From Allison Acosta. Email her at allison[AT]borderstan.com.
A new report from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) shows that many of the crashes involving injury to pedestrians and cyclists in 2010-2012 took place in Borderstan’s neighborhoods. The DDOT report analyzed the top 5 percent high hazard locations using data from crash reports over the last three years.
Of the 24 hotspots for pedestrian crashes in DDOT’s report, 10 were in the Borderstan area. Four of the most dangerous intersections for cyclists were in our neighborhoods.
The stretch of U Street and Florida Avenue between 6th Street and 18th Street NW seemed to be particularly dangerous, with 15 crashes involving pedestrians and 13 involving cyclists.
The city’s most dangerous intersection was at 14th and U Streets. Pedestrians were struck by vehicles seven times and cyclists six times at this corner, adjacent to the Reeves Center. This corner has long been one of the most hazardous in the city.
DDOT spokesperson Monica Hernandez said the U Street Streetscape project will include work to smooth pavement and sidewalks between 9th and 14th Streets along U Street NW. It will also make the sidewalk on the south side of U Street between 13th and 14th Streets ADA compliant, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, the project does not include plans to improve signage or pavement markings at these intersections.
According to the report, the intersection at 18th and Florida Ave has already undergone construction to improve safety and an improved design has been completed for the intersection 13th and K Streets. Improved pavement markings and signage were recommended for several of the other intersections in our area.
On March 13th, Noah Smith (ANC 2B09) plans to introduce a resolution on the recently introduced Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013 at 2B’s ANC meeting. Smith’s amendments will aim to increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in the bill originally introduced by Council members Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
Last Thursday, the ANC 2B/Dupont and ANC 2F/Logan Advisory Neighborhood Commissions ANCs held a joint meeting to discuss bicycle safety (Dupont-Logan Bicycle Safety Meeting Thursday Night). Dupont ANC 2B Public Safety Liaisons Kishan Putta and Noah Smith and Logan Circle ANC Crime and Public Safety Chair Chris Linn provided Borderstan with this recap of the meeting.
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Residents told transportation and police officials that bike lanes need to be smoother and safer and that more enforcement against unsafe biking on sidewalks is needed, at a Dupont-Logan bike safety meeting last week.
The meeting, attended by more than 50 residents, was the first of its kind in Borderstan and was organized by Dupont Circle ANC safety liaisons Kishan Putta and Noah Smith and Logan Circle ANC liaison Chris Linn.
Putta and Smith held a general community safety meeting in June, where bike safety concerns were aired (Dupont Safety Forum: Homicides, Bikes, Smartphones, Bias Crimes) and that led to last week’s robust discussion.
According to Putta, “It is instructive that the number of neighbors who attended increased from our first general safety meeting. This points to the importance of pedestrian and road safety on the minds of our neighbors and they can count on us to work to address their concerns.”
Mike Goodno and George Branyan from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) explained what the transportation agency is doing to improve road safety pertaining to bicycle-related issues, such as new bike lanes on N Street NW, 13th Street NW, New Hampshire Avenue NW, L Street NW and a potential lane on M Street NW that requires further study of the other lanes.
The DDOT officials were asked about the heavily used 15th Street NW two-way “cycle-track” and said that it is possible that the city could repave it if there was enough interest and concern. Yolanda Strachan, a meeting attendee, said, “I really hope Kishan [Putta], Noah [Smith], and Chris [Linn] will help us get the 15th Street lanes smoother. Right now, the southbound lane is so bumpy that I’m always switching lanes – but that’s not safe for the northbound bikers.”
Some residents raised concerns about bikers riding on sidewalks, especially where bike lanes are available. Police Service Area 208 Acting Lieutenant John McDonald clarified that biking hazardously on sidewalks is illegal everywhere, but otherwise, District law allows sidewalk biking in neighborhoods outside of the Central Business District. He admitted that “what is hazardous” is a subjective determination.
Shane Farthing, president of the Washington Area Bicycle Association, said that his organization “takes the long view” on these issues, and said that the recent biking boom in DC is going to take adjusting by all parties: bikers, pedestrians, and drivers.
Strachan (the attendee) said she believes Putta, Smith, and Linn “have a real opportunity to improve community safety if they keep listening to residents and getting them involved and working with the District to make changes.”
Putta, Smith, and Linn said they plan to follow up with their ANCs later this month and then start working toward next steps on both bike and pedestrian safety issues this fall and winter. All three are running for ANC seats on their respective commissions.