You, too, can advocate for safer streets. An important opportunity to do so is coming up in a couple of weeks: at DC Council hearings.
Each year the Council goes through a budget process and holds two types of hearings: oversight and budget. The DC Council Committees prepare questions that the agency heads respond to at these hearings. But before their testimony, the public has a chance to weigh in.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are the two agencies which have the most impact on pedestrian safety. Here are the hearing dates and times:
MPD Oversight Hearing
February 27 at 10 AM
DDOT Oversight Hearing
March 4 at 11 AM
Both hearings are held in the Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, a convenient distance from Metro Center. You can sign up to testify at action.dccouncil.us/page/s/sign-up-to-testify, or call the numbers above. Usually, you will only have 3 minutes to provide testimony. My rule of thumb is no more than one single-spaced page. It is good to bring 15 copies with you. Be prepared for questions from the Chair. For the MPD hearing, it is Councilmember Tommy Wells and for Transportation, it is Councilmember Mary Cheh.
Tips on testifying:
- Chose one issue. There is usually no time for more.
- Shorter is always better.
- Use facts/research to back up your opinion.
- Use personal experience.
MPD: Need for more traffic enforcement:
- Drivers do not stop for pedestrians in a cross walk
- Drivers go through red lights
- Drivers do not stop at stop signs
- Drivers speed
- Sidewalk maintenance – use photos and specific examples
- Filling sidewalk gaps – give specific examples
- Traffic light timing where walkers need more time time to cross the street – give specific location
- Experiences with using 311 for service requests such as fixing sidewalks and requesting stop signs
For other ideas: