MoCo Planning Board Votes to Remove the Little Falls Parkway Road Diet

Update: WABA has written a letter to the Montgomery County Planning Board asking that they reconsider this decision. Sign the letter here.

take action

Rendering of the rejected road diet for the Capital Crescent Trail crossing of Little Falls Parkway.

On June 13th, the Montgomery County Planning board met to review and approve a permanent safety improvement plan for the intersection of the Capital Crescent Trail and Little Falls Parkway where a bicyclist was hit and killed in 2017. In a shocking turn, the Planning Board voted 4 to 1 to reject the staff’s recommendation. Instead, the Board chose to restore Little Falls Parkway and remove a successful road diet, detour the trail to the traffic signal at Arlington Road, and study an expensive bridge crossing over the widened Parkway.

This decision should have been a simple one. After a bicyclist was hit and killed here in 2017, the Parks Department sprung into action with a temporary plan to make this intersection safe by removing a travel lane in each direction and lowering the speed limit. In the 2.5 years since then, the interim road diet has proved to be an impressive safety improvement, with fewer crashes and safer driver speeds. Traffic studies showed that drivers experienced just 7 seconds of additional delay due to the road diet. 

After a 1.5 year comprehensive study of 12 possible permanent configurations for this intersection — including a bridge, tunnel, removing the road diet, and completely closing Little Falls Parkway — Parks staff concluded that the safest and best-for-all option was a slightly modified version of what is there today. They recommended, and WABA supported, permanently reducing Little Falls to a two-lane road, lowering the speed limit, adding a raised crosswalk at the current trail crossing, and numerous other changes to add green space, improve connections and calm traffic. Coincidentally, this was also the least expensive and least environmentally impactful option.

Trail plan.

But at the hearing, the Board rejected that plan and instead made up a new plan on the spot, directing staff to restore Little Falls Parkway to four lanes and divert the trail to the traffic signal at Arlington Rd. 

This decision undermines 1.5 years of careful staff work. It disregards objective data collected here and case studies from across the US that demonstrate that road diets cut crashes by up to 50%, decrease speeding, and create easier crossings, all without major traffic impacts. The decision contradicts the County’s Vision Zero commitment and other policy goals by prioritizing moving cars quickly at the expense of people’s safety.

We at WABA are adamantly opposed to this decision which we believe will have a dramatic, negative, and daily impact on the safety of the 3,000 people who use the Capital Crescent Trail each day. If you share our frustration, we encourage you to email the Planning Board (MCP-Chair@mncppc-mc.org) and email your County Councilmembers. For a thorough look at the options and repercussions of this decision, see Ross Filice’s post on Greater Greater Washington.

DC’s Budget needs to reflect its values.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s budget came out a few weeks ago, and it is packed with details on what the administration wants to do, including plans to spend billions of dollars on transportation over the next six years. Before we jump in, we have two overarching questions:

  1. Will this budget achieve DC’s signature transportation goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2024?
  2. Does it support the timely buildout of the safe, low-stress bicycle network DC needs?

While there are many great things about this budget, the answer to both of the questions above is probably not. Fortunately, there is still time to change that. The DC Council holds its DDOT budget oversight hearing on Thursday, April 11—and to get where they need to get, they need to hear from you. You can take action to tell the Council what you want to see changed in this budget.

Take Action

What’s in the Budget

The proposed 2020 Operating Budget lays out a plan for spending on staff and programs for each agency in Fiscal Year 2020 which begins in October. Also released is the Capital Improvements Program, which is a long-term plan for major construction projects and purchases from 2020 to 2025. This budget is a proposal. The DC Council may add, remove, or change it substantially.

The District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Capital Improvements Program includes hundreds of millions of dollars for transportation projects over the next six years. Here are some of the highlights we are excited about in the DDOT budget:

  • $63 million for safety and mobility projects including protected bike lanes, trails, bike/pedestrian planning, high crash corridors, and Vision Zero improvements;
  • $167 million for major street rebuilds including (potentially) great bike projects like C St. NE, Florida Ave NE, Connecticut Ave in Dupont, the New York Ave Trail, Dave Thomas Circle, Pennsylvania Ave west of the White House, and Broad Branch Road;
  • $10 million for 100 new Capital Bikeshare stations and 1000 bike;
  • and $110 million for new and replacement sidewalks.

