On May 8 and May 29, WABA supported Safe Kids DC’s Bike to School Day Events at Garfield Preparatory Academy with Safe Routes to School National Partnership, MPD, DDOT, and Safe Kids World Wide.
301 youth riders from PreK to 5th grade rotated through three stations: a helmet fitting station, a bike obstacle safety course, and a bicycle license plate art project.
MPD-7th District Officers also ran a ‘Play it Safe’ station on one of the days where students played a life-size arcade game and basketball with the officers. After-school care students also had the opportunity to make traffic safety themed flags, and a banner to remind drivers to slow down for bikers and pedestrians around the school. The Bike to School Day events also won the 2019 DDOT Trailblazer Award!
Check out some photos from the Bike to School Day events!
In the District, Vision Zero is a commitment to ending traffic fatalities by 2024, (though traffic fatalities continue to increase). What many people don’t know is that Montgomery County and the city of Alexandria have also made Vision Zero commitments and are working towards that goal.
On March 14th, we brought the advocates, engineers, elected officials, reporters, and more, together from around the region to have a discussion about the state of Vision Zero.
The third Washington Region Vision Zero Summit was different from previous years for a number of reasons. We were intentional about bringing the Summit to community members and residents who are unable to attend a day-long conference. So, on the evening prior to the Summit, we brought the Community Listening Session on Traffic Safety right to residents. We held it in Anacostia because data shows that traffic crashes are disproportionately higher east of the Anacostia River.
And we cannot make any progress on making streets in D.C. safer if we do not address the needs of those who have been underserved.
On March 14th, we held the third annual Washington Region Vision Zero Summit at the George Washington University Milken Institute of School of Public Health.
Vision Zero is a public health crisis and it’s on agency staff and elected officials bear the heavy burden of putting policies in place to protect all road users. The number of traffic fatalities has increased since Mayor Muriel Bowser committed Vision Zero in 2015. Our morning keynote speaker, LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH, provided data that confirms what we know: D.C.’s trends are moving in the wrong direction.
290 people were killed last year using our regional roads. Those deaths were preventable and predictable. We are moving in the WRONG DIRECTION. Vision Zero is a recognition it doesn’t have to be this way. @gregbilling, opening today’s #VZSummitDC
The Summit brought together elected officials, agency staff, engineers, planners, regional advocates, thought leaders, and the private sector to come up with better solutions to make our roads better and safer for all users. During her Fireside Chat, Mayor Bowser reiterated that the number one issue that all wards deal with is speeding. (View the full video of the Fireside Chat here.)
Hearing the stories of near-misses and people who have lost loved ones in preventable crashes is difficult. But we cannot be disheartened about moving this work forward. Eliminating traffic fatalities in the District by 2024 is not an easy goal. It requires holding those in power accountable and demanding better street design.
The end result? Creating roads for everyone including kids, senior citizens, those with disabilities, and people using all travel modes.
Also new to this year’s Summit was Emily Simons, a graphic recorder who visually captured the Community Listening Session and a handful of panels at the Summit. Not with photos — Emily captured our discussions with beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations. View all of her graphic recordings from the Community Listening Session and the Summit here! (Click to enlarge each photo.)
Find a gallery of photos from the Community Listening Listening Session and Vision Zero Summit below.
In the three years since DC Mayor Muriel Bowser committed to eliminating all roadway deaths and serious injuries by 2024, the city has actually seen an increase in traffic deaths. Attendees of second annual Washington Region Vision Zero Summit gathered to discuss strategies and policies to reverse this trend.
One of the goals of the Summit is to to foster a sense of urgency around Vision Zero – so that governments honor their commitments and use their action plans to create immediate, substantive change on the roads. One life lost on the road is one life too many.
The Summit, presented by WABA and Uber, featured speakers from diverse sectors across the Washington Region. Elected officials, policymakers, civil rights and disability rights advocates, public health experts, and tech companies spent the day exploring systemic ways to end traffic fatalities.
“If we want to achieve equitable outcomes in communities, our society and the transportation profession needs to acknowledge the historical use of transportation infrastructure to divide communities and correct it.” pic.twitter.com/NVbPvRMniD
In a keynote address, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser delivered an update on the District’s efforts to eliminate traffic deaths.
DC Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Charles Allen, Virginia State Senator Scott Surovell, Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer, and Alexandria Vice Mayor Justin Wilson participated in panel discussions about regional collaboration and protecting vulnerable road users.
Region-wide, DC, the City of Alexandria and Montgomery County, have made commitments to Vision Zero.
Our region has an opportunity to be an example for the country as a place that prioritizes people over vehicles. D.C. should be leading this charge to save lives – and that’s why the Vision Zero Summit is important.
Vision Zero doesn't work unless we have tough conversations—not just about transportation policy, but about things like personal tragedy and structural racism.
Find a gallery below featuring pictures from the daylong summit!
Thanks to DCBR for being a sponsor of this year’s Vision Zero Summit!
Thanks to Uber for being a title sponsor of this year’s Vision Zero Summit!
Thanks to LimeBike for being a sponsor of this year’s Vision Zero Summit!
Greg Billing speaking at the Opening Plenary, “Why Vision Zero?”
Keynote speaker Gabe Klein giving his address, “Achieving Vision Zero: How Cities Succeed”
Audience member poses a question.
Attendees at lunch keynote.
Uber Mid-Atlantic Public Policy Manager Nicholas Zabriskie talking to lunch attendees.
Deputy Director, Transportation & Environmental Services for Alexandria Hillary Orr speaks on panel, “Overcoming Institutional Barriers to Implementation”
Vision Zero attendees chatting.
Grassroots advocate Dave Helms sharing his story on the panel, “Societal Costs of Traffic Crashes”
Attendee in the audience.
Moderated by Mary Lauran Hall (right), the “Ensuring Equitable Outcomes” panel featured (from left to right) Susie McFadden-Resper, Mike Doyle, Liz Thorstensen and Councilmember Mary Cheh as panelists.
Mayor Muriel Bowser address lunch keynote attendees.
Mayor Muriel Boswer was the Lunch Keynote speaker at this year’s summit.
WABA Executive Director Greg Billing, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DDOT Director, Jeff Marootian
Veronica Davis, P.E. and co-owner/principal planning manager of Nspiregreen, speaking at on the panel, “Ensuring Equitable Outcomes”
Aaron Landry, General Manager of car2go, on the panel, “Educating Drivers Across the Spectrum: Citizens, Fleets, Carshare”
DDOT Director Jeff Marootian speaking on the panel, “Overcoming Institutional Barriers to Implantation”
Tom Sherwood moderating the Closing Plenary, “Towards Regional Collaboration and Commitments.”
Panelists for the Closing Plenary.
Special thanks to our Vision Zero Summit Sponsors!
Hello everyone, I’m Hannah Neagle, one of the new Vision Zero Campaign Coordinators. I’m thrilled to join the WABA team and family!
While I have always enjoyed bicycling, I didn’t fall in love with it until I joined the Peace Corps in 2008. My only means of transportation was a pink and silver Trek mountain bike, and I became a true bicycle commuter.
Back in the states I pursued a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development in Washington, DC and commuted on our region’s bikeways everyday. It has been exciting to see the transportation system evolve as protected bike lanes and trail connections spring-up.
I recently returned to D.C. from Hawaii where I worked with a bicycle organization on grassroots community outreach, pedestrian and bicycle safety education, and a Vision Zero campaign. I believe Vision Zero—the idea that traffic injuries and deaths are 100% preventable—links directly to equity, complete streets, and livable communities. I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with community members and partners to achieve our shared Vision Zero plans and goals.