A recent study by Rice University’s Kinder Institute found that intersections with stop lights are nine times more likely to have a fatal crash with pedestrians and bicyclists than those without stop lights. The study was prompted by the death of Rice University Professor Marjorie Corcoran who was hit and killed by a METRO light rail train near the Houston Medical Center in February. During the study, researchers examined records of all traffic crashes within the city of Houston from January 2010 to September 2016. Throughout this six-year period, there were 3,952 intersection-related automobile accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. Of those accidents, 90 resulted in a fatality, 1,802 resulted in an injury, and 2,060 were no-injury crashes. From 2012 to 2015, researchers noted a 42 percent increase in intersection-related collisions in Houston.
According to the study, there are 78,372 intersections in the city of Houston. Of those, 2,286 are controlled by traffic lights, 18,882 are controlled by stop signs, and 57,204 are non-controlled. Researchers found that there were far more automobile accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists at traffic light-controlled intersections than there were at either stop sign-controlled intersections or non-controlled intersections. Of the 65 traffic light-controlled intersections in downtown Houston, the intersections with the greatest likelihood of fatal automobile accidents were the intersections at Rusk Street and Louisiana Street and Rusk Street and Travis Street.