As the center of the District and the region, Ward 2 plays an outsized role in the health of the local economy and the civic culture of D.C. and the nation. It’s also home to 80,000 people, and ensuring that people can get to, from, and around the ward safely and efficiently is critical to ensuring that these interests can balance.
While the District made a laudable commitment to Vision Zero under Mayor Bowser, with a goal of achieving zero fatalities and serious injuries to those using the District’s transportation network by 2024, we are currently on pace to fall well short of that goal. Traffic fatalities actually increased year-over-year in 2018, just as they are up from the baseline number from when Vision Zero was announced in 2015.
What’s more, the great majority of recent fatalities involving the most vulnerable users (pedestrians and cyclists in particular) have taken place in Ward 2. That’s why it’s critical for the Ward 2 councilmember to be a leader in pushing for aggressive action and quicker turnarounds on Vision Zero priorities, especially engineered solutions to make our roadways safer. What works is no secret; the missing ingredient to achieving our Vision Zero goals is political will.
The District also needs to move much more quickly to implement elements of its adopted long-term transportation plan, moveDC, especially elements intended to improve bicycle infrastructure and bus service. While D.C. need not adhere rigidly to long-term plans in the face of changed facts or circumstances that make alternative solutions more practical, it also should also not engage in extensive planning processes with no roadmap for near-term follow-through. Transportation policy has never been more dynamic, and so faster implementation timetables have never been more necessary.
Taken together, as your councilmember, I pledge to:
push DDOT to move aggressively on implementing Vision Zero priorities, particularly engineered solutions that will make our roadways safer for vulnerable users like pedestrians and cyclists;
support the implementation of the moveDC Plan, particularly elements that called for an improved network of Protected Bike Lanes and improved bus service, including dedicated lanes;
advocate for a change in approach to street parking and curbside management on business corridors in order to create more space for short-term loading and unloading, especially for commercial vehicles and Uber/Lyft/taxi pick-ups and drop-offs, with the goal of reducing congestion-inducing and unsafe double-parking;
work with colleagues to establish as a District priority within Metro’s regional framework, the implementation of a more equitable and simpler fare structure – namely the establishment of free bus/rail transfers that don’t penalize transit riders for making more efficient and extensive use of Metrobus and Metrorail services.