The City of Houston and Together for Safer Roads Announce Program to Improve Road Safety for the Most Vulnerable
‘Houston Safer Streets Phase 1’ unites Government, Community and Private Sector Partners
to Address Safety for People Walking, Taking Transit, Biking and Driving in Gulfton
HOUSTON, TX – April 17, 2019 – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Together for Safer Roads (TSR), a coalition of leading private sector companies, today launched Houston Safer Streets Phase 1. The initiative will focus on improving safety for all road users, pedestrians, bus riders, bicyclists and drivers in the Gulfton neighborhood.
Despite being attractive to businesses and newcomers and boasting a strong economy and high quality of life, Houston has one of the nation’s highest rates of road collisions and fatalities. Studies by the Mayor’s office, academic institutions and community organizations have revealed high concentrations of crashes and near-misses in Gulfton, the most densely populated community in Texas.
“The safety of our communities continues to be a top priority,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I am thrilled to be working with Together for Safer Roads, its member companies and community partners to ensure that we make Houston a safe place for all the community members that call this great city home.”
Working alongside Mayor Turner and the City of Houston, local community organizations and other stakeholders, TSR will focus resources in three key areas to catalyze road safety improvements in Gulfton:
- Community Engagement: TSR will support a community-based planning effort and a transportation-related STEM education program. Community leaders and students will work with their neighbors to identify and define road safety problems. The STEM program will use the local safety project as a learning lab for local students and expose them to career paths in engineering, planning, data and computer science, data and visual analytics and construction. All of this will be done in partnership with the City to implement safety fixes.
- Measurement of Results: TSR will work with the Rice University Kinder Institute and Brisk Synergies to measure and assess the impact of the project. In consultation with Houston Public Works, researchers will conduct a before-and-after analysis of near-misses and collisions–a leading indicator of crashes, injuries and fatalities. Building on Kinder’s previous work, this rapid analysis will give engineers insights as they develop the improvements, and once the project is implemented, it will allow stakeholders to evaluate it quickly, make adjustments and bring learnings to future projects.
- Community Improvement Funds: TSR will provide seed funding for the Community Engagement and Measurement pillars of the project, and the City of Houston will provide at least a five-fold match to build out the improvements. Priority infrastructure projects have been identified in Mayor Turner’s “Gulfton Complete Communities Action Plan.” This phase 1 project will also help develop a strategy to assess future safety and mobility improvements.
“Mayor Turner, his agency staff and their community partners have laid a strong foundation to make life-saving improvements in Gulfton,” said David Braunstein, President of Together for Safer Roads. “We are excited to catalyze real change on the streets and create models in Houston and in Gulfton that cities around the world can follow.”
“We’re very excited to be working with Mayor Turner, Together for Safer Roads and our local business and community partners to make real change on our streets,” said Anne Whitlock, founding director of Connect Community. “Gulfton is home to the city’s highest concentration of schools, and it is critically important that we all work together to ensure the safety of not only our students but the whole community. Gulfton also has the city’s highest levels of transit ridership and walking and lowest levels of car ownership, so safe, walkable streets are a need to have, not just a nice to have.”
“At Anheuser-Busch, we have an unwavering commitment to improving the communities we call home, including here in Houston where many of our 1,200 employees in the state of Texas live and work,” said Cesar Vargas, Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Anheuser-Busch. “We are proud to support this Houston program because we believe in partnerships that can help change behaviors and make a real difference in saving lives.”
“Working with Together for Safer Roads, we’re finding new ways to improve road safety and reduce traffic deaths and injuries through Internet of Things technology and analytics,” said Chris Penrose, President, IoT Solutions at AT&T. “We look forward to collaborating with Houston community leaders through TSR to find solutions to some of the city’s most serious road safety challenges.”
Anheuser-Busch and AT&T are founding members of Together for Safer Roads, which started in 2014 with the goal of driving solutions to address key road safety issues and help prevent traffic injuries and deaths globally. Both Anheuser-Busch and AT&T sit on the organization’s governing board along with other major global companies. By combining private sector skill and resources with public sector commitments, TSR has helped communities in North America, Asia and Latin America significantly improve traffic safety results.
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ABOUT TOGETHER FOR SAFER ROADS
Together for Safer Roads is a global NGO that works with government, businesses and community stakeholders on local projects, fleet safety management and technology initiatives to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and deaths. TSR was started in conjunction with the UN’s Decade of Road Safety and has partners around the world. TSR’s members include AB InBev, AIG, AT&T, CalAmp, Republic Services, Lyft, Ericsson, GM, iHeartMedia, Octo Telematics, Geotab, PepsiCo, UPS, Walmart and others. Learn more at www.togetherforsaferroads.org.
For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has been woven into the cultural fabric of the United States, carrying on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate 23 breweries, 29 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry.
From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home.
For more information, visit www.anheuserbusch.com or follow Anheuser-Busch on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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***According to America’s biggest test as announced by Global Wireless Solutions last fall.