Your Vote for ANC Can Improve Pedestrian Safety in Your Neighborhood!

DC Election 2016Early voting has begun and election day is just less than a week away, happening next Tuesday, November 8th. While most of our attention has been focused on the Presidential election, there’s also some very important elections on the ballots for DC voters: your representative for your Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC).

ANCs can have a direct impact in shaping your neighborhood since they can formally make recommendations (and objections) related to zoning on newly proposed developments, as well as be an organizing body that convenes neighborhood concerns with representatives from the District Department of Transportation, the Office of Planning, and the Metropolitan Police Department. For more information on ANCs, read this primer from Greater Greater Washington.

To help guide DC voters through the positions from the many people who are running to be ANC representatives, the wonderful people at Greater Greater Washington distributed candidate questionnaires. In addition to questions about upcoming developments in each Ward, one of the questions was, “Where would you like to see new bicycle lanes, sidewalks, or other infrastructure to make it safer for residents, families, and seniors to walk and bike?”

Click here to read the endorsements from Greater Greater Washington, as well as the individual candidate responses.

Not sure of your ward or ANC? Click here for a handy tool.

Washington Post Calls Attention to Bad Month for Pedestrians in the Region

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-2-31-27-pmIn an article by Dana Hedgpeth, the Washington Post called attention to eight pedestrian deaths that occurred in DC, Maryland, and Virginia in August. In DC, Armin Amin was killed while crossing the street after leaving his restaurant, Chaplin’s, in Shaw. The following night, David Narvaez, who was bartending while training to become a financial analyst, was killed in an unsolved hit and run in Dupont Circle.

From the article:

Officials point to various causes, including speeding, intoxicated drivers, pedestrians darting across roads, and drivers and pedestrians distracted by electronic devices.

Nationwide, lower gas prices and upticks in the economy may be putting more drivers on the road, transportation experts say, while a push to encourage “walkable communities” — where people walk, bike and ride public transportation — has more pedestrians afoot.


Adjusting to the shift involves engineering such additions as medians and traffic lights, enforcing traffic laws, and educating drivers and pedestrians.

Just this weekend, an unidentified pedestrian was struck and killed by a U-haul truck at 4th Street Northeast and New York Avenue, a 6-lane road cutting through the neighborhood where Union Market has become a popular destination to visit on foot.

The mayor and council have committed to reducing pedestrian deaths like those of Amin, Narvaez and this weekend’s victim. This will require an investment in infrastructure designed to keep people safe while they walk or roll. That means streets that limit driving speeds and improved crossings where pedestrians have ample time to cross and can easily be seen.

All Walks DC advocates for citywide solutions to make the District of Columbia a place where walking is celebrated and respected as a basic human right. It is run entirely by a small group of dedicated volunteers and every donation counts towards helping us continue advocating for pedestrian safety. Donations can be made here.

 

Join us and Eleanor Holmes Norton tomorrow!

pedestrian roundtableCongresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is convening a roundtable to share with the public how new federal funds will be used to improve safety for people who walk and bike in DC. All Walks DC will be testifying at the hearing. Please join us and bring your questions for DDOT and NPS representatives.

Thursday, October 27, 2016
6pm–8pm
Room 2167, Rayburn House Office Building
Independence Avenue between 1st Street SW and South Capitol Street
Washington DC 20515

Mercedes Decides to Sacrifice Pedestrians for Drivers

Mercedes self-driving carsFast Company’s CoExist reports that Mercedes has decided that their self-driving cars will sacrifice pedestrians to save drivers.

Mercedes Benz’s manager of driverless car safety, Christoph von Hugo, has said, “There are situations that today’s driver can’t handle, that . . . we can’t prevent today and automated vehicles can’t prevent, either. The self-driving car will just be far better than the average human driver.”

Regardless of whether driverless cars improve safety on the road, this kind of thinking perpetuates the idea that collisions that injure or kill pedestrians are uncontrollable. In fact, we already have ways to make the environment safer and more inviting for people walking–by making sure the infrastructure of our roads limits automobile speeds and provides safe areas for crossing.

Looking Back on Our Year

All Walks DCNovember is fast approaching and at All Walks DC, we’re planning next year’s campaigns, but we also wanted to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in 2016. We:

  • Testified before the DC Council about the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016, Vision Zero Act, and Vision Zero rulemaking. (And both Acts passed!)
  • Testified at the Snowzilla roundtable convened by the Council, focusing attention on what the city could do to improve accessibility for pedestrians (especially those with limited mobility) after major snowstorms.
  • Participated in the National Transportation Safety Board Pedestrian Safety Forum.
  • Advocated for specific provisions in the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016, which was signed by Mayor Bowser on July 25, 2016. These included the pedestrian and bicyclist priority area program and making more collision data available.
  • Regularly met with Ward councilmembers to help drive momentum behind pedestrian safety legislation.
  • Brought DDOT, MPD, and Council staff to two fatal crash sites on Wisconsin Avenue: Calvert St and 37th Street NW, and Wisconsin Ave and Veazey St NW.
  • Raised awareness of dangerous sidewalk closures near construction sites on social media by using the hashtag #DCwalkblock
  • Mobilized voters with letter-writing campaigns to councilmembers.
  • Featured in multiple news stories:

We are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far this year and hope to continue the momentum into 2017! Stay tuned to hear about our next campaigns.

All Walks DC advocates for citywide solutions to make the District of Columbia a place where walking is celebrated and respected as a basic human right. It is run entirely by a small group of dedicated volunteers and every donation counts towards helping us continue advocating for pedestrian safety. Donations can be made here.

Final Recommendations for Rock Creek East Study Released

Rock Creek East Livability StudyThe final recommendations from the Rock Creek East II Livability Study are now available.

There are some great recommendations, including curb extensions throughout the study area (particularly on Arkansas Avenue NW), pedestrian crossing enhancements, and more traffic calming efforts. We hope these changes will be included in an upcoming budget and implemented as soon as possible.

The purpose of the study was to identify opportunities for safer travel for residents and visitors to the neighborhoods of Petworth, Crestwood, Brightwood Park, and 16th Street Heights. The goals of the study were to enhance the community quality of life through improvements to transportation safety, connections to destinations, green infrastructure, and sustainability. Thanks to all our supporters who asked for safer pedestrian infrastructure east of the Park!

View the recommendations on the study website.