Safer and More Reliable Transportation
We need safer streets for all
I believe in a Ward 3 with vibrant, walkable neighborhoods accessible to people of every age. This means safe streets, as promised by the Mayor’s Vision Zero Initiative. Vision Zero, however, has failed to live up to that promise: 2021 was the deadliest year on DC roads since 2007. The District Department of Transportation has the tools to make our streets safer and more accessible but has failed so far to do so.
This bureaucratic intransigence has an actual human cost: in my neighborhood, a woman was struck in broad daylight at a crosswalk on Porter Street. Fortunately, she recovered. Months after notifying DDOT of the myriad issues contributing to the accident, nothing has been done. This is unacceptable. As your Councilmember, I will hold DDOT and the Bowser Administration accountable for the repeated and tragic failures of the Vision Zero Initiative and push for the policies that prioritize pedestrian safety.
I understand that we cannot expect drivers to be perfect, especially given the many distractions on the road. That’s why we need to engineer our roads toward safety for all. I support Councilmember Nadeau’s Walk Without Worry Amendment Act to turn crosswalks into speed tables and to raise intersections to slow drivers down. These types of changes to road engineering in the District will inhibit speed creep and maintain driver focus, which will get us closer to the promises of Vision Zero. Coupled with a modal shift toward transit and bicycles, recommended below, we can turn the tide on pedestrian fatalities and create safer streets for all.
Expand Bus Service throughout Ward 3
We need robust bus service across Ward 3 that is regular, reliable, and relevant. Unfortunately, many of Metrobus’s legacy bus routes leave portions of Ward 3 unserved and others underserved. There’s a solution, though. We can use our comparatively agile and frequent DC Circulator to fill in gaps in service, such as with the much missed L1, and to create new routes based on residents’ needs. The increased frequency of the Circulator will translate to availability, which will give residents the mobility necessary to visit friends across the District, get to/from school, commute to work, and explore the city we all call home. Increasing and expanding bus service will ease congestion by moving some cars off the road and connect those who live, work, and play in Ward 3 to the rest of the District.
As the District grows, we will need comprehensive transit improvements to Connecticut Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue. Bus rapid transit will be the smart, environmentally friendly way to keep DC moving well into the future, but we have to start planning now.
Taking the bus should be the easy, convenient choice. As the Ward 3 Councilmember, I will make sure that we have robust, available, and efficient bus service connecting our neighborhoods with the rest of the District.
Toward a Connected Bike Lane Network
I’ve been a bicycle commuter. I’ve also been a long-time advocate for a connected bike lane network, including the protected bike lanes on Connecticut Avenue. In 2017, two neighbors and I proposed an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan to re-evaluate Connecticut Avenue’s reversible lanes and to consider whether to add bicycle lanes. In 2018, I successfully pushed for ANC 3C support of the Connecticut Avenue study. In 2019, I fought for the contraflow lanes on Woodley Place. In 2021, I co-authored and passed ANC 3C’s support for the Connecticut Avenue protected bike lanes, now known as Concept C. I’ll continue the fight for bike lanes on Connecticut Avenue until I actually get to ride down them.
We need a Councilmember who is a leader on safe bicycle infrastructure across Ward 3 and the District. I’ve been that leader for years on my ANC and I will be that leader on Council. As your Councilmember, I will propose bicycle lanes to connect Cathedral Heights, Friendship Heights, AU Park, Chevy Chase, and the Palisades to a Ward 3 bicycle network; fully fund Concept C for Connecticut Avenue; and push to expand Capital Bikeshare for All to include residents at or below 400% of the federal poverty guidelines. In addition, I will propose legislation to create a tax credit or exemption for e-bikes similar to the electric vehicle tax exemption.
Greener DC-owned Transportation Fleets
We must transition the various District-owned fleets to zero-emission vehicles earlier than the District’s goal of 2045. Our garbage trucks, our school buses, and our Circulators all have average lifespans of 15 years, which means that, through regular replacement that we would do anyway, we can have zero-emission fleets no later than 2037.
Create Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
As our transportation goes electric, we will need to install a District-wide electric-vehicle-charging infrastructure. We’ll also need to remove bureaucratic barriers for those who wish to extend EV charging infrastructure to the public space, such as to the curb outside one’s home – this means removing barriers between various agencies including DDOT for public space and DCRA for wire installation permissions as well as ensuring coordination with Miss Utility.