19 Aug 2019

Street Justice: DC’s 16th Road Death in 2019

Gordon Chaffin is a freelance journalist who focuses on infrastructure and traffic news and insights for Street Justice. You can support independent journalism by subscribing to Gordon’s Street Justice newsletter: He’s offering a 20% discount to THIH readers. See more information below. –Maria Helena Carey


Bike racks at Dunbar Hight School in DC, August 2019 (Gordon Chaffin / StreetJustice.news)

Pedestrian Dead Wednesday is 16th of 2019 in DC

A driver killed Jascha Wilson, a pedestrian walking across North Capitol NW at 9:50 PM on Tuesday night. He was crossing North Capitol in the 2600 Block — approximately at the Evarts NE intersection. Wilson’s death is the third on North Capitol this year, and the 16th overall in DC in 2019. North Capitol is a long road that carries a lot of car commuter traffic, but is relatively low-traffic outside of weekday rush hour and mid-day weekend. Through its whole length, off-peak traffic is low and the road’s width encourages speeding. Where there isn’t bike/ped safety designs, and even where there is, motorists drive as the road’s design encourages them: fast. [Full Story]

Alexandria, VA Re-Doing its Master Transportation Plan

I wasn’t able to make it Monday to Alexandria’s Bike/Ped Advisory meeting, but they alerted me to a survey informing Alexandria, VA’s re-write of the city’s master transportation plan. Please fill it out if you live, work, or frequently visit the greater Alexandria area.

From Alexandria’s project page:

“The existing 2008 Transportation Master Plan set the stage for transportation improvements over the last decade and ongoing major initiatives. The AMP will serve as a policy-oriented, strategic update to the Transportation Master Plan. The AMP team is working with the public to update the vision and goals, objectives, and priority strategies to help guide City staff and policy makers on important decisions related to transportation over the next 5 to 10 years. This effort is part of an ongoing process – the AMP will continue to be updated periodically going forward.”

“The AMP officially launched in June of 2019 and is a periodic, strategic effort to update the City of Alexandria’s 2008 Transportation Master Plan to stay current with changes occurring in the City, best practices, industry standards, and changing technology and behavior. Together with other input, the results of this feedback will inform the AMP vision and identify Alexandria’s transportation priorities.”

There’s a short text survey, you can submit a photo or image with ideas for changes, and you can drop pins on their map with suggestions.

[Full Story]

Anacostia ANC Delays Transportation Vote

On Tuesday night, ANC 8A (Anacostia) delayed their vote to officially establish a transportation committee and nominate community members to that committee. The body delayed the transportation committee vote to September 3rd because several Commissioners had not found residents to nominate. In addition to transportation, 8A is establishing committees for ABRA (alcohol/beverage), economic development, public safety, education, and community outreach. 8A represents 16th Street SE, where pedestrian Abdul Seck was killed in April. The body’s territory also includes the intersection of 22nd and Prout Streets SE, recently featured by Adam Tuss at NBC4 as a dangerous intersection near a school lacking a stop sign. [Full Story]

Options for a Safer Penn Ave SE

Last week, the Facilities Committee of DC’s Bike Advisory Committee did a ride-through of blocks around the Potomac Avenue Metrorail station, which sits at a weird traffic circle, roundabout, geometric disaster thing at Pennsylvania Ave SE and 14th St SE. Before the meeting, DDOT bike planner Mike Goodno circulated a PDF of concept plans to add bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave SE, from it’s start at 2nd to 17th Streets NE, where it arrives at Barney Circle. Most options from the concept plans involve dropping a car travel lane data suggest is not needed and using the width to add protected bike lanes with pedestrian improvements. [Full Story]

Documentary Captures Struggles of DC Family

In my DC Line column this week, I review 17 Blocks, a new documentary about a multi-generational family living in Southeast and Northeast DC. Driven primarily by home movie footage, the film covers the family 1999 to present. I highly recommend this movie to DC-area residents. It was shown at the AFIDOCS festival this summer in DC and is in limited showings the rest of the year.

Just into my 10th year of living in DC, I was challenged by 17 Blocks to make sense of the interplay of agency and circumstance, of discipline and explanation, in the outcomes of the lives on screen. I know DC residents who are like the family in this movie. They are my neighbors in Brookland, a Ward 5 neighborhood that, like many others, is still anchored by working- and middle-class African Americans with a sense of upward mobility. These are people whom I meet several times per week in community meetings across the city, talking about their decades living in Washington.

Read the whole column here.

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