While there are many laudable projects within this budget, we see too many cases where DDOT will spend tens of millions of dollars to deliver streets that are still hostile to biking and walking and dangerous by design. We are concerned that while there is a lot of money being spent to make the District’s streets safer, DDOT lacks sufficient safeguards to ensure that these expenditures are directly addressing its Vision Zero goals.

DDOT Needs a Complete Streets Policy

One of the missing safeguards is a stringent Complete Streets Policy, which would ensure that all streets are designed, operated, and maintained to accommodate safe and convenient access and mobility for all users. DDOT adopted such a policy in 2010, but it left far too many exceptions to the rule. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act, adopted in 2016, required DDOT to adopt a far more stringent Complete Streets Policy by 2017. So far, the agency has not.

Included in this budget, therefore, are dozens of high-cost projects that will maintain the unsafe status quo and do very little to make DC’s streets safer or more approachable for people on foot and bike. Far too many road projects are still fixated on moving as many cars as quickly as possible, designed for the busiest hour of car traffic instead of being designed for the safety, access, and health for DC’s people. These projects’ core values should be reevaluated through a Vision Zero and Complete Streets lens and designs changed before moving forward (eg. Rhode Island Ave NE, Pennsylvania Ave SE & Potomac Ave Circle, Southern Ave, Ward 8 Streetscapes, Massachusetts Ave, U St NW, Local street repaving).

Adequate Staffing

DDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian planning staff work wonders with the resources they have at their disposal. But given the multi-year timeline and immense quantity of work required to steer even small projects through the community input process, adding 10-15 high-quality miles to the bicycle network each year is infeasible without substantially more resources. DC’s sustainability, transportation and Vision Zero goals require that this agency is capable of building the bicycle network more quickly.

Additionally, safe accommodations staff are sorely understaffed. They need sufficient people to review permit applications (around 50k plus a year) and time and attention to keep the public safe. This includes enough inspectors to actually inspect sites (creating the expectation that an inspector will be on site). Additionally, this includes enough staff to proactively educate permit applicants concerning the rules and regulations that such applicants must operate under in the District.

You can review the full budget yourself here.

For this budget, we are pushing for the following.

  1. Fully fund DDOT’s Vision Zero and bike/ped initiatives and ensure that projects on C St. NE, Florida Ave NE, and Pennsylvania Ave NW move ahead without delay;
  2. Do not fund major road projects unless they make streets safer for everyone. They must meet the criteria for Complete Streets as defined in the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016;
  3. Demand that DDOT adopt and follow the Complete Streets policy required by this act and ensure that all projects contribute to building complete streets, including local street repaving;
  4. Add staffing and resources to DDOT’s active transportation planning team to support an impactful expansion of DC’s low-stress and protected bicycle network by at least 15 miles each year;
  5. Add staffing and resources to DDOT’s public space team for a comprehensive approach to safe accommodations around construction sites;
  6. Reconsider the allocation of Local Streets and Sidewalk funding with an eye towards transportation equity to ensure that resources and safety investments go where they are most needed, rather than equaly across all eight wards.

Take Action

What’s Next?

The DDOT Budget Oversight Hearing is Thursday, April 11 at the Wilson Building. If you are able, consider testifying. To sign up to testify, contact Aukima Benjamin (abenjamin@dccouncil.us) or call 202-724-8062.

Check back later to see our complete testimony.

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:

Some things we need to know about what’s happening in DC.

Tired of seeing bike lanes closed by construction?

There have been a lot of new conversations in the past year about better bicycling in the District. Through a series of announcements, organizational restructuring, and some strategic hires, the District has shown a new level of commitment to ending traffic fatalities and building the environment necessary to make that happen.

But the job has just begun. In most neighborhoods, making streets truly safe requires changing the design of the street with concrete, new geometry, and more. Too many of those critical projects are chronically overdue and they need to get back on track to give the District a fighting chance at meeting its commitment.

So today, we sent a letter to Mayor Bowser, DDOT and every councilmember to request an expedited path forward for nine projects (there are many more, but we are starting with nine) and the H Street streetcar track flanges — the continued absence of which flies in the face of safety.

Stated simply, we need to build these projects. We need to build them now.

We look forward to the conversation with the new Vision Zero Director at DDOT and Council to make sure that these projects are completed.

