AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s been a decade since Katie Deolloz has been behind the wheel. She turned in her family car for a bike and helmet, and for the last year she’s been working on ReHumanize Mobility — a mission to change the way people think and talk.
“I don’t use the word accident, I say crash or collision,” Deolloz said. “If there is a crash and an individual is injured I would say, ‘A person driving a car struck a person walking’ because we are not in a time where all our vehicles are autonomous; vehicles are actually operated by human beings.”
In April, she was part of the Red Cup Project, a nationwide effort by cycling advocates to bring their safety concerns to life.
“When I would hear a vehicle’s tires crunch over the cup and the water would spill out it was so incredibly visceral,” she said about the project where she lined up red plastic cups filled with water along the bike lane near South Lamar Boulevard and Oltorf Street.
The area where she conducted the Red Cup Project is the same area where her husband was struck last July.
“When my husband was hit it really was like a gut punch,” Deolloz said. She hopes that by sharing her story and bringing attention to her safety concerns it will have an impact on Austin City Council members.
“I don’t want to go out in a crosswalk, I don’t want to go out in a bike lane and I definitely don’t want that for my family, my neighbors, my friends,” Deolloz said.
In a statement from District 3 Austin City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria he says bicyclist and pedestrian safety is a “major issue” in the community.
“As a commuter who rides his bike to work daily, I’m aware how unsafe folks feel out there. I recently met with the Galindo Neighborhood Association and this is a major issue facing their community. Our office is currently working with the Austin Transportation Department on ways to manage speed throughout the neighborhood. ATD has been holding open houses and seeking community input for speed mitigation. I encourage everyone to take part in the ongoing discussion by visiting AustinTexas.gov/speedmanagement and giving us their input. ”District 3 Austin City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria