At its April meeting the TPB proclaimed May 17 as Bike to Work Day in the Washington region. The board also received a briefing on road safety in the District of Columbia, learned about findings from the Air Passenger Survey, and received an update on the upcoming Community Leadership Institute (CLI).
There were two action items on the April agenda. The board approved an amendment to the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to update WMATA projects with new funding details.
Listen to the WMATA presentation.
Proclaiming May 17 as Bike to Work Day
Always an exciting action item, at the April meeting the board set the date for Bike to Work Day in the region. This year the TPB proclaimed May 17 as Bike to Work Day. Bike to Work Day promotes biking as a commuting option. The event is a way to encourage commuters to give biking a try and is a day of celebration for all bike commuters.
Colin Browne representing the Washington Area Bicyclists Association said a few words about Bike to Work Day. WABA co-hosts the event with Commuter Connections. “Bike to Work Day is a regional celebration of bicycling….and an opportunity for jurisdictions to showcase their progress and the work that they’re doing to make places more bikeable,” he said.
This year there will be 115 pitstops throughout the region along with giveaways and prizes. To get your Bike to Work Day t-shirt be sure to register at biketoworkmetrodc.org.
Listen to the presentation and proclamation.
District Department of Transportation safety briefing
At the January TPB meeting when the board set federally required data driven safety targets for the region. Board members were concerned that the latest numbers showed more fatalities on the region’s roads than in the previous year. As part of its resolution, the board asked for briefings from the transportation agencies about their safety programs and plans to improve road user safety. At the March meeting the Virginia Department of Transportation presented. In April, the second to present was the District of Columbia.
For each presentation, TPB staff asked the departments of transportation (DOTs) to provide an overview of their state safety programs and discuss the factors that contribute to fatal and serious injury crashes in their parts of the region. They were also asked to talk about their strategies, programs, and activities to address safety.
DDOT representative Linda Bailey, the new director of the District’s Vision Zero office, provided an overview of DDOT’s staff and budget. She also presented the most common factors seen in crashes that result in serious injury or death. She noted that people who are walking and biking and not protected inside vehicles are the most vulnerable in a crash.
The District also has a Major Crash Review Task Force to take a multi-disciplinary view of major crashes and to evaluate the causes of fatalities and serious injury.
The District is removing right turns on red at many intersections, hardening left turns to slow drivers down, installing leading pedestrian signals at lights, using tactical urbanism, and other designs to make the streets safer. DDOT is also adding more slow zones and lowering speed limits in targeted places throughout the District. Other interventions include all-way crosswalks when the lights are red and allow pedestrians to cross in all directions, also called a Barnes Dance or pedestrian scramble.
Vision Zero also includes an educational component. A big part of this, the District teaches children about biking and created a traffic garden to give children a place to practice their skills.
DDOT’s Vision Zero program will be undergoing an update to create a Vision Zero 2.0 plan later this year.
During the board’s discussion, board members asked a number of questions to better understand the data and noted ways the jurisdictions could work together and learn from one another.
Board member Phil Mendelson asked about data on behaviors leading up to crashes. He asked if there was data and analysis on jaywalking like there might be for drunk driving. Bailey explained that the way these crashes are classified by law enforcement usually notes a “failure to yield.” She also explained that the data that is reported largely depends on the collection at the scene and collecting better data is something the District is working on.
Board member Kacy Kostiuk asked about the flashing beacons for pedestrian crossings and wondered about how they are placed. Bailey said that the agency takes resident requests then evaluates whether it is warranted at that location.
Board member David Snyder noted that many of the issues are common throughout the region and he said he hoped that the DOTs can share information with each other. He said he hopes that the information that is being shared can eventually be shared with the other states and create some policy recommendations across the region. “My hope is that at the end of this analysis we’ll actually be able to come up with some recommendations to do something,” he said
Listen to the full presentation and board discussion.
Community Leadership Institute 16
The TPB has kicked off the 16th Community Leadership Institute (CLI). CLI’s purpose is to teach community leaders about how transportation decisions are made and how they can make a difference. The educational program started in 2006 and has trained about 300 participants over the years. This round is the 16th CLI.
Over the course of three sessions, community leaders will learn about transportation planning, the region, and will meet and work with leaders from all parts of metropolitan Washington. The curriculum includes presentations and role playing games to give participants the chance to really understand how complex transportation planning can be. The hope is to teach community leaders how to think regionally and act locally, learn when to get involved in the planning process, expand their networks and meet others with different points of view, and most importantly how to get involved with the TPB.
Listen to the presentation.
Highlights from the Air Passenger Survey: Board members received a presentation on findings from the air passenger survey and learned about air systems planning in the region. Read the TPB News article about the survey. Listen to the presentation.
Citizens Advisory Committee: At its April meeting, the CAC met with representatives from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration as part of the TPB’s federal review process. Federal representatives asked the CAC about the TPB’s transportation planning process and public involvement. In his report to the TPB, CAC Chair Robert Jackson also noted that two former CAC members had been guests on the Kojo Nnamdi show. They were discussing highway tolling in the region and mentioned the TPB’s work. Read the CAC report. Listen to the report.
Cover photo by Joe Flood on Flickr.