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The truly shameful thing is that the city consistently puts pedestrians at risk unnecessarily by increasing signal cycle lengths and closing sidewalks for construction. These are well documented to lead to people walking in the street, and yet the city REPEATEDLY does this.

Yes to getting rid of right turn on red, which I think is one of the biggest safety issues for pedestrians. But we'd have to not just get rid of its legality, we'd have to actually stop people from doing it. We don't have enough in the way of enforcement for other illegal driving maneuvers, so they are routinely done without consequence; could be the same with no turn on red.

I felt from the beginning that Vision Zero was always an impossible goal and this impossibility undermined it to the point that it was just lip service or scoring easy political points and the hard work would never be done. Sounds like a little more has been done than I thought, but it's clearly still not the priority it should be.

This is a cultural change as much as anything else. Any progress was likely to be almost glacial.

This is a great analysis is why DC is doing too little to meet its Vision Zero goals, but I don't think it's worth attacking the goals. More importantly, DC isn't doing enough to save lives.

You make a reasonable point about what "zero" actually looks like though I know people will read this and say that even the pro-bike guy thinks we can't do zero.

But its good to be unreasonable sometimes. When talking about the creation of coastal protections in California some pioneer in that effort said that their success would have never worked had they tried to be "reasonable" about development along the shore line.

I think the same applies to Vision Zero, of course its unreasonable. So is (preventable) death.

Read quickly, some ideas good. But I fear if advocates of multimodal safety say "if you don't implement the following contentious steps you might as well not have vision zero,then the result will be no vision zero, and the loss of incremental momentum we get from vision zero.

Gillian, I'm not attacking the goal. I'm fine with saying the goal is zero. But the timeline is ridiculous and feels like lip service and political gamesmanship. It's a timeline set by someone who isn't serious or thoughtful about the goal. I feel a bit like the dad in this classic scene.


OT but I think it is odd that there's isn't more discussion of banning motorcycles on Code Red or Orange days.

I'm of a mixed mind about it. I dislike that it's a serious matter that is being treated in a generally unserious fashion, which I think is inherent in setting a goal that pretty much all involved know is unattainable. To the extent it drove some concrete steps, great, though I would also say that you didn't need Vision Zero for that. Those should have been initiatives justified in their own right.

One of my feelings about goal-setting is that it needs to be set as something we - very inclusive - are going to do, not something we - the government - are going to do. And that larger effort needs to mentally prepare people for what is required. Saying "this is a half century effort requiring some real sacrifice" prepares people for the road ahead. Saying, "we can knock this out in a few years without impacting anyone" does not.

I'm curious about the aversion to autonomous vehicles. They obviously have a ways to go before they'll be ready for widespread use, but if we're thinking in the longer term anyways, as this post seems to be urging, they seem like one of the most promising avenues for eliminating the driver errors that lead to so many deaths. Could you speak to this, @washcycle?

The thing that bothered me the most about that drivers comments is that all of those behaviors are totally legal in the district. Just a reminder that drivers need retesting about rules of the road.

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