D.C.'s Official Pedestrian Advocacy Body

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Next Meeting: Sept. 25, 2017

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MoveDC moving forward

The public is invited to give feedback until July 31 on moveDC,the District’s multi-modal plan for getting people around the city over the next 25 years. During a roundtable held by the D.C. Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment to receive comments on the plan, several speakers requested more time to review the massive document. The comment period was extended more than three weeks to the end of July.

The significant aspect of moveDC from the perspective of the D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) is that pedestrians are listed as the first priority in any decision-making around transportation. Filling gaps in the sidewalk network, prioritizing traffic calming and engineering safer crosswalks are all recommendations made in moveDC.

“Overall, moveDC presents an important step forward, and if fully implemented, the recommendations promise to improve conditions for walking across the city,” PAC chair Jason Broehm testified at the roundtable. Follow this link to Broehm’s full testimony. The PAC will submit feedback after its July 28 meeting.

Pedestrian, bicycle and transit advocates attending the June 27 roundtable were generally supportive of moveDC, but it got negative feedback from some residents and visitors who rely primarily on cars to get around the city. A AAA representative called cars “an endangered species” if the plan moves forward. Adding to the dissent were several speakers who brought up concerns with specific aspects of the plan, such as bus lanes planned for their residential roads and bike lanes that would remove parking, as well as overarching worries such as DDOT’s lengthy environmental review process and lack of data to prioritize projects. Councilmembers Mary Cheh, David Grosso and Muriel Bowser offered general support, and all noted the importance of planning for a future that includes hundreds of thousands of new residents.

The deadline to submit public comments on the plan is July 31. After the document is complete, DDOT will release an action plan. MoveDC should be updated every five years, DDOT Director Matt Brown said.

Roundtable tomorrow on moveDC

MoveDC, the city’s multi-modal transportation plan, will be the topic of tomorrow’s roundtable called by the D.C. Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment. The roundtable is scheduled for 11 a.m. on June 27 in Room 412 of the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

The plan prioritizes pedestrians and calls for the city to:

1. Reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities;
2. Prioritize pedestrians in transportation projects;
3. Create a pedestrian environment that accommodates people of all ages and abilities, with special attention to children and older adults;
4. Create a fully-connected pedestrian network.

In order to achieve these goals, the moveDC plan makes several recommendations, including some the D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council has been advocating over the past year. Expanding the network of sidewalks, creating better systems for identifying and tracking needed sidewalk repairs, increasing automated enforcement, and adjusting traffic signals to optimize pedestrian safety are among steps moveDC lays out. The plan also urges improving the design of intersections, especially “high-hazard locations,” and improving access and safety at transit stops. Growing street trees would improve the walking environment, the plan states. In addition, MoveDC suggests creating a dedicated traffic enforcement unit within the police department.

Creators of moveDC are seeking public feedback on the plan by July 6. Visit the moveDC website at www.wemovedc.org to download the report and find a link to the survey.

The high cost of pedestrian crashes

Car crashes are costly, and collisions involving pedestrians result in $14 billion in economic costs each year, according to a study released recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The review of 2010 crash data from across the country, titled “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010,” reveals the many costs associated with car crashes. The study calculated medical expenses, property damage and legal costs, as well as lost productivity and congestion costs associated with added fuel use and negative environmental impacts. Considering these factors and others, the total economic cost of motor vehicles crashes in the U.S. in 2010 was $277 billion, according to the study. Drinking drivers caused 18 percent of the economic loss, speeding was found to create 21 percent of the cost, and distracted driving produced 17 percent of the cost. About $200 billion, almost three-quarters of the total cost, is paid for by people who are not involved in the crashes but pay insurance premiums, taxes and congestion-related costs as a result of them.

Although much of the study is devoted to issues around alcohol use, speeding, distracted driving and use of seat belts, the study does take a brief look at the costs of crashes involving pedestrians. Of the 32,999 people killed in motor-vehicle related crashes in 2010, 4,372 were pedestrians. In addition, 110,000 pedestrians were injured that year. The $14 billion cost of pedestrian crashes represent 5 percent of the total economic cost of crashes.

NHTSA previously studied the cost of motor vehicle crashes using data from 2000. Fatalities and injuries have declined since then, due to safer vehicles and increased seat belt usage. Economic costs increased over the past decade because of inflation, however. Authors of the study state that the purpose of the study was “to place in perspective the economic losses and societal harm that result from these crashes, and to provide information to government and private sector officials for use in structuring programs to reduce or prevent these losses.”

MoveDC plan puts pedestrians first


On Friday the District Department of Transportation released the draft of moveDC, the city’s multi-modal plan for how people will move around the city over the next few decades. The plan prioritizes pedestrians and calls for the city to:

1. Reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities;
2. Prioritize pedestrians in transportation projects;
3. Create a pedestrian environment that accommodates people of all ages and abilities, with special attention to children and older adults;
4. Create a fully-connected pedestrian network.

In order to achieve these goals, the moveDC plan lists numerous types of projects to expand and pursue, including some the DC Pedestrian Advisory Council has been advocating over the past year. Expanding the network of sidewalks, creating better systems for identifying and tracking needed sidewalk repairs, increasing automated enforcement, and adjusting traffic signals to optimize pedestrian safety are among steps moveDC lays out. The plan also urges improving the design of intersections, especially “high-hazard locations,” and improving access and safety at transit stops. Growing street trees would improve the walking environment, the plan states. In addition, MoveDC suggests creating a dedicated traffic enforcement unit within the police department.

Walking is good for health, the environment and economic development, the plan states. “More trips on foot could contribute to less traffic, relief for neighborhood streets, and more vibrant communities,” it says.

Although pedestrians are top priority in moveDC, the plan also makes multiple recommendations for changes for transit, vehicles and freight. Planners hope that within a couple decades 75% of commuting trips in the District will be by non-auto modes. In order to make that possible, 50% to 60% of District residents would have access to high-capacity transit or Metrorail within a 7.5-minute walk by 2040. Adding a Metrorail line and bike facilities would help achieve these goals.

Creators of moveDC are seeking public feedback on the plan by July 6. Visit the moveDC website at www.wemovedc.org to download the report and find a link to the survey.