D.C.'s Official Pedestrian Advocacy Body

We're citizens working with Mayor Bowser and the City Council to better our streets. Learn more about us here.

Next Meeting: June 22, 2015

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DDOT hosts public meetings on two busy streets

Photo courtesy of Forest Hills Connection. This unsignalized crosswalk on Connecticut Avenue at Ellicott Street NW could get a HAWK signal.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host meetings next week on proposed improvements for pedestrians along two busy corridors. Below are details provided by DDOT.

Upper Connecticut Avenue Crosswalk Safety Project

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Forest Hills Senior Living Center, 4901 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Details: The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) invites the public to a meeting to take questions and comments on proposed crosswalk safety improvements on Upper Connecticut Avenue, NW.

Marked crosswalks at intersections without traffic signals along Connecticut Avenue, from Appleton Street to Legation Street, have been the source of safety and accessibility concerns for residents. Fourteen pedestrians have been injured and one killed in un-signalized marked crosswalks on upper Connecticut Avenue in the last nine years.

The proposed plan would add two HAWK pedestrian signals, relocate or remove some bus stops to better align with existing signal controlled crossings, and remove some crosswalk markings at remaining unsignalized crossings. Information about the proposed crosswalk safety project will be available for review at the meeting.

Photo from the corner of East Capitol Street and Benning Road NE courtesy of dcshrines.blogspot.com

East Capitol Street-Benning Road Intersection Project

Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Location: Metropolitan Police Department Sixth District Community Room, 100 42nd Street, NE

Details: DDOT staff will be present at this meeting to take questions and comments on proposed changes to the East Capitol and Benning Road intersection.

The intersection of East Capitol Street, Benning Road, Texas Avenue and Central Avenue is a busy and complex intersection in the District. From 2008 to 2010, there were 102 traffic crashes that injured 54 people, including 8 pedestrians. DDOT began a planning study in 2011 to look at safety and access changes to the intersection and the larger corridor. At this meeting, DDOT will present proposed changes, the planning study information and proposals for review.

Bowser keeps sidewalk funding

At a hearing on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposed FY 2016 budget, the D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) expressed cautious optimism that pedestrians will indeed be prioritized among transportation modes in the year ahead. Sidewalk repairs and corridor improvements would both get funding through the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) budget, which the D.C. Council will vote on in May. The April 21 hearing on the budget was held by the D.C. Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment, chaired by Councilmember Mary Cheh. Councilmembers Charles Allen and Kenyon McDuffie also attended and joined Cheh in asking DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo pointed questions about transportation infrastructure and safety in their wards and throughout the District.

The PAC’s testimony at the hearing praised sidewalk funding but questioned the sufficiency of funding for other types of infrastructure work, such as making intersections and crosswalks safer for pedestrians. (Click here to read the PAC’s testimony.) Highlights of the budget are below:

Sidewalks – Through a couple different funds, there would be nearly $18 million in the FY 2016 budget to repair uneven sidewalks and build sidewalk segments where they are missing.

Vision Zero – The Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Fund would be replaced by the Vision Zero Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Fund, which would be furnished with automated traffic enforcement fines paid by motorists and would be bigger -- stocked with $500,000 for FY 2016. DDOT is leading the District’s Vision Zero initiative, Dormsjo said at the hearing. Vision Zero is an approach to road safety that aims to prevent all traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.

Safer corridors – The Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Enhancement fund would have about $2 million in FY 2016 for corridor design and implementation.

The proposed budget is available on the website of the D.C. Chief Financial Officer.

PAC seeks multi-agency cooperation for improving pedestrian safety

Leaders at multiple agencies must work together if the District is going to seriously engage in a Vision Zero approach to improving the safety of road users, D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) Co-Chair Tony Goodman urged the D.C. Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment. Goodman’s comments were part of his testimony at the PAC’s March 6 annual oversight hearing.

“A meaningful Vision Zero approach to road safety, as practiced in other cities and countries around the world must include agencies such as the Department of Health, D.C. Office on Aging, the Department of General Services, and others,” Goodman testified. “Through quality design, infrastructure improvements, consistent enforcement, and wider public education we can move toward safer streets and zero fatalities.” Goodman reported to the committee that 10 pedestrians were killed in 2014. According to the Districtof Columbia Strategic Highway Safety Plan released in October 2014, there were 12 pedestrian fatalities in 2013 and 8 in 2012. More than 300 pedestrians are seriously injured in the District each year, according to the report.

In addition to encouraging cooperation for an impactful Vision Zero campaign, the PAC will be pushing District agencies to move forward on other initiatives in the year ahead, Goodman reported at the oversight hearing. Making sidewalk repairs, increasing automated and officer enforcement of laws affecting pedestrians, publicizing crash data, and improving intersections are some of the issues the PAC will be monitoring, Goodman said.