It’s been a tough summer to be a cyclist in Washington, DC. In less than four months, three individuals on bicycles and one on an e-scooter have lost their lives after being struck by a driver. While the circumstances around each crash are different, there are two commonalities: each person lost their life and can no longer speak for himself, and these tragic deaths were preventable.
In 2015, the Mayor of the District of Columbia announced an ambitious initiative called Vision Zero. The goal: zero traffic fatalities by 2024. With an action plan, a website, even a Twitter account, I have to admit, I was hopeful. Anything we can do to prevent people from being killed by vehicles, sounded good in my book.
Now it’s 2018 and fatalities have been going up, not down since the initiative was announced three years ago.
So here we are today. With the assistance of Wonk Policy & Communications, LLC, the bike community in DC has planned three memorial rides (a fourth is still in the works). Dozens of cyclists and others attended the rides we organized. We coordinated a robust media campaign to make sure the Mayor, DC government agencies, and most importantly, the public, heard the silence of the individuals who senselessly lost their lives. We called for the DC Council to hold a public hearing, to hold the Mayor and DC government agencies accountable for implementing the policies. Those policies, from safe infrastructure to speed enforcement and everything in between, will protect the lives of DC’s 700,000 residents and 20 million annual tourists. That hearing happened today and WPC Founder Rachel Maisler was one of the first people to testify.
Read her testimony here.