Clarifying All Walks DC’s Position on Unmarked Crosswalks
I relied on the article in the Northwest Current including quotes for the piece "All Walks DC calls for removal of unsignalized crosswalks."
Now, All Walks DC says they were misquoted.
While I didn't contact them before I wrote the piece, I did review their website and blog while preparing my article. Their website didn't mention or discuss the NW Current article, which had been published almost two weeks before my piece.
From All Walks DC:In any case, I do think there are great opportunities to take a comprehensive approach to improving pedestrian safety on major arterials, and this "controversy" might help us move that desire up the city's agenda ladder for transportation.
A recent news story in the Northwest Current titled “Residents call for solutions after crashes” (June 24, 2015) described All Walks DC as wanting “all crosswalks in the city without traffic signals to be studied and considered for removal”. We want to clarify that All Walks DC does not advocate for the removal of unsignalized crosswalks in DC. Rather, we advocate for safe and convenient walking throughout DC, including safe crossings at all intersections. The removal of crosswalk markings, while intended to improve safety, has the effect of discouraging pedestrians from using these intersections and reducing the ability of people to walk from one place to another. Instead of discouraging people from crossing at intersections deemed unsafe, we advocate for making those intersections safe to cross through improved street design and enforcement. We hope that this clears up any confusion.
One of the many documents I need to read is the MoveDC transportation plan including the section on walking.
-- Pedestrian Element
It seems to read well enough. It's no "Toronto Walking Strategy," but it's fine.
I will say that in the past I have criticized DDOT's sidewalk program for replacing sidewalks with years of useful life remaining, while not installing sidewalks in places that don't have any sidewalks to begin with.
But as is pointed out by the Pedestrian Element, in much of the city, we have a pretty good environment for walking, occasionally slippery brick sidewalks to the contrary.
In my greater neighborhood, which has a number of places without sidewalks, DDOT has recently installed sidewalks where there weren't any, which I think is a step forward to be congratulated.
There are still key gaps in the sidewalk network, but to see focused improvements--even though there are still examples of existing sidewalks being replaced many years before it is necessary--is a good thing.
When new curbs were installed here a few years ago, the city did not negotiate with the property owner for the installation of a sidewalk at the same time, which would have necessitated providing a new fence to the property owner.
Generally, especially in the core, the city already has a great infrastructure for walking. But we still have accidents, and we could do a lot more to address this, as I have discussed in "DC and Vision Zero Revisited."