Cyclist Isidro Martinez Campos died on April 2, 2014, when a pickup truck hit him shortly after 8pm on a street in Galena Park. The impact of the collision threw Campos from his bike and onto the shoulder of the street. His bicycle remained wedged in the truck’s bumper. He was rushed to Memorial Hermann hospital where he died.
Police continue to investigate the crash, but according to the Houston Chronicle, deputies claim that Campos was riding his bicycle on the “improved shoulder” of the roadway when he entered the lane of traffic. According to Google Maps, however, at the location of the collision, the shoulder ends abruptly immediately ahead of a drainage ditch. A cyclist traveling along the 2000 block of N. Main in Galena Park would therefore have no choice but to leave the “improved shoulder” and enter the main lane of traffic.
Campos is the latest in a depressing series of cyclists who have lost their lives due to collisions with automobiles. The number of cyclists injured and killed by automobiles will only increase as more and more Houstonians use their bikes to get around the city. Houston is beginning to recognize this fact. Beginning this Sunday, the city will shut down one heavily trafficked street for four hours on the first Sunday of the month encourage cyclists and pedestrians to take back the street, in a program known as SundayStreetsHTX. In part this program reflects the recognition that pedestrians and cyclists are becoming ever more integral to Houston’s street life. But their safety cannot be limited to the occasional special event. It must be a continuing priority.