DC makes roadway changes as part of fall safety campaign to protect pedestrians, bicyclists

D.C.’s Fall Safety Blitz aims to make road improvements to better protect walkers and bikers. (WTOP/Gigi Barnett)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is calling for the installation of more speed humps, stop signs and high-visibility crosswalks for a Fall Safety Blitz initiative launched two weeks ago to protect walkers and bikers.

It’s part of Vision Zero, an effort to wipe out D.C.’s traffic fatalities by 2024. Bowser said there is more to come in the months ahead.

However, critics say the initiative hasn’t come close to that goal. With three years until that date, D.C. had the most traffic deaths in the past decade last year — 37.

Last month, the Office of the D.C. Auditor announced plans to launch a 10-month investigation into the program.

The mayor and officials from District Department of Transportation (DDOT) gave an update Monday on the fall safety campaign, which, among other measures, has installed 91 speed humps at more than 30 locations, installed or updated 16 stop signs and made other signing and pavement marking improvements.

“DDOT is also hiring an additional 40 new safety technicians,” Bowser said. “You really can’t replace the human touch to make sure intersections operate the way they’re intended to operate.”

One of those people working to keep intersections safe is Phyllis Burnett, a crossing guard near Brightwood Educational Center in Northwest D.C.

“I believe that my job is very rewarding,” she said. “I help scooters, bike riders — you name it. I have it all.”

DDOT will host a virtual job fair to hire the 40 safety technicians (formerly known as school crossing guards) on Oct. 27. Those interested can register online by 12 p.m. Tuesday.

Gigi Barnett

Gigi Barnett is an anchor at WTOP. She has worked in the media for more than 20 years. Before joining WTOP, she was an anchor at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, and a staff reporter at The Miami Herald. She’s a Navy wife and mom of three.

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