D.C. Transportation Bills to Move Vision Zero Plan Closer to Reality

Washington, D.C., is not meeting its Vision Zero goals. Three proposed bills would put requirements in place to make traffic safety a priority.

May 13, 2019, 9:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

Washington D.C. Street

J. Sibiga Photography / Flickr

A bill introduced last week would bolster Vision Zero efforts in Washington, D.C., reports Caitlin Rogger. It focuses on better infrastructure, stronger enforcement of existing laws, and planning to reduce auto travel. Two additional proposed bills would improve traffic safety by requiring curb extensions to protect pedestrians and mandating that the district’s written driving test include questions about biking-related laws.

The Vision Zero bill also requires that the District Department of Transportation update the transportation plan every two years and work to improve street safety and shift commuters from driving to transit, biking, and walking. "The provision to plan for 50% of commutes by public transit and 25% by riding bicycles or walking by 2032 are particularly encouraging, as they reflect the kind of paradigm shift needed to meet equity, sustainability, and safety goals on a broader scale," notes Rogger.

Washington, D.C., is behind in reaching its Vision Zero goals. The plan was introduced in 2014, but the number of fatalities last year was the highest in a decade. "Advocates have been saying for years that DC’s leadership would have to make eliminating traffic-related deaths a much higher priority to make any progress," writes Rogger.

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