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Injured Jogger with No ID hit by car


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HOUSTON – Hospital officials are hoping the public can help identify a jogger who was hit by a car in the Heights Wednesday morning.

The woman was struck near the corner of Heights Boulevard and 11th Street and taken to Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center in critical condition.

She was not carrying identification.

Hospital officials described the woman as white, possibly in her early 40s. She has short blonde hair and blue-green eyes. She’s about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs around 120 pounds.

Officials said she has a cherry blossom tattoo on her left flank, and a fish tattoo on her right ankle.

She wears a silver wedding band.

Anyone who might have information on the woman’s identity is asked to call Memorial Hermann at 713-704-4000.

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Because Houston is very car-centric and expects pedestrians to take risks every day. I can think of a number of absurd bus stops that require you to walk a long way to get to a valid crossing.

Best solution in my opinion would be to paint in a crosswalk without button. Then put signage on the trail (Warning: Watch for cars) and signage on the road (Warning: Watch for crossing joggers). Not

As I mentioned, I emailed both Jessica Farrar and Ed Gonzales's offices about the issue of safety on the trail. Laura Thorpe with CM Gonzales looked in to the issue and this was her response to me: I

I don't really have anything to add, but I jog along this trail regularly without ID. Who jogs with a wallet or anything else for that matter? Houston drivers are crazy and this could happen to anyone. Of course this may not have been the drivers fault.

Edited by ToolMan
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Yeah I run all the time and carry nothing. I sweat like a damn pig, anything I carry would be destroyed. Big government should just give me my barcode tattoo or chip implant so I can be located whenever I go off my rocker and get lost.

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Yeah I run all the time and carry nothing. I sweat like a damn pig, anything I carry would be destroyed. Big government should just give me my barcode tattoo or chip implant so I can be located whenever I go off my rocker and get lost.

You might be able to convince a vet to chip you like a dog. Or, there's nothing to stop you from having your name and other details tattooed on your arm.

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I don't really have anything to add, but I jog along this trail regularly without ID. Who jogs with a wallet or anything else for that matter? Houston drivers are crazy and this could happen to anyone. Of course this may not have been the drivers fault.

Yeah I run all the time and carry nothing. I sweat like a damn pig, anything I carry would be destroyed. Big government should just give me my barcode tattoo or chip implant so I can be located whenever I go off my rocker and get lost.

<$20 to spare your family some significant grief.

http://www.roadid.com/Common/Catalog.aspx?C=RoadID#3

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If I recall correctly, and I am sure I will be corrected if I don't, if you cross 11th from the jogging path, you do not have the benefit of a crosswalk or walk/do not walk signal. The intersection is designed so that people on the path are supposed to first cross Heights to the corner of 11th and Heights, then cross 11th, then cross Heights again to get back on the jogging path. While the inattentive jogger is apparently, and tragically, at fault in this for wearing headphones and crossing while the light was green, it may also be that this accident could have been avoided had there been a cross walk and signal that went directly across 11th st. Of course, this would probably require a time when the traffic signals at both Heights and 11th are red to allow people to cross the street. But, given the popularity of the trail, the danger of an accident and the minimal burden on vehicle traffic, it may be something that could help prevent an accident like this. In fact, too often, even with alert pedestrians, there is a bit of a game of chicken between pedestrians and north bound Heights Blvd traffic that is turning left onto 11th st. because people crossing 11th are not protected.

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Apparently she just stepped right out in front of the car. Feel sorry for her but when jogging or for that matter cycling, you should not be plugged into an ipod. It's distracting and you need all your senses to be alert.

Same can be said for motorists with ipod \ stereo \ gps \ while smoking \ shaving \ drinking etc...

I still find it hard to believe she just ran straight into oncoming traffic, but maybe so.

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Same can be said for motorists with ipod \ stereo \ gps \ while smoking \ shaving \ drinking etc...

I still find it hard to believe she just ran straight into oncoming traffic, but maybe so.

I don't find it hard to believe at all. there have been cases when joggers ran into the paths of trains. I understand the need to find something else to focus on while you're running, but do you really need to cut yourself off from the world like that?