There is a lot of work to do between now and getting to zero traffic fatalities, but building this infrastructure in 2019 will go a long way towards making the commitment a reality.

Stay tuned for more updates on these and many more projects we are tracking.

You can read the letter here.

Guest Post: Merry Christmas, DDOT.

Editor’s Note: This letter is written by Laura Montiel, grieving mother of Malik Habib. Malik was killed on H Street NE in a traffic crash in June 2018. This is hard to read, and a heartbreaking reminder of why WABA’s work matters. Hug your loved ones. Be kind to your neighbors. Drive slowly.

Dear DDOT,

As many folks are hustling and bustling about this holiday season, my thought as a grieving mother is “All I want for Christmas is YOU.”

I will never eat pancakes with Malik on Christmas morning again… Wow, how he loved eating stacks and stacks of pancakes drowned in syrup. I will never receive that big Christmas present he joked about giving “when I make it… because I will.”

Malik and his brother Cyrus, Christmas 2003. Photo courtesy of their mother Laura.

I used to identify myself proudly as a single mother of two, Malik and Cyrus Habib. My son Malik was killed on June 23rd while riding his bike near the streetcar tracks at 3rd and H Street NE.

After the tragedy, folks commented on social media and in the news how the tracks of the streetcar have been a concern since 2014. I have stood at that corner and witnessed Transportation Madness: buses are coming down the hill at racing speeds, pedestrians are crossing the roads with construction going on behind them, there’s a lack of signage, and scooters and bikes have no place to ride. The streetcar tracks add more danger to this intersection. My son was a victim of this poorly planned infrastructure.

Reports indicate that you, DDOT, knew about the dangers and streetcar tracks and did nothing. Six months after my son’s death the only changes made were the installation of a bike lane that begins mid-route, painted green and flex post to guide bicyclist to nowhere… because there is no continuation of that bike lane on the other side. If I were new to the city like Malik was, I would still be unsafe with the addition of this new colored green bike lane. It insults me.

To add onto my grief, I am frustrated. I have spoken out many times and relived my son’s tragic crash again and again in hopes that my story can somehow make a difference. Are you listening?

As we are here at the end of 2018, entering a New Year, I try to see how many changes have been made to make Vision Zero a reality in DC. Sadly, I don’t see much.

DDOT, my wish for Christmas is that the city reevaluates the safety of that intersection at 3rd and H Streets NE. It needs additional signage, enforced speed limits, a well-lit bike crossing, and parking enforcement. Another idea is to take away street parking on one side of the road to make way for a safe bike route, one that doesn’t start and end and actually provides a safe route. And can DDOT please address the streetcar flange fillers that supposedly were being researched? We were supposed to have an update by now. 

Malik’s ghost bike memorial on H St NE.

So was Malik’s death preventable? You ask yourself that on Christmas morning.

If you were part of the administration that has ignored bike safety, I forgive you. I just ask that in 2019, you do a better job of making Vision Zero a reality.

Malik loved playing football, writing music, debating politics, reading, eating, and most of all, being with his family. I know he is with me always, so I believe that my strength to write these words come from him.

I am his mother and gave him birth, but he gave me life! I miss his humor, his free spirit, and kindness so much. Merry Christmas, Malik.

Love,

Mom

A realistic path to Zero.

Last week, the Mayor released a call to the community: What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?

We have a few thoughts.

Look, it’s no secret: DC’s commitment to Vision Zero has been an open question in 2018. With traffic fatalities up 19% this year over the same time in 2017, advocates across the city have been asking for a reinvigorated commitment from Mayor Bowser and the city government.

And the Mayor has heard us—well, kinda.

In November, Mayor Bowser unveiled a series of proposals—both procedural and substantive—designed to jumpstart Vision Zero and move towards making that vision a reality.

Though we applaud these steps as necessary, we still believe that the city has a long way to go. There are as many questions as there are answers.

So, with the Mayor’s call for big proposals ringing in our ears, we’ve been discussing what needs to be done to actually get to zero traffic fatalities in the District.

“Big ideas. Not afraid to fail….”

So, we’ve taken a hard look at the city’s commitments, what works, what hasn’t…and what do we actually need. Not what is politically feasible, but what do we need?

