Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure on the roadways. Preliminary records from Texas Department of Transportation show that accidents involving vehicles and bikes were down in the Houston area last year compared with 2019. However, there were a record number of 34 deaths. In an effort to ensure that cyclists are protected while on the roads, Clear Channel donated 9 billboards in Houston to advise motorists to be on the lookout for cyclists. The donated billboard advertising will generate over 8.4 million market impressions in the month that they are being displayed. Commissioner Rodney Ellis, BikeTexas, and BikeHouston collaborated to spread the message through a virtual press conference announcing the billboard campaign.
“In Houston, we saw a record 34 deaths on our roads last year. We can prevent these needless accidents,” said Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, an avid cyclist who is serving as the bike safety campaign spokesman. “While some cyclists are outside for exercise and recreation, many people depend on bicycles as their primary transportation because they cannot afford a car. We need equity on our roads. Even one bicycle crash is too many. Bicycling is a clean and healthy form of transportation, which can transform our environment, if we make sure that people can bike safely.
“While the person depicted on these billboards may be riding a bike, she doesn’t merely exist as a cyclist,” said Joe Cutrufo, Executive Director of nonprofit BikeHouston. “She’s a person just like you who at this moment happens to be using a bike. She might also drive a car sometimes just like you might also ride a bike sometimes.”
Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas, thanked Commissioner Ellis and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner for improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety by building protected bike lanes and trails. “Bike lanes aren’t enough by themselves to ensure safety for everyone,” said Stallings, who was thankful for the billboards that promote safety for all road users in Harris County. “Motorists must be aware of people who are walking and biking.”
Lee Vela, Vice President of Public Affairs at Clear Channel Outdoor, said the company donated the $30,000 billboard spaces that will reach thousands of Houston drivers. “These messages are so important to be displayed on our roadways to remind people to follow safety procedures for both auto drivers and bikers,” Vela said. “We support the BikeTexas message of promoting bike safety, access and education.”
The safety campaign consists of four large freeway boards and five poster panels placed in neighborhoods. The large freeway boards are located at North Loop at Kirkpatrick; State Highway 249 at Fallbrook; North Belt at Lee Road; and South Loop at Holt. The small panels are at Yale and 25th Street; Telephone at Airport; Cullen at Briscoe; Fuqua at Campden Hill; and Willowbend at Stella Link.