- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 12, 2021

D.C. officials said Tuesday they will speed up plans to improve city road intersections for pedestrian safety, such as installing speed humps, stop signs and “right-turn hardening measures.”

The announcement follows recent incidents of pedestrians being struck by vehicles, including one fatality. Two children and their father were hit by a car last Wednesday in Southeast. Last month, a 5-year-old girl was fatally hit by a van while riding her bike in Northeast, according to media reports. 

“I acknowledge, like many of you, the frustration and anger that is boiling over in our communities because of traffic violence,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday, speaking at 48th Street and Minnesota Avenue NE. 

“All of us want our children to be able to walk to school or walk to the bus or have fun outside on the sidewalks in front of their homes,” Miss Bowser said. “We want our children to be able to ride their bikes and play outside without fear that someone will be speeding through their neighborhood without regard for their safety or anyone’s safety.” 

She said city officials are working to streamline road safety projects and are aiming to complete 50 projects in the next six weeks. 

Transportation officials will add visual reminders for motorists to drive responsibly, including high visibility crosswalks and concrete curb extensions. Projects will take place in all eight wards of the city, Miss Bowser said. 

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will also focus on 100 intersections within the city’s high-crash, high-injury corridors starting this week and each year, according to an update from the mayor’s office.

Progress on the projects will be published on a dashboard on DDOT’s website.

As of Tuesday, 76 pedestrians and 15 bicyclists in the District have been seriously injured in traffic collisions this year, according to data from Vision Zero, a transportation safety campaign. Last year, 86 pedestrians and 34 bicyclists suffered major injuries from traffic collisions.  

Acting DDOT Director Everett Lott said that, as a parent, he is frustrated and angry about traffic violence and unsafe driving.

“Every time I see a distracted driver, every time I see someone speeding down a roadway, it hurts me,” Mr. Lott said. “We at DDOT are going to do everything we can to engineer these roads to make sure they are safer, to engineer these roads to make sure they slow down these cars.”

He said the road safety improvements will help protect vulnerable roadway users such as children, bicyclists and pedestrians. 

In addition, Mr. Lott said DDOT will try to speed up safety improvements by shortening the period for public comment and limiting project notices of intent to those required by city law.

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