Partnership promotes bicycle safety
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Partnership promotes bicycle safety

June 18, 2024

By Lauren Macias-Cervantes

ALPINE — An empty college campus parking lot turned into an obstacle course last week to promote bicycle safety at Sul Ross State University.

TxDOT’s El Paso District partnered with the Alpine Police Department to put on the free safety event.

“Sharing the rules of the road and reminding both cyclists and drivers to watch for one another is critical in rural and urban parts of our district,” said El Paso District Engineer Tomas Trevino. “Creating awareness for cyclists and residents can make a difference.”

The awareness is needed across the state. Fatal crashes involving bicyclists increased 28% from 2018 through 2022.

In 2022, there were 2,349 traffic crashes involving bicyclists in Texas, resulting in 92 deaths and 333 serious injuries. The top contributing factors in these crashes were driver inattention, failure to yield the right of way, and speeding.

Those statistics and the importance of teaching young riders best practices were taken into account for the obstacle course.

TxDOT staff showed up before sunrise to unload and work in teams to transform the parking lot. The marked route included various tasks, interactive lessons, road signs, and a working railroad crossing.

“Tiny cyclists enjoyed the makeshift course so much. They drove through the route multiple times,” said El Paso District Traffic Safety Specialist Stephanie Carbajal-Atilano. “The railroad feature was one of the children’s favorites.”

Before riding through the course led by Alpine Police, riders took time for helmet and bike checks. Local riding experts volunteered their time and expertise to make minor repairs and adjustments for bikes belonging to young riders and their parents.

“It was a one-stop shop for safety,” said Adriana Rodriguez, TxDOT bike coordinator. “As a cyclist myself, I know how important it is to have your bike in the best working condition each ride. We were fortunate to have experts on board.”

Alpine Police Chief Darrell Losoya, an avid cyclist himself, tested the kids on stopping and hand signals.

“It is important to have bicycle rodeos like this, so the community understands what the rules and responsibilities are for both motorists and cyclists when they’re out on the road,” said Losoya. “Many don’t understand.”

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers and can also be fined for violating traffic laws.

They must obey all traffic signs and signals, including red lights and stop signs, ride in the same direction as traffic, use hand signals when turning or stopping, and yield the right of way. Cyclists must also have a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back of their bike when riding at night.

Additional bicycle safety tips can be found on