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Last year there was an incident in Dallas that got a lot of publicity. A jogger wearing headphones turned into the path of a cyclist on the White Rock Lake path, fell on her head, and died pretty much on the spot. I am sorry about what happened, but as both a runner and cyclist, I NEVER wear headphones when on a public road/path. Even the Memorial Park path which is only runners is still pretty risky to be in your own little world.

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11th and Heights may be the worst intersection for inattentive joggers in the entire city. It is routine for them to completely ignore traffic as they jog across 11th. I always watch out for them, as I'd hate to live with the memory of hitting one, even if they don't seem to care if I do.

I feel for the woman's family and the driver.

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Truly a sad story and my thoughts are with the families of all concerned.

I jog on the path and agree that the intersection is also a mess. Motorists that are turning left from Heights onto 11th routinely fail to yield the right of way to joggers as they pull across the crossing. I admit that I have thumped a few cars on the hood as I crossed 11th...

I do not wear ear-phones while jogging.

James

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Truly a sad story and my thoughts are with the families of all concerned.

. Motorists that are turning left from Heights onto 11th routinely fail to yield the right of way to joggers as they pull across the crossing. I admit that I have thumped a few cars on the hood as I crossed 11th...

Now the question is, who has the proper right of way?

Typically, I will give the right of way while making a left on 11th when I have a light, but if they're at least a good 15 feet or more from the intersection, I can continue my turn without worry. Now, if they're running/jogging, am I supposed to be the mind reader as to what the jogger's intentions?

Additionally, if I'm driving down 11th and I have the green and crossing Heights, I'm not going to look for joggers; I'm going to be looking for other red light runners. Does this mean when I see a jogger I should simply slam on my brakes and risk getting into an accident for someone else?

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This entire event could have been prevented. But one question that comes to mind is...

who the heck covers their ears when jogging/cycling? why in the world would anyone want to do that? do they not find enough junk stimuli in the advertisements surrounding our every waking moment to want to hear more? srsly?

Ugh.

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They should put a railing or bushes or something to force joggers to cross heights/11th/heights if they aren't going to make a crosswalk (or at least make them knowingly leave the jogging path). I nearly hit someone there one evening who was jogging w/ headphones (i ended up slamming my brakes, swerving across both lanes as i was in the inside lane, and running up on the curb/grass, and they looked at me like I was crazy). It is dangerous enough out there with all the non-attentive terrible drivers, you have to really pay attention when your out there.

I'm part of a Heights Friday Midnight Longboarding crew, and we were reflective gear, lights, etc., and we still have to be super careful because people simply do not look.

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They should put a railing or bushes or something to force joggers to cross heights/11th/heights if they aren't going to make a crosswalk (or at least make them knowingly leave the jogging path).

This is the problem. Driving home yesterday, I saw people with strollers and joggers trying to weave through left turn traffic from Heights after they waited for the light at 11th to change to red. The walk/do not walk signals are set up to have people cross Heights, then 11th and the Heights again. But the jogging trail is set up so that it looks like there is a cross walk directly accross 11th. Headphones or not, the way it is set up (and the way people actually use it) is not safe for pedestrians. A few bucks to direct people to the cross walk may save a life.

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The jogger would normally have right of way over a vehicle turning into her path. However, as noted, joggers crossing 11th in the median are making an illegal crossing, so the left turn vehicles likely have the right of way. It is unlikely that this jogger was killed by a left turning vehicle, however, as they are not travelling fast enough, and the impact would be more of a side impact than head on.

I will guarantee that any attempt at forcing the joggers to cross that intersection legally will be met with howls of protests from the joggers the city is attempting to protect. They will feel it is their right to cross at the median. The only way to accomodate them would be to put a pedestrian button at the intersection that produces an all red situation for them to cross. This would cause more congestion, obviously.

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Would a few 311 requests change this? Or someone in that area contacting a councilperson?

