On Saturday, D.C. transportation officials and advocates are hosting a high-crash site visit in Ward 8, the city’s southernmost ward and the one that has seen the most traffic fatalities so far this year—half a dozen in all. The visit is scheduled to take place on South Capitol Street SW from Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE to Atlantic Street SW, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Representatives from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership are set to participate in the event. Such visits are done throughout the city with the purpose of identifying street safety issues and decreasing crashes, a goal of D.C.’s Vision Zero initiative.
“This is one of six [high-crash site visits] this year, and the first visit to happen in Ward 8 in 2019,” WABA notes in a release. “Originally, DDOT planned five site visits, all in Northwest. WABA requested this sixth site visit, as there weren’t any planned for Ward 8.” Pedestrians, drivers, and one motorcyclist have died as the result of traffic crashes in that ward this year.
In addition, DDOT Director Jeff Marootian and Ward 8 D.C. Councilmember Trayon White intend to soon hold a community meeting about controversial bike lanes that were recently established on Alabama Avenue SE, a major east-west corridor. White and some Southeast neighbors have criticized the transportation agency over the bike lanes, saying DDOT did not meaningfully involve them in the planning process and removed longtime parking spots. But Marootian says DDOT did engage the community and the lanes are meant to improve safety.
The meeting was initially scheduled for June 24 at the Douglass Community Center (1922 Frederick Douglass Court SE) but was postponed late Friday “due to scheduling conflicts,” White announced on Facebook. The District has witnessed 12 total traffic fatalities in 2019.
This post has been updated to reflect that the meeting on the bike lanes has been delayed.