Want safer streets in Ward 7? Better crosswalks? Fewer speeding Maryland drivers? Join us to get involved in strategizing and campaign planning.
Let’s get to work on protected bike lanes in Ward 4! Join us to get involved in strategizing and campaign planning.
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The day honors those whose lives have been forever changed by traffic violence and remember those we have lost.
In DC, Families, survivors, loved ones, and allies will gather at 3:45pm at DC’s Chinatown Park (6th & I NW). We will travel together to the John A. Wilson Building downtown for a brief ceremony beginning at 5pm. We invite you to join the procession on foot or by wheels, or to arrive directly at the Wilson Building.
In Alexandria, AFSS hosts a Walk of Silence at 1:00pm. Details here.
In addition to these gatherings, houses of worship across the city will include World Day of Remembrance in their services. See the map below for participating faith communities:
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or walking around DC with your eyes and ears closed, you probably have felt the hectic energy of advocacy over the past few weeks! Advocates all over the region have taken to the streets to raise awareness for issues that hit close to home. For WABA and traffic advocates around the city, the number one issue we are faced with is the high number of traffic deaths and serious injuries that happen on DC’s streets.
Since 2018, more than 1300 people have been seriously injured as a result of a traffic crash. Sadly, of that number, 53 lost their lives as a result of those crashes.
In the District, serious injuries and deaths from crashes are down when compared to the previous two years. Honestly, we are so far away from our Vision Zero goal of zero deaths and serious injuries by 2024, that even acknowledging it seems premature. But we are heading in the right direction. The increased attention on traffic injuries and deaths is a big part of that
On September 19th, we took to the streets with a host of energetic and eager volunteers and we spread the word! During the height of rush hour traffic at one of the busiest intersections in Northwest DC, WABA staff and volunteer bike advocates made the streets a little safer for pedestrians and got some drivers’ attention in the process.
I had a moment where I stopped and took it all in. Pedestrians walking past put down their phones and interacted with one another, albeit most of them were probably wondering about the huge 10” balloon wall and 3” inflated numbers “1250” & ”52” moving in and out of the intersection.
The message of the day was simple: “Too many people are hurt and killed on our streets and we have the power to change that.” This message is born out of my belief that it takes every single roadway user to get us to our vision of zero. And that philosophy was on full display during our time at 14th and U St NW. Drivers and bicyclists couldn’t help but pay a little more attention as well.
Speeds were slower than I usually experience in this stretch of U St. The recent changes to the streets by DDOT undoubtedly had a lot to do with that. It seems we got some help from MPD while we were there, too. Police pulled drivers over for making illegal left turns and running red lights. It was like a symphony for safer streets.
At the end of the day, I felt I understood what our streets could be like with everyone doing their part to make streets safer. We are a long way from zero, but we are closer than we were a year ago, and I hope that counts for something.
Do you know the number one reason people don’t ride in our our beloved city? They don’t feel safe.
So we had an idea. It’s a little disruptive. It’ll get the point across and keep some people safe at one of the busiest intersections in DC. We want every driver, pedestrian, and bicyclist to be thinking about the 1300+ people who have been seriously injured and killed in DC. And to let everyone know that one life lost is one too many.
Are you ready to do something that might make a world of difference in your DC? Join WABA, local advocates, and community partners in getting the word out in an amazing and hopefully, memorable way. Come join us as a volunteer!
Questions? Email Jonathan Stafford.
It’s time to get together again! I want to thank each of you who came out to the last meeting and those of you who have been attending all the other DDOT, MPD, Ward 4 Council meetings, and ANC meetings. Ward 4 residents have been consistently sharing their concerns about the lack of bike infrastructure and the number of people hurt on our neighborhood streets. We really appreciate that. And we want you all to continue to do so!
That’s why we’re excited about this first meeting with Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd, who has shown himself to be very receptive to the needs of pedestrian and bicyclists throughout Ward 4. Will you join me on March 5th for a community meeting with CM Todd to discuss bicycle and pedestrian safety?