I emailed CM Gonzales and Rep Farrar with a link to this thread. I wear an iPod when I walk/jog, but I only put one ear bud in so I can be aware of my surroundings. This isn't just a traffic issue- women are also assaulted jogging and being tuned out to your surroundings makes you more vulnerable. Still, as a regular user of the Heights trail, I think a crossing light there could do a lot of good and cut down on the frustration/confusion of who gets to go when. At this point, maybe it could even save a life.

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The jogger would normally have right of way over a vehicle turning into her path. However, as noted, joggers crossing 11th in the median are making an illegal crossing, so the left turn vehicles likely have the right of way. It is unlikely that this jogger was killed by a left turning vehicle, however, as they are not travelling fast enough, and the impact would be more of a side impact than head on.

I will guarantee that any attempt at forcing the joggers to cross that intersection legally will be met with howls of protests from the joggers the city is attempting to protect. They will feel it is their right to cross at the median. The only way to accomodate them would be to put a pedestrian button at the intersection that produces an all red situation for them to cross. This would cause more congestion, obviously.

Exactly. I don't like it when people automatically blame a driver for an Auto/ped. The cyclist/pedestrian needs to share some part of the burden and take some responsibility for their own safety as well.

If for some insane reason they put in a button for the joggers, I hope it doesn't work during high congestion times.

Then again, no one is traveling very fast that those times anyway.

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Wait a second here - we're talking about the established trail that goes up the middle of the Heights esplanade from I-10 to 20th street? It crosses at least 20 streets - including 11th - are you all suggesting that everyone who uses it is j-walking at least 20 times!?!?! HAHAHA!!!

No - I don't think every time you get to an intersection you are supposed to cross back over to Heights, then cross the numbered street, then back to the esplanade again.

Regardless, a pedestrian will always have the right of way over a vehicle turning left. They both have a "green" to go but the vehicle must yield the right of way to the pedestrian - even if you think the pedestrian is j-walkind.

Cheers

James

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^I agree about turning traffic yielding (though whether on foot or bike I assume no one will yield to me in any situation). In the Chronicle article, I believe it said the vehicle was heading west on 11th with a green light - so the lady crossed 11th from the N/S Heights trail in the path of the car?

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Wait a second here - we're talking about the established trail that goes up the middle of the Heights esplanade from I-10 to 20th street? It crosses at least 20 streets - including 11th - are you all suggesting that everyone who uses it is j-walking at least 20 times!?!?! HAHAHA!!!

No - I don't think every time you get to an intersection you are supposed to cross back over to Heights, then cross the numbered street, then back to the esplanade again.

Regardless, a pedestrian will always have the right of way over a vehicle turning left. They both have a "green" to go but the vehicle must yield the right of way to the pedestrian - even if you think the pedestrian is j-walkind.

Cheers

James

Yes, I am suggesting it, though in fairness to joggers, the city has encouraged it by having the trail lead right to the curb at that location. Though the median is overly large, it IS still a median, and it is illegal to cross at that point unless there is a crosswalk...something that is definitely needed at each of those intersections to let motorists know to watch for inattentive joggers.

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Wait a second here - we're talking about the established trail that goes up the middle of the Heights esplanade from I-10 to 20th street? It crosses at least 20 streets - including 11th - are you all suggesting that everyone who uses it is j-walking at least 20 times!?!?! HAHAHA!!!

No - I don't think every time you get to an intersection you are supposed to cross back over to Heights, then cross the numbered street, then back to the esplanade again.

Regardless, a pedestrian will always have the right of way over a vehicle turning left. They both have a "green" to go but the vehicle must yield the right of way to the pedestrian - even if you think the pedestrian is j-walkind.

Cheers

James

On the streets with stops signs, the jogging trail has you cross in front of the stop sign. At 11th, the walk/do not walk signs (brand new) are clearly set up to have you cross heights, then 11th, then heights again. No one does that because the jogging path begins and ends at Heights, making it look like there is a crosswalk directly across 11th. And, as noted above, pedestrians crossing 11th would be jaywalking and would not have the legal ROW.

Best fix would be a special cross walk for people on the jogging trail. Now that construction is over, that intersection isn't that bad and could handle a little delay now and then. Next best would be some barrier to force people to at least think twice before jaywalking on 11th.

