D.C.'s Official Pedestrian Advisory Body

Appointed by the D.C. Council to advise the Mayor, the D.C. Council, DDOT and other agencies.

Next Meeting: May 13th, 2024

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

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PAC Recommends Continued Expansion of Photo Enforcement

Today the D.C. Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) and the D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC) sent a letter to all thirteen D.C. Council members recommending that D.C. continue with plans to expand the use of cameras to enforce D.C.'s traffic laws.

The PAC and BAC became concerned by a proposal from Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) that would ban photo enforcement in D.C., and a subsequent proposal by D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (At-Large) that would place a moratorium on photo enforcement, both of which could threaten the public health and safety gains that have been made in recent years.

Pedestrians and bicyclists are far more vulnerable to being injured or killed in a collision than drivers.  This is particularly true when a driver is speeding because as speed increases, the chance that a pedestrian or bicyclist will be seriously injured or killed increases dramatically.  In 2011, 831 pedestrians and 582 bicyclists were involved in traffic crashes.  Reducing traffic speed and preventing red light and stop sign running are essential to protecting pedestrians and bicyclists as well as drivers. 

Traffic cameras have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing speeding in the District.  According to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), when the District’s photo enforcement program began, 1 out of 3 drivers was speeding and today only 1 in 40 speeds.  As speeding has decreased so have traffic fatalities.  Between 2001 and 2012, traffic fatalities in the District decreased 73% (from 72 to 19).

D.C. residents overwhelmingly support photo enforcement.  According to survey results released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in April 2013:

  • 9 out of 10 District residents believe that dangerous driver behaviors like running red lights and stop signs, speeding and not yielding to pedestrians are serious threats;
  •  87 percent support red light cameras;
  • 76 percent support speed cameras; and
  • 58 percent who had recently received a photo enforcement ticket thought they deserved it.


Written by Jason Broehm

PAC Vice Chair Discusses Pedestrian Safety on WAMU

Pedestrian Advisory Council Vice Chair Marlene Berlin was interviewed on WAMU's Metro Connection program this morning. Here's one snippet from her interview on pedestrian safety:
"People do not know the law; there are certain assumptions made about jaywalking. Pedestrians have a lot of rights to cross the street in this city, and they're not given them. This city has been mostly built for automobile traffic and for getting commuters in and out, but a lot of people are moving into the city. We want to be able to traverse the city safely... so we all have a responsibility to make our street safer."
Tune in online for more from the interview.


Written by Jason Broehm