As you know, we’ve spent a lot of time combing through crash data, and now it’s time to put that work into action.
The March 5th meeting will help identify those stressful, near-miss and dangerous places. We will have a full agenda, but we’ll be looking for you to share areas of particular concern—bad intersections, poor street design, etc. Please be sure to tell a friend or neighbor about this opportunity. Along with Councilmember Todd, we are inviting representatives from DDOT, the Bicycle Advisory Council representative, and local stakeholders.
Ward 4 Neighbors for Safe Streets Meeting with Councilmember Todd
Tuesday, March 5th
32 Grant Circle NW
Washington, DC 20011
6:30pm – 8:30pm
If you can’t make the March 5th meeting, please send me an email with your questions or concerns for Councilman Todd and I’ll be sure to ask them for you.
On Sunday, November 18th, WABA hosted the World Day of Remembrance in DC.
As the waning sun dropped below the horizon, and the falling autumn leaves signaled that a cool breeze and cooler temps were ahead, nearly a dozen riders arrived at Douglas Memorial United Methodist Church to join other community members in solidarity for World Day of Remembrance for Victims of Traffic Violence.
For the first time, WABA had the pleasure of partnering with six local congregations around DC to make World Day of Remembrance happen in a substantive and meaningful way. Earlier in the day, congregations offered sermons, prayers and reflections around the idea of safe streets. The evening gathering was a heartfelt display of community, care and compassion for those lives lost to traffic crashes.
Standing outside of Douglas Memorial Church, participants huddled together as the World Day of Remembrance projection shown on the wall for all to see. WABA’s Executive Director, Greg Billing, read the names of the 31 friends, family and community members lost this year because of traffic related crashes. Many of the victims were the drivers of motor vehicles, while others were people we had known, had ridden with and worked alongside here at WABA.
As the names were read, several passer-bys stopped to pay their respects. There were words of comfort offered by the pastors of Douglass Memorial and Mount Vernon United Methodist Churches. A song soothed our sorrows and a spoken word was delivered that moved many to tears. All in all, it was what we all needed from that space in that time. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Now we must continue in the work of doing all possible to ensure that ZERO lives are lost due to traffic crashes in 2019.
To all the participants throughout Washington DC and the region: thank you for supporting WABA and World Day of Remembrance. Without you, it would be impossible for WABA to continue doing the work of making bicycling better for everyone in the region. Your support helps us advocate for better laws and more bicycle friendly traffic lanes.
See the gallery for photos from this year’s World Day of Remembrance gathering in D.C.
I’m Jonathan Stafford, one of the new Vision Zero Campaign Coordinators. Back in 2016 I worked as an intern at WABA, exploring the intersection between Faith and Public Policy in transportation. I am extremely blessed to return to WABA and to take up the important work that connects each of us to D.C.’s plan for zero traffic related deaths in all of our communities.
While serving as a police officer in Texas, I found that I really enjoyed being assigned to the bike patrol for Mardi Gras festivals. After I left the police department and moved to Nashville, I began cycling more often – eventually commuting to school and work by bike. Social justice was my focus and cycling became my passion. Putting on a suit and getting around town by bike was just a way of life. In Rochester, NY, where I’ve lived for the past few years, I‘m know as the minister who rides his bike to Sunday worship services.
As a Vision Zero Campaign Coordinator here at WABA, I get to mix my love of bicycles and social justice work, advancing conversations about race, gentrification, injurious policing, and other justice related issues. This is work that can not be done alone and I look forward to working with residents of DC to make our streets safer for everyone.
Bike trivia about me:
My ideal commute: Trees, fresh air, not too many hills and less than 15 miles.
My style of riding: I mostly commute. But I have started bike camping and look forward to taking a few trips when the Spring arrives.
That one bike do I wish I still owned: my Panasonic Tourist named “Forrester”. Vintage styling, full fenders, and British racing green. Named after the title character from the film Finding Forrester!