but the motorist is so focused on finding a gap that they don’t see them. As a result, many cyclists have been injured by cars pulling out into traffic, when they could have easily seen them, if only they had looked.
😎 Yield to cyclists – even if you don’t have to.
Sometimes, cars and cyclists approach intersections at nearly the same time, or cars approach a path where a cyclist is crossing a road. If it is safe for you to do so, yield to the cyclist and let them cross. Many cyclists wear special shoes that clip into their pedals. This allows them to ride more efficiently, but also makes it more difficult for them to stop suddenly without falling. Some cyclists may run a stop sign... It's better to anticipate and give them right of way (even when you are not required) than to live with the fact that somebody lost their life in a collision with your vehicle.
I hope this helps!! Let's show the Houston cycling community the reason why everyone is leaving Houston and coming out to Waller County... because we have some of the nicest and friendliest people in the state.
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