To that end, we’d like to offer a series of policy recommendations to transform DC’s transportation system for the 21st century.

read the report

Some recommendations have been taken on board by the city, and some we hope that they will look at in 2019. Transitioning the District of Columbia’s transportation system to be safer, more equitable and sustainable demands overarching and comprehensive strategy—we think we’ve captured the beginnings of exactly what that will take.

Since the Mayor asked, we’ve decided to give it a go.

We hope you’ll take some time to head to https://www.dc2me.com/ and tell the Mayor all about your own big ideas for transformational change in the region.

Push for changes to a Capital Crescent Trail intersection where a cyclist died

Guest post by Ross Filice

photo by Erica Flock

Two years ago, a cyclist was tragically struck and killed by a driver at the intersection of the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) and Little Falls Parkway. After this incident, the local parks service reduced car lanes to one each way and lowered the speed limit. It has worked incredibly well, and Montgomery County should make the changes permanent.

Since these changes were introduced, there has been a 67% reduction in crashes without any fatalities. Traffic has only decreased here by 3%, and drivers have only had to wait for an additional seven seconds on average. The response is well-aligned with the county’s Vision Zero commitment and its Two-Year Action Plan to have zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

Current temporary road diet at the intersection. Center lanes are travel lanes while outer lanes are blocked by temporary flexible bollards. Image created with Google Maps.

In June, 2018, the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Parks Service presented a large range of possible permanent alternatives for this trail crossing. Based on data assessment, modeling, and public input, they have narrowed these down to three preferred alternatives which were presented at a public meeting on October 9, 2018. The goal is to eventually present a single preferred alternative to the Montgomery County Planning Board over the coming winter.

Here’s an overview of the three options.

Alternative A:

This plan will continue the current road diet but add beautification and design improvements. It would improve lighting, return excess pavement to grass and landscaping, and implement safer and more welcoming pedestrian trails, including a raised crosswalk. This alternative is the most cost-effective (estimated $800,000), has the least environmental impact, and has proven to be safe over the last two years.

Under the current conditions, very little traffic has been diverted to nearby streets. Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) plans for Arlington and Hillandale Roads will mitigate these impacts further, as will plans for the adjacent Bethesda Pool, which includes road diets and other traffic calming measures.

With this design, trail users will be safer with minimal crossing delays, and drivers will continue to only wait an average of seven extra seconds over pre-road diet conditions, with no change from the previous two years.

Preferred Alternative A: Continue the existing road diet along with beautification, improved lighting and safety, and regional safety measures such as road diets and traffic calming. Image from the M-NCPCC Project Plan Website.

Alternative B:

This plan diverts the CCT to the intersection of Arlington Road and Little Falls Parkway, and implements a three-way signal to give dedicated crossing time for vehicles (in two phases) and trail users (in one phase).

This design would keep a single travel lane in each direction to decrease vehicle speeds and improve safety. There are many complicating factors with this proposal, however. It is more expensive (estimated $1,500,000), has greater environmental impact, both trail users and drivers will have to wait longer on average (30 seconds and 13 seconds respectively), and there’s more diverted traffic is expected over current conditions (an estimated 6%).

This plan also makes it more challenging to connect the CCT to the nearby Little Falls Trail and Norwood Park, and the complex trail plan from the separate Capital Crescent Trail Connector project would likely have to be resurrected.

Most concerning, it’s likely that both drivers and trail users would be tempted to ignore the signal by either turning right on red or crossing against the signal entirely. Both actions would introduce greater risk.

Preferred Alternative B: Divert the Capital Crescent Trail to the intersection with Arlington Road and install a signalled crossing. Regional road diets and calming measures are also proposed. Image from the M-NCPCC Project Plan Website.

Alternative C:

The most expensive plan (estimated $4,000,000) but arguably the safest is to build a trail bridge over Little Falls Parkway. In this scenario, trail users and vehicles are completely separated and delays are minimized for both. However, the cost is highest, ongoing maintenance costs will likely be far greater, and the environmental impact is the greatest.

Given the minimal impact to drivers and the dramatic safety improvements demonstrated over the last two years of the temporary road diet, it seems hard to justify the financial cost and environmental impact of this solution.

Preferred Alternative C: Build a completely separated trail crossing in the form of a bridge. Regional road diets and calming measures are also proposed. Image from the M-NCPCC Project Plan Website.

