PAC Submits Recommendations on Safe Travel During the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency

The PAC pooled its expertise to formulate recommendations on safe travel during the coronavirus public health emergency. The PAC discussed its position at a March remote public meeting, voted in favor of a set of principles, and finalized its recommendations as a memo to Mayor Bowser, the D.C. Council, and D.C. agencies.

The PAC recommends that the District open all or parts of streets, alleys, and other available space to people walking or wheeling (and other active travelers). Denver, Philadelphia, and Portland are among the dozens of domestic and international cities that have reallocated street space for pedestrians and bicyclists. This responds to the need for physical distancing and the fact that motor vehicle travel has reduced to a fraction of pre-pandemic norms.

The PAC also recommends lowering Districtwide speed limits to 20-25 mph at maximum. This measure would reduce the potential for traffic crashes, especially crashes resulting in serious injury or fatality. Fewer traffic crashes would lessen the burden on medical resources at a time when those resources are needed to address the public health emergency.