That's just one tidbit in the Washington City Paper cover story on Vision Zero.
By 2024, D.C. aims to end all traffic fatalities and serious injuries using a combination of public strategies and funding.
According to police statistics, D.C. has seen 16 traffic fatalities as of Sept. 9, a decrease of 23.8 percent compared to the same period in 2014. Last year’s total of 26 fatalities was down three from 2013 but up seven from 2012. Overall, traffic deaths have gone down 58 percent during the last two decades. Roughly half of the annual fatal crashes involve drivers; the other half pedestrians, and some cyclists.
With more than 20 District agencies participating in Vision Zero, coordination presents a huge challenge. D.C.’s Department of Transportation is effectively spearheading the initiative, so much of the praise or blame will be directed at the agency. Thus far, DDOT has organized a series of publicity events for Vision Zero, launched a crowd-sourced safety map, conducted internal meetings with other agencies, and begun drafting an action plan to guide how the District is to transform a utopian idea into a lived reality. D.C. had scheduled the action plan to come out this month, but as of this week it hadn’t settled on a firm release date.
The story covers one of the intersection visits CM Cheh organized at five of the city's most dangerous intersections.
At one point, a black SUV heading north made an illegal U-turn and nearly clipped a cyclist heading south on a designated bike lane; at another, a blaring ambulance quickly turned right onto U Street and drove farther east.
I went to some, but not all, of these visits and it was a mixed bag. At some the DDOT personnel already had construction in the pipeline, but it didn't do much to improve pedestrian or cyclist safety and they weren't really interested in hearing about deficiencies. At others, DDOT staff wrote down every idea people threw at them and asked a bunch of questions. It kind of depended on who showed up and what the status of the intersection was.
Last week's Pedestrian and Bike safety bill was a part of Cheh's effort to move the needle on Vision Zero. DDOT's Vision Zero action plan should represent theirs.