The project planning team has presented an informative table comparing the three alternatives along with a default “no-build” option, which highlights many of these points. You can also see a simulated rendering of the plans, courtesy of WTOP.

Some neighbors are worried about traffic, but the data doesn’t bear that out

Feedback at the recent meeting was generally positive, but some people had concerns. Some were worried that traffic is being diverted into area neighborhoods, and others wondered how to accommodate predicted regional growth.

However, data shows that there was only a 3% decrease in traffic at the intersection during the current interim road diet, and it’s likely that even less of it was actually diverted.

No measurable increase in traffic has been observed on the nearby Dorset Avenue. The project plan has indicated that traffic may be increased on Hillandale and Arlington Roads, but both will be mitigated by parallel MC-DOT plans for road diets and other calming measures. Traffic in the adjacent Kenwood neighborhood has already been addressed by one-way streets, speed bumps, and rush hour restrictions.

Traffic from regional construction and population growth can be addressed by the incoming Purple Line, county plans for bus rapid transit, and improving trail safety as an important transportation corridor.

Tell the county to prioritize vulnerable road users’ lives

Increasing capacity for predominantly single-occupancy vehicles in the era of Vision Zero and increasingly alarming environmental reports is simply the wrong direction for the county. Ultimately, a seven-second delay is not worth returning to unsafe conditions and potentially having another person killed at this location.

This is an excellent opportunity to solidify a positive step towards embracing Vision Zero and improving safety and environmental impact for this area and the county. Alternative A is a safe, cost-effective, and minimally disruptive solution that has been proven to work well over the last two years.

Full details including plans can be viewed at the project website. Comments can be submitted by email to the project manager, Andrew Tsai and via an online public forum.

Submit Comments

This blog was cross-posted at Greater Greater Washington

Author Ross Filice lives with his family in Chevy Chase and commutes by bike to Georgetown, downtown, and several other office sites in Washington, DC. He is a strong advocate of improving bicycle and transit infrastructure throughout the Washington area.

Show up for Biking in Bethesda on Oct 9

Big improvements are in the works for low-stress and safe bicycling in downtown Bethesda. Following public outcry from bicyclists and Georgetown Branch Trail neighbors over the trail’s closure and worsening bicycling conditions in downtown Bethesda, Montgomery County committed to fund and build a core, low-stress bicycle network.

On Tuesday, October 9, residents and advocates can finally see plans and give feedback on a slate of protected bike lanes, intersection upgrades, and trail improvements.

RSVP Here

Network map.

With only a few painted bike lanes, several multi-lane road barriers, and increasingly disruptive construction, Bethesda is a challenging place to bike, and a non-starter for parents with kids. The core bike network, pictured above, will significantly improve options for bicyclists of all abilities, correct some of the flagrant deficiencies in the interim Georgetown Branch Trail, and lay the groundwork for other improvements coming later with the completion of the Purple Line and Capital Crescent Trail.

The following projects will be discussed at the meeting:

Woodmont Ave. Protected Bike Lanes – a north-south two-way protected bike lane from Wisconsin Ave. to Norfolk Ave.

Capital Crescent Surface Trail – a protected bike lane crossing of Wisconsin Ave. on Bethesda Ave. and Willow Ln. This project will rebuild the Bethesda Ave. & Woodmont Ave. intersection into a safe, intuitive, protected intersection.

Capital Crescent Trail crossing at Little Falls Parkway – Parks staff will present three designs for permanent fixes to this high-conflict trail intersection. See the original 12 alternatives here. WABA opposes any plan that restores Little Falls Parkway to four lanes because this would restore the perilous conditions that contributed to a fatality and multiple crashes. Read our letter for the full reasons.

Montgomery Ln/Ave Protected Bike Lanes -an east-west two-way protected bike lane from Woodmont Ave to Pearl St.

Capital Crescent Trail Tunnel – a new trail tunnel underneath Wisconsin Ave. to seamlessly connect the Purple Line, secure bike parking, and the trail to Silver Spring.

Pearl St. Norfolk Ave. and Cheltenham Dr – bike lanes, traffic calming, and intersection improvements.

We need you there

Continued pressure and support are what make these projects possible. Will you show up to give county staff the support they need to get these projects in the ground? We need your voice to insist on safe streets for people who walk and bike. We need your help to counter those who will be there to insist that moving cars quickly is the only priority. Together, we can reshape Bethesda into a great place for biking and walking.

