We don’t have to wait

Back in November, I was in a room full of people, maps, and markers at the Anacostia Community Museum. It buzzed. “What if we put in a miniature park with trees at this turn so drivers have to slow down?” “Can we put in contraflow bike lane here so the kids riding to the park can do it safely?” “What if we made this street in front of a school one way, rather than cut-through to the highway?” “Can we paint a mural in this intersection?”

We want to make the answer to all of these questions a resounding yesCan you help?

Here at WABA, we hear the same question from all over the region: Why does it take so long to make streets safer? The answer is predictable, of course: someone needs to study it, to plan it, seek public input, find funding, do the engineering—the list goes on. In DC’s Ward 8, where I do most of my work, you can add a century of racist urban planning to list of barriers to safer streets. And while the bureaucratic process plods on, people keep getting hurt just trying to get where they’re going. 

Our meeting last month was about Tactical Urbanism, which is the idea that we don’t need to wait to make streets safer and more liveable. With some cheap tools—paint, plastic, potted plants—you can quickly make places for people to bike and walk and cross the street; you can test out ideas and build public support for longer term, permanent fixes.

With help from our corporate partner Spin, we brought together tactical urbanism experts, residents, ANC commissioners, and advocates from across the city to workshop some dangerous intersections and stretches of road. In the spring, with your investment today, we’ll be out there with power tools and paint.

If you’re anything like me, turning a bucket of paint into an overdue crosswalk sounds like a fantastic way to spend a weekend. Make a donation today to help make it happen! I’ll send you a note when we schedule the builds in the spring.

Ward 8 Traffic Safety Meeting

Want safer streets in Ward 8? Safer access to schools? Better sidewalks? Fewer speeding Maryland drivers? Join us to get involved in strategizing and campaign planning.

Washington Region Vision Zero Summit


Call for Speakers and Panels

Welcome! Please submit an abstract for consideration!

All proposals must be submitted by January 15. By submitting a proposal for consideration, you agree that if selected, you will be available to present during WABA’s 2020 Washington Region Vision Zero Summit on March 19th, 2020 between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. 

  • The Call for Speakers is open until January 15th.
  • Speaker selection will take place in January. 
  • Speaker benefits include: waived registration, headshot and bio included in event materials, etc.

Submit a proposal

How speakers are chosen:

Proposals will be reviewed by WABA staff with input from Washington Region Vision Zero Summit Steering Committee members. The proposals are evaluated in whole or in part on the following criteria:

  • Timeliness of the topic
  • Speaker diversity: gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, regional representation
  • Balance of opinions (include opposing opinions as needed)
  • Subject matter is cutting-edge or presents new ideas, presented in a creative and engaging way
  • Topic is timely for the industry today and will attract attendees
  • Abstract and title of the session demonstrate the intent concisely
  • Learning objectives and learning level are well-defined and support each other
  • Attendees will able to relate to the content and apply what they’ve learned in their role
  • Technical accuracy
  • Context of the issues including real-world case studies, examples, and stories
  • Potential for audience interactive participation
  • Speaker is knowledgeable, engaging and experienced on the topic submitted
  • Overall quality of the written proposal

Code of Conduct

  • Keep proposals free of marketing, sales, and vendor pitches
  • We expect the speaker to honor his or her commitment to present the proposed subject session at the event

Read a recap of the 2019 event here.

Register now!

Register for the 2020 Vision Zero Summit below!

Having trouble registering? Try this link.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Ward 8 Community Ride

We’ll be riding in Ward 8 and Ward 6 taking a closer look at bicycle infrastructure. We plan to talk about routes and road safety along the way. A plus? Finding good cycling friends, too! 

The routes is 12 miles – but you’re welcome to join us and ride less! We’ll be riding by the Anacostia Metro Station, Navy Yard Metro Station, and many free Circulator bus stops. 

The pace will be casual and this is a no-drop ride – meaning we’ll all stick together! Ward 8 is hilly, we’ll walk some hills! 

Need wheels or a helmet? We got you! Request a bike or e-bike! Helmets are required on this ride. 

Please bring a water bottle and any snack for yourself!

Bike to School Day events at Garfield Elementary win DDOT Trailblazer Award

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!

Recap: Washington Region 2019 Vision Zero Summit

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.

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.

Thank you to our sponsors of this year’s Summit!

Title Sponsor:

With support from:

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsors:

Silver Sponsors:

Bronze Sponsors:

Recap: Second Annual Washington Region Vision Zero Summit

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.

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.  

Find a gallery below featuring pictures from the daylong summit!

Special thanks to our Vision Zero Summit Sponsors!

Title Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

Meet Hannah Neagle, our new Vision Zero Campaign Coordinator

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.