Cyclists should beware of streetcar tracks

Houston Street Viaduct: David Leeson
Houston Street Viaduct: David Leeson

Riding the Jefferson Viaduct cycle track is an adventure, to put it nicely.

Challenges include darting into the oncoming traffic lane to bypass barriers, trying not to skid across gravel in the cycle track, “on your left”-ing Omni hotel employees walking to their cars and making a 90-degree turn onto the exit ramp at Zang.

Perhaps the biggest danger to cyclists though, are the new streetcar tracks.

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We’ve heard of a few people eating it on the tracks, but this week, a woman was seriously injured.

Emily Cortez, 20, accidentally got a wheel stuck in the tracks on Zang Sunday, crashed and broke both of her elbows.

“My doctor said he had never seen two at the same time,” she says.

Construction workers who witnessed Cortez’s accident ran over to help, and one even gave her a ride home, she says.

Cortez, a barista at Espumoso Cafe, is out of work for two or three weeks, she says, but she feels lucky it wasn’t worse.

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Last summer, a 20-year-old cyclist slipped into the trolley tracks on McKinney and crashed into a parked Audi, causing about $1,500 in damage to the car. The rider in that case was not seriously injured, but there are cases of cyclists being hurt badly or even killed slipping into trolley tracks, so be careful out there, y’all.

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  • Jonathan Braddick

    yes, definitely a hazard. If crossing make sure to be as close to 90 degrees as possible. Also, now there are new signs directing cyclists heading east bound on Zang onto the cycletrack. You can cross over onto eastbound Zang where the stop sign is. That side is closed to cars, but open to cyclists.