I’ll Be There!

Your Chance To Be Heard About Safe Streets in DC

It is no longer up for debate: the DC Government hasn’t been fulfilling its commitment to Vision Zero.

But because of your work, they have decided to move towards getting back on track. We’ve written letters, we’ve testified, we’ve ridden in memoriam—and last July, we rallied in front of the Wilson Building.

We are pleased to report, that since that time, WABA and advocates in the community have followed up—and they have heard you! Below is a partial list of commitments that the city is making right now:

  • The city is going to create an Office of Vision Zero, staffed by career professionals and safety experts, and focused solely on Vision Zero implementation. This is a great step!
  • The city is going to establish a Vision Zero working group of agency Directors to focus on implementation of commitments. This actually bumps Vision Zero up from a department commitment, to a city wide commitment. That is a good thing.
  • As a first step to address safety on H Street NE, the city will expand its signage and pavement markings at 3rd and H Streets and is doing testing to fill the streetcar tracks—which is good news, but unfortunately, that comes without a firm date for installation on the entire corridor.

Make no mistake: this is a win! But this is only one step. We’ve got to keep our voices high!

Adding to that list above, Councilmembers Allen and Cheh are holding a joint hearing on the city’s implementation of its Vision Zero commitment. Importantly, these are two DC Council committees with oversight over dozens of city agencies. It shows a key recognition that for the city to reach Vision Zero, it requires the efforts of the entire Wilson Building, not just DDOT.

And we are asking you to show up and let the city know how it’s doing.

Will you join us?

Who: Committee on Transportation and the Environment and the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

What: Hearing on the Implementation of the Vision Zero Initiative and the Bicycle Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016 (full notice here)

When: September, 27th, 2018 at 1:30 PM (show up early as you have to go through security)

Where: John Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (Room 500)

Why: Because you deserve to be safe in the city

Let us know you’re coming

Let’s show up for each other. Let’s show up for those that have been in crashes. Let’s show up for those that have been killed on our streets.

How to Testify

If you wish to testify (and you should), email Ms. Aukima Benjamin, Staff Assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at abenjamin@dccouncil.us (and cc Advocacy@Waba.org so we know you’re coming!). Witnesses should bring eight copies of their written testimony and should submit a copy of their testimony electronically. You will have three minutes to speak.

Not sure what to say? Read through our talking points to get you started. Talk about your experience on DC’s streets. Keep it personal.

    1. What do you think is unsafe about the city’s roadways?
    2. Have you been in a crash? Do you know someone who has been in a crash? What about near misses? What was that like? How did it make you feel?
    3. What are some things that the city could do in your neighborhood on your commute that would make you safer?

If you can’t make it,  we still want to let council know your thoughts. Email Ms. Benjamin at the email address above and cc us by October 11, 2018.

This is your chance to be heard!

Together, we can move this city forward.

Yesterday was an emotional day.

Yesterday afternoon, more than 120 of us gathered across from the Wilson Building to demand that Mayor Bowser deliver on her 2015 promise to put an end to traffic deaths on DC’s streets.

Together, we mourned the loss of more than 100 members of our collective community — mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, recent high school graduates — who were taken from us since that promise was made. We heard from the mother and brother of Malik Habib, sharing a story no family should have to tell.

And together we said enough is enough. “We’re doing the best we can” isn’t good enough. Mayor Bowser has the power to stop this, if she makes people not dying her priority.

Following the rally, we took our message to the Mayor’s office, where we met with Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, Kevin Donahue. We hope to report more concrete updates from the Mayor and Council in the coming days.

Can we count on your to get involved in next steps? Join our DC Advocates email group and keep the pressure up!

Count me in!

Thank you to everyone who rallied with us, to our speakers, and to all who will continue to hold our elected leaders accountable to their promises.

Thank you for joining us in this fight.


A Memorial Ride for Malik Habib will be held on Tuesday, July 31 at 5:30pm.

If you missed the rally you can find video coverage on WABA’s Facebook Page and media coverage from WAMU, Greater Greater Washington, WTOP

To stay in the loop on WABA’s Vision Zero work and do your part to make streets safe for everyone, sign the Vision Zero Pledge.

Sign the Pledge


Here’s a gallery from yesterday’s rally: