We are happy to report that the DC Department of Transportation has begun taking steps to implement the new requirements of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016, which became law on October 8.
Among other things, the new law requires DDOT to publish a weekly report on its website showing public space permits issued for construction projects and other activities that would block a street, sidewalk, bike lane, or bike path in DC.
An interactive map (pictured above) that shows locations where such blockages occur is up and running on the DDOT website https://geospatial.dcgis.dc.gov/templates/dcfinder/s2.html?appid=a17962c8f8554e469697324c736c9505
The map went online in August, according to Michelle Evans Phipps, a communications specialist with DDOT. “It’s updated automatically every day,” she told All Walks DC.
Collision Data Disclosures
The new law also mandates that DDOT publish monthly reports with information about vehicle collisions, including when and where the collision occurred, the number of people killed or injured, and why the collision occurred.
The intent of the provisions is to allow DDOT, with citizen input, to establish and make improvements at bicycle and pedestrian “priority areas,” meaning those areas with high volume vehicular-pedestrian-bicycle traffic and collisions.
Jonathan M. Rogers, a policy analyst in the DDOT director’s office, told All Walks DC that DDOT will soon begin publishing these reports.
However, he said the department first needs to make sure it does not violate health privacy act requirements when it discloses certain personal information about victims. “We’ll continue to publish the crash and violation data in the open data format in the meantime,” he said. The information is available at https://opendata.dc.gov/
All Walks DC was part of a 15-member working group that advised DC Council Member Mary Cheh, a chief sponsor of the safety measure, on aspects of the proposed legislation, which was introduced in September 2015.
Other provisions in the law include:
- integration of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure throughout the District in a “Complete Streets Policy”
- taxi and vehicle-for-hire instruction, updating such services on their obligations not to block pedestrian and bicycle activity
- a new traffic offense for aggressive driving
- a program for individuals convicted of drunk driving that could result in the installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for repeated violations
- creation of a Crash Review Task Force to review every crash handled by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Major Crash Unit and recommend changes to DC law or policies to reduce the number of crashes.