- The Washington Times - Monday, October 25, 2021

D.C. officials said Monday they are looking to hire 40 crossing guards as part of an effort to make city streets safer.

The city also is trying to speed up plans to improve intersections for pedestrian safety, such as installing speed humps, stop signs and “right-turn hardening measures” following recent incidents of pedestrians being struck by vehicles, including one fatality.

Two children and their father were hit by a car this month 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 want everyone to know we share the same concern and we share the same frustration that members of the community have expressed about safety,” Everett Lott, acting director of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), said at a Monday briefing. “We want all residents to feel safe walking. We want all residents to feel safe cycling. We want all residents to feel safe driving on our streets.”

He added that the expedited safety projects will help protect the “most vulnerable roadway users,” which include children, pedestrians and bicyclists.

DDOT will host a virtual job fair Wednesday for residents interested in becoming a crossing guard or “safety technician.” Those interested should pre-register for the job fair by noon Tuesday. Residents can register at tinyurl.com/SafetyTechHiringFair.

In the past two weeks, DDOT has installed 91 speed humps at over 30 locations, installed or updated 16 stop signs and installed right turn hardening measures at four spots, Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

DDOT also plans to convert two-way intersections with stop signals to all-way intersections with stop signals, in addition to improving other signage and pavement markings such as high-visibility crosswalks.

DDOT also plans to focus on 100 intersections in the city’s high-crash, high-injury corridors each year moving forward.

Miss Bowser said earlier this month that city officials are working to streamline road safety projects and are aiming to complete 50 projects in the next six weeks.

As of Monday, 183 drivers, 77 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. Thirty-three people have died.

Last year, 203 drivers, 86 pedestrians and 34 bicyclists suffered major injuries from traffic collisions and 37 people died.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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