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‘We’re not doing enough’: Pedestrians killed in DC this year remembered

Holding signs bearing the names of those who died, a group walked from Franklin Square to the Wilson Building in downtown D.C. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

WASHINGTON — A walk to remember at least 10 pedestrians who were killed while crossing or walking along D.C.’s streets this year endured the cold, slush and rain Thursday night.

Holding signs bearing the names of those who died, a group walked from Franklin Square to the Wilson Building in downtown D.C.

It was also a chance for pedestrians to join together and demand action from lawmakers, said Rachel Maisler with HandlebarsDC, one of the organizers of the walk.

“Everyone deserves to travel in D.C. safely,” Maisler said.

“We’re hoping that people can see that these deaths are entirely preventable,” said Mathew Sampson, a co-organizer of the walk. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

They called for the city to make changes to infrastructure, which would make crossing and navigating the streets on foot or on a bicycle safer.

Among the changes being called for are curb extensions to make streets more narrow, which would shorten the time a pedestrian is in a crosswalk. There was also a demand for damaged sidewalks to be fixed and more sidewalks to be added throughout the city’s eight wards.

“We’re hoping that people can see that these deaths are entirely preventable,” said Mathew Sampson, a co-organizer of the walk.

D.C. Council member Charles Allen took part in the walk and held a sign with the name of Carol Joan Tomason, a 70-year-old family friend who died after she was struck by a pickup truck as she crossed H Street Northwest in October.

“We’re not doing enough as a city to make sure that we are a safe city for our pedestrians,” Allen told the crowd before the walk.

Allen recently introduced a bill that, if passed, would lower speed limits in residential neighborhoods from 25 to 20 mph, ban right turns on red in some areas and allow for cars parked on bike lanes to be towed.

Allen said he believes the legislation would make the streets safer for all who use them. “Once you walk out your front door, you’re a pedestrian,” he said.


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