Share the Road but Understand the Laws and use Common Sense

 

We are blessed to live in an area where the warm weather lasts longer and for those of us living in Pine Forest and Tahitian Village, many are now enjoying the benefit of living in an rural area by running, walking dogs or simply going for a stroll while enjoying all that our area has to offer.

Whereas in most subdivisions this would normally not be an issue as most have sidewalks to utilize (not available in our communities), but with the increase in our population and resultant traffic, coupled with the topography of our streets which are narrow, hilly and curvy – factors that greatly limit visibility – walking on the street, especially those with a high volume of traffic, can and has become extremely dangerous.

There is currently an ongoing public debate being waged on NextDoor between pedestrians and motorists in the Pine Forest and Tahitian Village Subdivisions with many of our neighbors voicing support in favor of the pedestrians assuming/claiming pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.  As a result, some of the more extreme interactions have the pedestrians refusing to move out of the lane of traffic as vehicles approach.  In a few documented cases, pedestrians have not even turned around or acknowledged they were impeding a moving motor vehicle and/or were just blindly believing that they didn't need to move.  This is especially unsafe when pedestrians are distracted or when there are multiple individuals walking abreast of each other, walking their dogs, allowing kids to play in the street unattended and/or pushing strollers in the middle of the street.

 

What does Texas Law state?

Unfortunately, the folks making the aforementioned assumption(s) are incorrect.  In an effort to bring awareness to the truth – so that we may help prevent a serious accident – here abides the truth:  Texas Law dictates that when a pedestrian is crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, he or she must yield the right of way to all vehicles.  It further states that if a sidewalk is not provided (as is the case in Pine Forest and Tahitian Village), a pedestrian walking along a roadway shall, if possible, walk on the left side of the roadway or the shoulder, facing oncoming traffic (and if they are walking within the roadway, they shall step onto the shoulder if possible). Unfortunately, it is often observed that pedestrians are walking with their backs to oncoming traffic and failing to yield to the vehicular traffic.

If you are interested in reviewing the details of the law for yourself, you may find more information at:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TN/htm/TN.552.htm

While the rules apply to all of the roads in Pine Forest, Briar Forest is Especially Dangerous

Among the most perilous of the thoroughfares that involve the highest number of pedestrian and vehicular interactions is Briar Forest. While this beautiful stretch of road was once closed to through-traffic (no longer the case), some long-term residents have had a difficult time adjusting to this reality and still walk in the road and are impeding the right-of-way for traffic.  On more than one documented occasion, pedestrians have refused to step on out the way, as required by law, to allow vehicles to pass, forcing drivers to go into the opposing lane of traffic to progress around them. With some of the limited sight lines that we have in our community, this could result in a horrific accident regardless of a vehicle’s speed.

For your own safety, as well as the safety of your children and pets, we ask that you make the effort to follow Texas Law and yield the right of way to vehicles on all of our community’s roads.  Ideally, we would prefer that pedestrians make the effort to not walk on the following streets (but if you must, walk on the opposite side of the road facing traffic and step out of the road when approached by a moving vehicle).

  • Briar Forest Drive

  • Colovista Drive

  • Tahitian Drive

  • Tall Forest Drive

  • Kaanapali Lane

 

In closing, I only seek for all of us to continue to enjoy the benefits of living in Bastrop and, more specifically, in Pine Forest and Tahitian Village.  But in order to successfully do so, all of us need to remain aware of the rules, yield as required and be courteous of each other and slow down appropriately. 

 

I thank you for taking the time to read this and I thank you in advance for helping to keep our community safe for all.

 

Thank you,

 

Robert Rosso

President, Pine Forest POA