DC to speed up road safety projects after children hit vehicles

D.C. officials said Tuesday that they will speed up plans to improve city intersections for pedestrian safety such as fixing speed bumps and stop signs and “right-turn stiffening measures.”

The announcement comes on the heels of recent accidents involving vehicles involving pedestrians, including the death of a person. Two children and their father were hit by a car Wednesday in the southeast of the country. Last month, a 5-year-old girl was fatally shocked by a truck while riding her bike in the Northeast, according to media reports.

“I acknowledge, like many of you, the frustration and anger that is exacerbated in our communities by traffic violence,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday, speaking on 48th Street and Minnesota Avenue NE.

“We all want our children to be able to walk to school, walk to the bus, or have fun outside on the sidewalks in front of their homes,” Ms. Bowser said. “We want our children to be able to ride their bikes and play outside without fear that someone will speed in their neighborhood without regard for their own safety or the safety of anyone.”

She said city officials are streamlining road safety projects and aim to complete 50 projects in the next six weeks.

Transportation officials will add visual reminders for motorists to drive responsibly, including high-visibility pedestrian walkways and stretches of concrete barriers. Ms. Bowser said the projects will take place in all eight of the city’s wards.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will also focus on 100 intersections within the city’s high-collision, high-injury lanes starting this week and each year, according to an update from the mayor’s office.

Project progress will be posted on the dashboard on the DDOT website.

Everett Lott, acting director of DDOT, said that as a parent he is frustrated and angry about traffic violence and unsafe driving.

“Every time I see a crowd control barrier covers, every time I see someone speeding on the road, it hurts,” Mr. Lott said. “We at DDOT are going to do everything we can to engineer these roads to make sure they’re safer, and engineer these roads to make sure they slow these cars down.”

He said road safety improvements will help protect vulnerable road users such as children, cyclists and pedestrians.

In addition, Mr. Lott said DDOT will attempt to speed up safety improvements by shortening the public comment period and limiting notices of intent for the project to those required by city law.

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