Addendum to the Testimony of Rachel Maisler,
Ward 4 Representative, DC Bicycle Advisory Council for the
Transportation & the Environment & Judiciary & Public Safety Joint Public Roundtable on the Implementation of the Vision Zero Initiative and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016
October 10, 2018
Today, one day before the record for the Sept. 27 Vision Zero Roundtable is closed, I have found myself so disturbed that I couldn’t sleep.
Just one week ago, nearly 300 people came together for a memorial bike ride for Tom Hollowell who was killed by a hit and run driver at 12th & Constitution NW on Sept. 24. I mentioned Dr. Hollowell in my original testimony. Yet, as a member of the Bicycle Advisory Council and a concerned citizen advocate, I have been unable to obtain the crash report via the Metropolitan Police Department’s FOIA process. We know no more about the driver than we knew at the ride: it was a “dark sedan.” Police have not asked for the public’s help in identifying the driver and conspiracy theories about the driver are spreading like wild fire.
But still, 300 people came together to remember Dr. Hollowell and call for safer infrastructure and more enforcement. DDOT and MPD have been silent.
And while it’s only been two weeks since the roundtable, nothing has changed. If anything, our roads are getting worse. Day after day I hear about cyclists and pedestrians getting mowed over by drivers. Every time I ride my bike or walk in DC, I’m thankful I made it to my destination unscathed – usually having experienced at least one near-miss per ride. I’m one of the lucky ones.
On Sep. 28, a driver hit a scooter rider at 5th & K NW.
On Oct. 2, a driver killed a pedestrian on the 5500 block of Central Ave. SE.
On Oct. 4, a driver hit a cyclist at 11th & Rhode Island NW.
On Oct. 8, a driver hit a cyclist riding in the 15th Street protected bike lane by M St NW.
On Oct. 10, a driver hit at cyclist at 13th & I NW.
On Oct. 10, a driver hit a cyclist at 10th & Woodley NW.
On Oct. 10, a driver hit a pedestrian at 2nd & M SE.
On Oct. 10, a driver hit a cyclist at 7th & Constitution NW – just five blocks from where Dr. Hollowell was killed.
And I’m sure this list isn’t inclusive of all the crashes in the past two weeks that involved a driver hitting a cyclist or pedestrian. These are only the crashes I’ve heard about.
THIS IS NOT OK. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. THIS IS NOT VISION ZERO.
I want to ride my bike and smile. I love to ride my bike. I love to walk around DC. I want to be proud of my adopted hometown. I don’t want to be sad, embarrassed and angry that our government isn’t doing enough to protect road users – especially the most vulnerable ones. DC can and must do better.