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Thread: As Traffic Deaths Rise, D.C. Officials Propose More Bike Lanes And Slower Speed Limit

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    Default As Traffic Deaths Rise, D.C. Officials Propose More Bike Lanes And Slower Speed Limit

    http://dcist.com/2018/10/as_traffic_...p_dc_plans.php

    [T]he District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is proposing two quick fixes: reducing speed limits from 25 to 20 miles per hour on neighborhood streets, and accelerating the construction of protected bike lanes on more than a dozen corridors, which could be completed in less than three years.

    DDOT officials may also soon be responsible for automated ticket enforcement that will allow them to move speed and red light cameras, customize the speeding threshold for certain corridors and shorten the time it takes to mail out tickets. All of these measures aim to make the program more effective.

    Bowser also is hosting a series of Vision Zero events this week to highlight the problems and educate the public.

    On Tuesday, she will host a Mayor-Council breakfast to talk about the issue. Later in the day, she will visit Garfield Elementary for a “Slow Down campaign,” reminding drivers to slow down and use caution around school zones.

    On Thursday, District police will launch a Traffic Safety Blitz to increase ticketing and raise awareness around the dangers of double parking, blocking the box, obstructing bike lanes and other violations that threaten the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
    I like the idea of lowered speed limits but without enforcement, they won't work.

    I'm all for speed bumps. Big, burly, undercarriage-busting speed bumps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    http://dcist.com/2018/10/as_traffic_...p_dc_plans.php



    I like the idea of lowered speed limits but without enforcement, they won't work.

    I'm all for speed bumps. Big, burly, undercarriage-busting speed bumps.
    We just need to peer pressure people into not speeding. I was young when MADD was achieving most of it's victories. If my understanding is correct, although there was a public education campaign, the real gains came from successfully advocating for legislation that lowered BAC limits, establishing open container laws and holding the police accountable for enforcing these laws.

    From the Mayor:
    “I do think that people can change behavior — look what happened when a bunch of moms got together and said no more drinking and driving,” Bowser said pointing to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the group that highlighted and helped reduce the behavior in the ’80s and ’90s. “So I don’t think that we can underestimate the power of the influence of our peers in this regard. But I do think that we have to be consistent (with enforcement).”

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    20 MPH is unrealistic. No one will adhere to it, even with serious enforcement. Better to enforce existing speed limits and keep people off their phones while driving.

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    20 MPH certainly makes sense for narrow residential streets, which DC has in abundance.

    Where streets are over designed - lanes too wide, too many lanes, looks like a highway - neither speed bumps nor traffic enforcement are the real answer - the best approach is to make the street look less like a highway - by narrowing the lanes, removing general travel lanes, other changes to the streetscape. (not to say DC does not need more enforcement to leverage the existing and proposed laws, but we need to be realistic on the limits of non automated traffic enforcement - even in Va where there is a more significant commitment by LE to traffic enforcement, the police simply cannot be in enough places all the time to make getting a ticket for a violation a near certainty)

    All in all I like this whole package (including more intersections with no right on red, more PBLs, enforcement improvements for parking in bike lanes, etc) and very much appreciate what DC bike advocates have done to focus on this issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post

    I'm all for speed bumps. Big, burly, undercarriage-busting speed bumps.
    I learned at the last Alexandria BPAC meeting I attended that the reason "Big, burly, undercarriage-busting speed bumps" aren't used so much anymore is they can cause delays for emergency vehicles. DOT has some interesting info on it:
    https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/speedmgt...es/module5.cfm

    From the site:

    Measures with Vertical Deflection

    A traffic calming measure that causes vertical deflection to a motorist passing over it forces the motorist to slow in order to pass over the measure comfortably. This slowing of an emergency services vehicle results in longer response time. The magnitude of the slowing depends on multiple factors.

    The following vertical deflection measures have the potential to negatively affect fire vehicles and are typically contentious with fire departments:

    • Speed hump
    • Speed table
    • Raised intersection
    • Raised crosswalk


    ....................

    Two vertical deflection measures have been developed specifically to accommodate fire vehicles. These measures should be considered in a location where mobility of fire vehicles is a high priority:

    • Speed cushion (also known as speed slot, speed lump, and speed pillow)
    • Offset speed table

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    The website also has a good list of alternatives that wont lead to the ambulance or fire truck you called getting delayed or damaged while in route to save your life or home.

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    The speed limit on the Suitland Federal Center is 15 and you would be right in assuming everyone has a hard time going under 25. When I drive under 25, people tailgate me pretty bad. Mostly the morons at NMIC. When I'm on my bike, as you would expect they are all compelled to pass me despite the fact I'm going over the speed limit as well.

    I think part of it is just cars today. From my experience at SFC, it is literally difficult to make cars maintain speed less than 25mph. Around 20mph, most cars are still in 2nd gear and they're a little herky jerky whether you apply gas or not. Things don't smooth out until you get to 3rd, which is more like 30. Going back to standard transmissions would fix that.

    It seems like people have already nailed it - if they strictly enforce the laws they already have then current speed LIMITS might actually be effective in most areas.

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    Personally I am more interested in raised crosswalks these days than speed humps/tables. A raised crosswalk, in addition to serving as a speed table, also highlights the crosswalk location fairly dramatically, and it also, safety aside, directly improves the pedestrian experience by allowing the pedestrian to remain at the same level as the sidewalk. IIUC they are standard treatments in the NL. I have been told there are particular design constraints on them (ADA related perhaps?) and I am not aware of any studies on their effectiveness, but I am interested in learning more about both issues.

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    I grew up (and first learned to drive) here. I can assure you that I quickly figured out how to drive an automatic (granted, a 1972 Impala) at less than 20MPH.


    https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6294...7i16384!8i8192

    OTOH it got my dad so nervous he couldn't teach me to drive, and I finally learned from a driving school (a story for another time)

    (I am also saddened, despite my YIMBYISM, that both Jamie's and Geraldine's houses have been torn down and replaced with the multiplexes beloved of the Haredi Jews of the neighborhood, and the house in between appears ready for teardown)
    #theworldwehavelost

    (On the other hand, through the wonder of modern technology, most google maps, I have discovered that on Kings Highway in SE Brooklyn there is now a certified kosher sports bar - #themindreels)
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 10-23-2018 at 01:06 PM.

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    There's really only one way to fix this--national driver licensing with testing and re-certification for motor vehicle drivers every two or three years. It's too easy to get a license for life and forget every traffic safety concept and law. Driving a car is not in the Bill of Rights. It's a privilege. We should use Germany's per-licensing driver education as a model. Can't maintain control on a skid pad (which approximately rain, snow, and ice conditions)--no license for you. Don't remember why tailgating is one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel--no license for you. Can't remember every law for all 50 states? Oh, well; that's why there needs to be one law of the law. More than 100 people will be killed today in traffic accidents. It's time we took some real half measures to fix this problem instead of pretend measures like the current proposal. The problem is not cyclists or right turns on red. The problem is the majority are horrible motor vehicle operators with far below average driver education and maturity.
    Last edited by VikingMariner; 10-23-2018 at 01:04 PM.

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    How many of the pedestrian/cyclist fatalities this year have been due to speed versus things like turns at intersections and running lights and such?

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