Ipods aside, I think it is easy to get into a grove with all the intersections, think that 11th is just another intersection controlled by a stop sign and accidentally step into traffic on 11th, believing that it is just another intersection controlled by a stop sign. Not everyone is going to know the neighborhood and know that crossing 11th st can be worse that crossing Yale st. There are just too many people using the trail to leave things up to chance.

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Best solution in my opinion would be to paint in a crosswalk without button. Then put signage on the trail (Warning: Watch for cars) and signage on the road (Warning: Watch for crossing joggers).

Not sure how to handle who had the right of way when there's an accident, but at the very least put in some signage to prevent accidents.

Edited by kylejack
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Best solution in my opinion would be to paint in a crosswalk without button. Then put signage on the trail (Warning: Watch for cars) and signage on the road (Warning: Watch for crossing joggers).

Not sure how to handle who had the right of way when there's an accident, but at the very least put in some signage to prevent accidents.

Good solution. Certainly it's tragic that she was killed, but we have to be careful to not overreact. Have there been any other incidents like this? Anyone else been run over when jogging on Heights Boulevard? I run often on the Heights trail while listening to my iPod. I've never had even a near miss despite listening to an audible book. It's hard for me to understand how someone could be so distracted to not notice a car bearing down on them when crossing an intersection, but it obviously happened. Accidents happen - that doesn't mean that we have to impose any silly regulations on joggers or cars for that matter.

On a related matter, when is the city going to fill in the hole at Heights and I10? Bicycling under I10 is very hazardous with the lane constriction and the big deep hole. It's dangerous to cars too.

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Good solution. Certainly it's tragic that she was killed, but we have to be careful to not overreact. Have there been any other incidents like this? Anyone else been run over when jogging on Heights Boulevard? I run often on the Heights trail while listening to my iPod. I've never had even a near miss despite listening to an audible book. It's hard for me to understand how someone could be so distracted to not notice a car bearing down on them when crossing an intersection, but it obviously happened. Accidents happen - that doesn't mean that we have to impose any silly regulations on joggers or cars for that matter.

On a related matter, when is the city going to fill in the hole at Heights and I10? Bicycling under I10 is very hazardous with the lane constriction and the big deep hole. It's dangerous to cars too.

I don't think anyone is trying to impose new rules or regulations for motorists or joggers, but just offering suggestions as to how to accommodate both.

As far as the hole goes, call 311, but considering the amount of and nature of the construction in the area, I don't think it will receive a high priority.

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I say line the edges with shrubs and make people use the trail as signed. If they want to cross the bushes to cut across the median, they will know they are no longer on the trail. Something needs to be done here, as mentioned earlier, I nearly hit someone here and I know others have as well. I don't care who's fault it is, its tragic if anyone gets hurt. The neighborhood needs to work with the city to do something to make this intersection safer.

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I say line the edges with shrubs and make people use the trail as signed. If they want to cross the bushes to cut across the median, they will know they are no longer on the trail. Something needs to be done here, as mentioned earlier, I nearly hit someone here and I know others have as well. I don't care who's fault it is, its tragic if anyone gets hurt. The neighborhood needs to work with the city to do something to make this intersection safer.

This is exactly what I mean about overreacting. Lots of pedestrians do stupid things. It doesn't mean that we should build barriers that affect everyone. This is one incident, yes tragic, but very rare. You put barriers up on the trail at every intersection making runners cross off Heights, cross at a side street crosswalk, then cross back to Heights, you're inconveniencing everyone. Besides making joggers cross three streets instead of one makes it three times as risky and three times as much a bother for cars too.

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I'm writing this being pretty naive about the trail, but why would one like this even be in existence without proper street crossings at larger intersections?

Because Houston is very car-centric and expects pedestrians to take risks every day. I can think of a number of absurd bus stops that require you to walk a long way to get to a valid crossing.

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I'm writing this being pretty naive about the trail, but why would one like this even be in existence without proper street crossings at larger intersections?

