Rally and Protest for “Streets That Don’t Kill People” Wednesday

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Map showing locations of District of Columbia Vision Zero Traffic Fatalities, 2022 Year to Date. arcgis.com

Advocates are rallying to demand action from Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and DC Council in the wake of what they say is the one of the deadliest months for cyclists on District streets since Vision Zero was announced in 2015.

The rally takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Wed., July 27, in front of the Wilson building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). All are encouraged to join, rain or shine. Attendees are encourged to wear white.

There have been 21 traffic fatalities in the District so far in 2022. Of those, eight people were killed in March, five of them pedestrians. Four peoples’ lives were taken in July:

  • Michael Hawkins Randall was traveling by bicycle and Charles Jackson walking down the street when both were killed by a driver who crashed into a fireworks stand on July 2 near the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Nannie Burroughs Avenue NE.

  • Michael Gordon was killed while riding his bike by a driver in DC at Seventh Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, on July 15.

  • Shawn O’Donnell was killed by a driver at 21st and I Streets NW while bike commuting on July 20.

The District’s Vision Zero goal is to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2024. But organizers of a rally planned for Wednesday evening outside the Wilson building say only continued pressure from constituents will force the District’s decisionmakers to create a city in which no one is killed by a driver.

“Words without strong action, funding and enforcement have left blood on our streets,” reads the event press release. “These preventable deaths have left blood on the mayor’s hands.”

Advocates say they want the Mayor and DC Council to ensure Vision Zero is fully implemented, fully fund the Protected Bike Lane (PBL) network and introduce legislation with a new approach to enforcement of laws and accountability for drivers.

They also want council to support legislation mandating side underrails in semi-trucks and trailers. Those are designed to keep pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists from being run over by a large truck’s rear wheels in a side-impact collision. Two of the cyclists who died in July were hit by the driver of dump trucks.

“Don’t let the politicians and driving apologists tell you otherwise: these deaths could have been prevented. The tools to make our streets less deadly are readily available,” said co-organizer and Washington Area Bicyclist Association Advocacy Director Jeremiah Lowry. “They are well tested. They are in use in cities across the country and around the world.”

Find more details on Facebook here. TW: Please note that the page contains visual and verbal representations of traffic violence.