D.C.'s Official Pedestrian Advocacy Body

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

Next Meeting: July 28, 2014

Hear from city officials, help us develop policy recommendations, and learn about our work to upgrade the city's streetscape.

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Safe Streets are Everyone's Responsibility

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Reminder to drivers: stop for pedestrians in crosswalks

The number of pedestrian crashes often peaks in September, and District police are making a special effort this month to remind drivers to watch out for pedestrians. The Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) have teamed up to identify locations for multiple pedestrian safety actions around the city. Two safety actions today along Georgia Avenue resulted in MPD citing 20 drivers in just one hour. Issuing citations for failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk sends a clear message to drivers to follow the rules, said Sgt. Terry Thorne of MPD. If a pedestrian has stepped into the crosswalk, drivers within 1 ½ lanes must stop. In addition to the citations issued today for crosswalk violations, two drivers received tickets for using cellphones and one was arrested for driving without a license. (The fines for common traffic violations are listed on the MPD website.) 

During today’s pedestrian safety action, MPD officers also handed out fliers asking for information about a pedestrian who was killed in a hit-and-run crash along the same stretch of Georgia Avenue early Sunday morning. Bareket Haile, 26, of Northeast DC was struck by a driver heading north on the 2700 block of Georgia Avenue NW. According to police, the vehicle was last seen fleeing west on Girard Street. The car is described as a dark colored four-door vehicle, possibly a Chrysler, with stock chrome wheels. The car has noticeable damage on the driver’s side, according to a police statement

The two safety actions today were held on Georgia Avenue at the intersections of Newton and Girard Streets NW, locations where pedestrians frequently try to use crosswalks without traffic signals to reach nearby stores, apartments and schools. While many drivers yielded to pedestrians and some who seemed unsure how to respond crept past slowly, several sped right past within a couple feet of the pedestrian. Footage from the safety action is provided below. Three drivers seen in the video received citations.
video


MPD will hold pedestrian safety actions at about eight more locations this month, and traffic captains in each police district will continue holding two each month as we previously reported.

Foxx introduces new pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign

This week U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx unveiled an initiative to cut pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities by connecting sidewalk networks, implementing road diets and promoting other infrastructure improvements. Foxx announced the initiative on Wednesday at the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place conference in Pittsburgh in front of city planners, transportation engineers and bicycle and pedestrian advocates from around the country.

“This initiative is aimed at reversing the recent rise in deaths and injuries among the growing number of Americans who bicycle or walk to work, to reach public transportation and to other important destinations,” said Foxx, who wrote about his personal experiences with pedestrian safety in a recent blog post. Nationwide, pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities have increased since 2009, at a rate higher than vehicle fatalities, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Pedestrians and bicyclists in low-income areas that lack safe infrastructure are particularly vulnerable.

The new 18-month campaign will start with road safety assessments conducted by U.S. D.O.T. field offices. The initiative will promote infrastructure safety, education, vehicle safety and data collection. Click here to read the plan.


DDOT releases construction zone safety rules

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced its proposed rules this week for making constructions sites safer for passing pedestrians and bicyclists. The regulations aim to meet requirements of the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013. “I bike to work every day, so I have first-hand experience with the hazards that work zones can sometimes pose for bicyclists,” DDOT Acting Director Matthew Brown said. “These proposed rules will make getting around the city safer for everyone, especially pedestrians and bicyclists.”

The new regulations would include the following guidelines:
-If construction is going to block a sidewalk or bike lane, the entity getting the permit for the work must provide “safe accommodation” for pedestrians and bicyclists.
-Any temporary route for pedestrians and bicyclists should be equal to the option offered before the path was blocked.
-Rerouting people to the opposite side of the street should be the last resort.
-A covered walkway must be provided if there is potential overhead danger.
-Pedestrians should be separated from vehicles.
-The path should be free of mud and loose gravel.
-Signs and markings should warn users of changes ahead.
-DDOT may revoke a permit authorizing blockage of a sidewalk or bike lane if the entity fails to comply with the rules.

DDOT is accepting comments on the proposed regulations until September 13. Written comments should be submitted to publicspace.policy@dc.gov or to Samuel D. Zimbabwe, Associate Director, District Department of Transportation, 55 M Street, S.E., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20003. For questions about the rules, contact Alice Kelly at Alice.Kelly@dc.gov at 202-671-2252.