An eyewitness reports that a cyclist was traveling west on Hwy 77 around 5PM and T-boned a car which pulled out from the stop sign at Joyce, directly in the path of the cyclist. The witness reports that the cyclist hit the car and flipped over the hood, landing in the roadway. Paramedics and police responded to the accident, and Public Information Officer Ryan Grelle stated that the cyclist was not transported to a hospital. Grelle also stated that fault and accident logistics are still pending investigation, so no further details were available.
So here’s the rub.
I serve on the city’s Traffic Safety Commission. At a meeting last fall, I asked city traffic engineer Bud Vokoun if Hwy 77 could receive any kind of signage indicating that cyclists commonly travel on it, especially since there is no shoulder on which to ride. Bud responded that TXDOT would laugh at me and say that cyclists shouldn’t be riding on the highway. I pointed out that the UNT Discovery Park campus is located directly on 77, and employees and students cycle to this location, and protection/visibility is warranted.
I wouldn’t say that signage would have prevented this accident, but it’s a step towards educating drivers that cyclists do ride on this road. Daily.
As student and employee numbers increase at UNT and especially at the UNT Discovery Park Campus, we’ll continue to see serious risk to cyclists and pedestrians along the (mostly) 55mph stretch of Hwy 77, although I’m fairly certain that today’s accident location occurred in a 45mph zone.
If you’d like to contact TXDOT directly, there’s a comment/request form here. If you get a response, we’d love to know what they say.