The new wal mart running trail will probably trump this one for absurdity. To run from heights to Washington on the trail will only require crossing Heights, crossing a wider and busier I-10 feeder , crossing back across heights (without an intersection), crossing the Khoeler extension and a couple other U-turns, crossing heights again, crossing the rail road tracks, and then crossing center street.

(I suspect most will just stay on the sidewalk, $6M running trail be damned)

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This is exactly what I mean about overreacting. Lots of pedestrians do stupid things. It doesn't mean that we should build barriers that affect everyone. This is one incident, yes tragic, but very rare. You put barriers up on the trail at every intersection making runners cross off Heights, cross at a side street crosswalk, then cross back to Heights, you're inconveniencing everyone. Besides making joggers cross three streets instead of one makes it three times as risky and three times as much a bother for cars too.

Did I say all intersection? Only at the ones with lights. Yes this is one incident, but i know I personally nearly hit someone here because they werent paying attention (I've heard from others that people have been hit here before but not seriously injured). I honestly think this was an accident waiting to happen (because of the nature of people). BTW it isn't a barrier on the trail, it is a barrier to keep people ON the trail. Inconveniencing everyone??? Having to slam on your brakes and slam into a curb to prevent hitting someone is pretty dang inconvenient.

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I think there is a relatively easy fix for this. It might run up against some TxDOT reg, but I will leave that for the traffic engineers.

Control the Heights north bound turn lane with a left turn signal and create a crosswalk directly across 11th. People will be able to cross when Heights has the green light, but will have a do not walk sign when the turn lane has a green light. Placing a walk/do not walk signal and cross walk directly across 11th will help keep people from walking into traffic on 11th from the trail and will sort out pedestrians and left turning vehicles from Heights. You would have to move the two lane split further back down Heights to give the left turn lane some more capacity.

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I was thinking about this today and wondering: while I don't blame the driver in this case, how fast was that person going to cause this accident to be a fatality? Cars drive way too fast on 11th. I have been guilty of it myself and have pledged to watch my speed on both 11th and Studewood.

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30 mph can easily kill a pedestrian. If the driver was going too fast, he likely would have been charged with negligent homicide. Given the size of the gutter swales on either side of this intersection, I don't see cars drive through it that fast, as doing so would cause the suspension to bottom out. The straighaways on either side are where people speed up.

EDIT: There were also several witnesses to the accident.

FWIW, last night, I watched a woman run between cars on 11th that had the green light. Apparently, even a dead body is not enough to get some people to use common sense.

Edited by RedScare
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30 mph can easily kill a pedestrian. If the driver was going too fast, he likely would have been charged with negligent homicide. Given the size of the gutter swales on either side of this intersection, I don't see cars drive through it that fast, as doing so would cause the suspension to bottom out. The straighaways on either side are where people speed up.

EDIT: There were also several witnesses to the accident.

FWIW, last night, I watched a woman run between cars on 11th that had the green light. Apparently, even a dead body is not enough to get some people to use common sense.

Don't forget they can be killed by a low speed if there is just the right amount of damage, like a head injury. Hell, I've heard of people tripping and dying because they tripped and hit their head on the curb.

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30 mph can easily kill a pedestrian. If the driver was going too fast, he likely would have been charged with negligent homicide.

Extremely unlikely. Drivers who aren't drunk and kill a pedestrian almost never get charged with negligent homicide in Texas. The worst they ever get in most cases is a traffic ticket. One exception is street racers. They throw the book at them.

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I think there is a relatively easy fix for this. It might run up against some TxDOT reg, but I will leave that for the traffic engineers.

Control the Heights north bound turn lane with a left turn signal and create a crosswalk directly across 11th. People will be able to cross when Heights has the green light, but will have a do not walk sign when the turn lane has a green light. Placing a walk/do not walk signal and cross walk directly across 11th will help keep people from walking into traffic on 11th from the trail and will sort out pedestrians and left turning vehicles from Heights. You would have to move the two lane split further back down Heights to give the left turn lane some more capacity.

We found something we can agree on completely! Heights at 11th needs a protected left turn. It would also double as a safe crossing period. Yale is even worse for needing a protected left, though it does not have the same problems as heights with pedestrians.

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