Update: The DC Council did not hold a hearing before its summer recess. We’ll keep you posted when we know more about the fall hearing schedule.
In a flurry of activity this spring, the DC Council announced four different bills (details below) to promote safer streets and a better bike network. We need your help to make sure these bills turn into laws.
The Council’s next step is to hold a hearing. If a hearing doesn’t happen before the Council’s summer recess that starts in July, the bills are unlikely to move through the legislative process in 2019.
We can’t afford to wait another year for laws that make our streets safer.
Use the form below to contact your Councilmembers and ask them to hold a hearing on street safety bills before the summer recess.
Note: your messages are more effective if you include a personal story about why this legislation is important to you.
About the bills:
- Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3) introduced legislation, called the “Mandatory Protected Cycling Lane Amendment Act of 2019” which would essentially mandate that DDOT build a contiguous protected bicycle lane whenever the agency does significant reconstruction or repair work on a street. While we have some serious questions about definitions in the legislation, we think this is an important start.
- Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6) introduced two pieces of legislation. First (which passed on Tuesday, May7th, 2019) is the “Florida Avenue Multimodal Project Completion Temporary Amendment Act of 2019”— this act specifically requires DDOT to fast track their existing plans to redesign Florida Avenue NE into a safer space for pedestrians and bicyclists (including adding dedicated bicycling infrastructure) or face a procedural hurdle before spending money over a certain dollar amount.
- Councilmember Allen’s second piece of legislation, the “Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act of 2019” is much more comprehensive than a previous 2018 version. This bill bans right turns on red, reduces residential speed limits to 20 mph across the city, and holds contractors/development companies more responsible for the disruptions they cause in the bike and pedestrian networks, among other things. Perhaps most importantly, the bill codifies the modeshare goals of the Sustainable DC 2.0 plan in law (25% of trips on foot or by bicycle, 50% by transit, and a maximum of 25% by car) and required DDOT to produce city-wide plans to meet these goals.
- Councilmember David Grosso (At-large) introduced legislation, the “Curb Extension Act of 2019” (B23-0292), mandating curb extensions, which improve sightlines and reduce crossing distances for pedestrians, in all future DDOT road improvement projects.
- Councilmember Brandon Todd (Ward 4) also introduced legislation, “Cyclist Safety Campaign Amendment Act of 2019”,to add a “bike-related rules” test on the DMV application. The idea behind this is to “re-enforce good habits early on” when someone goes to get a license.
For a more in depth look at these bills, read Greater Greater Washington’s analysis here.