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 newsletter. He’s offering a 20% discount to THIH readers. –Maria Helena Carey
DC Council Begins Annual Oversight Hearings
This week, DC Council begins its annual oversight hearings in preparation for the next annual budget. It takes around 10 weeks to get through all the public agencies, commissions, and offices. After that, the Council holds hearings for each again — this time considering the Mayor’s budget request for the Districts next FY 2021, beginning October 1, 2020. Like with Congress, DC Council has “the power of the purse.”
I went through all of the Council oversight hearings, added those covering transportation, infrastructure, and the environment to the Street Justice calendar for paid subscribers at the bottom. I also linked to each in a Twitter thread.
1st Day Jitters from Bloomingdale’s Road Safety Features
Monday morning brought happy news to Bloomingdale residents who’ve fought for years to get traffic calming on 1st Street NW. Contractors installed curb extensions on all four corners of 1st and R Streets NW. According to resident Scott Roberts, the contractors plan to install these safety-increasing bump-outs north of Florida Avenue at a one-intersection per day pace.
The Bloomingdale Civic Association and residents have asked DDOT repeatedly to make it safer on 1st, which became over the last decade an alternative North/South commuter route to North Capitol. DDOT has many times promised minimal if any intervention, ruling out significant changes because of underground utility conflicts, among other valid reasons that don’t fix the danger on the surface.
On Monday evening, drivers were navigating the curb extensions extremely poorly. However, the confused, unpredictable reaction of drivers to the new curb extensions is not likely to be an invalidation of the new design. [Full Story]
DC: Four Traffic Deaths in Five Days of 2020
Monday’s story was about numbers: four deaths on DC roads with the first after only four hours — four families mourning after only five days. This happens after 2019’s twenty-seven road deaths, down a large percentage from 2018’s thirty-six. But, 2018 plus a few days is 31.
Two people died and multiple people were injured Sunday, January 5th, in a multiple-car crash at the intersection of Alabama Avenue SE and 13th Street SE. Early on the morning of Friday, January 3rd, a motorist struck and killed a pedestrian crossing North Capitol Street NE mid-block between O and P Streets. This is the fourth pedestrian killed on North Capitol in the last 12 months. Four hours after DC flipped calendars to 2020, a motorist piloting an SUV struck and killed Loleita Patricia Gross, “a pedestrian who was on the sidewalk near the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and L’Enfant Square SE.”