Crash data and sidewalk repairs examined at oversight hearing

The D.C. Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment held its oversight hearing on the Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC), Bicycle Advisory Council and District Department of Transportation on March 21.

In her testimony, PAC Vice Chair Marlene Berlin highlighted some of PAC’s activities in 2013, including pressing for continued photo enforcement and participating in the development of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Looking ahead, Berlin called for completion of the $20-28 million backlog of sidewalk repairs and asked for easier access to recent crash data. (Read Berlin’s testimony or watch a video of the hearing. Berlin’s testimony can be heard about 1 hour and 12 minutes into the video.)

Also testifying at the hearing was Sonia Conly, a representative of Capitol Hill Village, an organization that promotes opportunities for residents to stay in their communities for life. Conly explained to the council members attending the hearing, Mary Cheh and David Grosso, that only one of 40 sections of broken sidewalk in the Capitol Hill neighborhood that were reported to DDOT last summer had been repaired. “Safe sidewalks are key to being out and about, connecting with neighbors, community services and utilizing public transportation,” Conly testified. (Read Conly’s testimony and view photos she brought to the hearing.)

At the hearing, rescheduled twice because of snow days, Cheh and Grosso expressed concern for pedestrian safety and access. “Pedestrian safety should be a performance metric for DDOT,” Grosso said. (Read Grosso’s synopsis of the hearing.)

If you would like to share your concerns about pedestrian safety in the District, please attend the next PAC meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 19, at 441 4th St. NW, Room 1117.