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The Washington Post

D.C. lowers velocity limits to 25 mph on main roads


The velocity restrict on a few of D.C.’s main commuter corridors is dropping from 30 mph to 25 mph, within the newest effort by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) to curb the rising variety of critical visitors crashes within the nation’s capital.

The velocity discount went into impact Friday on Connecticut Avenue NW and will likely be efficient this week on New York Avenue NE, two busy routes that mixed carry almost 100,000 autos each day and ferry vital visitors from Maryland into downtown.

Two different corridors — North Capitol Road/Blair Street NW and Wheeler Street SE — will see the velocity restrict discount in coming months, the District Division of Transportation stated.

The Bowser administration has claimed that slower speeds can assist enhance security and has cited successes in different cities that applied decrease limits. Pedestrians are much less more likely to die when hit by a automotive touring on the decrease velocity, based on analysis cited by the town.

“DDOT joins peer cities together with New York Metropolis and Seattle by decreasing the velocity restrict in key corridors as a result of we all know decreasing velocity by even 5 miles per hour makes an enormous distinction in avoiding crashes and critical harm,” DDOT Director Everett Lott stated in an announcement.

Despite signage, D.C. drivers aren’t slowing in school zones, study says

The transfer is available in response to requires velocity reductions throughout the town, and notably in routes that lower by means of neighborhoods and areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle visitors. Lately, these calls have grown in response to a rash of deadly high-profile collisions involving pedestrians. Regulation enforcement officers cite velocity as a consider most of the District’s lethal crashes.

It’s unclear, nonetheless, how efficient the brand new posted limits could be with out the town first implementing any bodily enhancements to the routes, some residents and elected leaders stated, noting that new indicators will be simply ignored in routes conducive to larger speeds and absent of enforcement.

“Our roads usually are not correctly designed to maintain speeds at or beneath the velocity restrict,” stated Josh Jacobson, a Nice Plains resident working for an Advisory Neighborhood Fee seat in Ward 1 on a platform that requires safer roads. “We have to add bodily infrastructure to make it more durable to hurry and endanger our kids — extra raised and high-visibility crosswalks, extra bollards, and reductions in lane width will decelerate vehicles and save lives.”

Council member Brianne Okay. Nadeau (D-Ward 1) welcomed the change to the velocity restrict however stated extra is required for it to work, together with designing the streets for 25 mph speeds, making velocity limits clearer and posting higher velocity digital camera signage.

“Whereas this gained’t resolve all our issues … this can be a nice step,” she tweeted.

Two years in the past, Bowser set the default velocity restrict on D.C. streets at 20 mph, down from 25 mph, citing issues about rushing and different harmful driving behaviors which are a consider the next charge of visitors fatalities.

D.C. visitors crashes this yr have claimed 24 folks, together with 13 pedestrians and three bicyclists, based on metropolis information. The variety of victims is down by 5 in contrast with the identical time final yr, however fatalities have trended upward in recent times. The District last year recorded its highest number of traffic deaths in 14 years, bringing growing consideration to the variety of accidents and fatalities on metropolis streets.

Bowser pledges safer roads through transportation budget

Bowser can also be pushing a large-scale modernization and expansion of the city’s automated enforcement program, promising to greater than triple the variety of visitors cameras by the tip of subsequent yr to focus on rushing, drivers who run pink lights and cease indicators, and those that illegally use bike and bus lanes or move college buses.

Transportation officers stated metropolis engineers used a federal device often known as USLIMITS2 that helps cities set secure and constant velocity limits to decide on the 25 mph restrict on the important thing corridors. Nonetheless, they didn’t disclose any visitors engineering research justifying the velocity restrict discount. The District in recent times has performed different research of Connecticut and New York avenues as a part of deliberate adjustments in these corridors.

Alongside Connecticut Avenue NW, the town is shifting ahead with a plan to add northbound and southbound bike lanes and take away reversible rush-hour lanes that had been a supply of confusion for drivers for years. The proposed configuration for a hall that carries a median of 32,000 autos each day will lead to fewer automotive lanes.

In Northeast, work can also be advancing on the redesign of “Dave Thomas Circle,” a treacherous crossroad the place First Road NE and New York and Florida avenues converge. Metropolis officers stated that redesign consists of changes to traffic-light timings, the addition of a velocity digital camera, and the velocity restrict discount. The adjustments on the intersections, which needs to be accomplished in two years, are anticipated to have an effect on visitors movement in a route that carries a median of 65,000 autos each day.

D.C. traffic deaths at 14-year high with low-income areas hardest hit

The brand new velocity restrict will likely be in impact for your complete 5 miles of Connecticut Avenue NW, from the Montgomery County line at Chevy Chase Circle to downtown. Alongside New York Avenue NE, the 25 mph restrict is deliberate to increase from roughly the Prince George’s County line to downtown.

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