Four years ago, on June 7, 2016, Anna and Eric Bauereis lost their 14-year-old son Alexei as he was crossing the street at Rustic Rock and Spicewood Springs, just blocks from his house. He was walking a friend home when a distracted driver hit and killed him in the crosswalk.
Alexei was a talented ballet dancer, with a bright future. Anna and Eric have placed a memorial for their son at the intersection. A sign stating “Drive Like Your Son Died Here” has been added as a reminder that a life can be over in an instant, anywhere, anytime.
Austin City Council member Jimmy Flannigan joined the Bauereis family in placing the memorial. Flannigan, a staunch supporter of safety measures, has been outspoken about the need to make change in Austin so no more families experience this loss.
In the last four years, we have seen real progress in the City of Austin, the Austin region, and across Texas, with Anna, Eric, and other members of Central Texas Families for Safe Streets involved in some ways in all these improvements – working with the elected officials and public servants who are taking responsibility to address this crisis.
Some remarkable changes in the City of Austin:
- The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan is now centered around the primary goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries and giving all Austinites safe streets to walk, bike, and drive on.
- The 2016 & 2018 municipal transportation bonds – strongly approved by voters – include substantial investments in Vision Zero programs to reduce risk of traffic injuries.
- Austin is currently investing more per capita than any other major US city into Safe Routes to Schools, including completing a needs assessment around every school in the city.
- Austin leads the state in deploying safe crossings and other safety upgrades to make it safe and comfortable for children, seniors, and every one in between to cross busy streets.
- Next Thursday, June 11, Austin City Council is expected to adopt a comprehensive speed management strategy that will bring safety improvements to every neighborhood in the city.
Some remarkable changes in the Austin region and statewide:
- The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) developed its first Regional Safety Study & incorporated support for local Vision Zero efforts into regional plans.
- The Texas Department of Transportation has adopted an organization-wide system safety approach.
- The Texas Transportation Commission adopted a goal to end traffic deaths statewide by 2050, cut them in half by 2035 and added $300 million a year dedicated to safety to help achieve this goal.