D.C. Pedestrian Plan Released

WestLast week the Post had a big story on the District’s new pedestrian plan. The only problem, as DCist pointed out, was that the actual plan was not yet available online. This week the actual plan was posted to the project website. The website also includes detailed maps of their pedestrian crash analysis, the sidewalk gap analysis, and maps and recommendations for the plan’s priority corridors. The crash map is particularly interesting – this detail of the full map shows police-reported pedestrian crashes between 2000 and 2005, with blue icons indicating one accident to red indicating over 10. Although they seem dangerous, according to this map there were no reported accidents on either Dupont or Logan Circles, underscoring the difference between perceived and actual danger.

Crash Analysis Detail

The Draft Pedestrian Master Plan found that 18% of D.C. blocks have incomplete or missing sidewalks on one or both sides of the street. It also included these statistics regarding accidents: An average of 670 pedestrians were injured each year from 2000 to 2006, and in 2004 pedestrian fatalities accounted for 22% of all traffic fatalities in the city.

Reviewing the report, the following recommendations caught my eye:

  • Complete the sidewalk network
  • Locate bus stops at the far side of intersections (after the bus crosses through the intersection) to improve safety
  • Increase ticket fine for motorists who refuse to yield to a pedestrian (It’s $50 now in D.C., Arlington charges $500)
  • Expand the photo radar speeding reduction program
  • Develop walking information on DDOT and Washington.org tourist website
  • Reduce the minimum driveway width for residential uses from 12-feet to 10-feet, and establish a 14-foot maximum width … For commercial uses, the District should reduce the minimum width for two-way traffic from 24-foot to 22-foot to reflect best practices. (Appendix C)
  • Leading Pedestrian Intervals: “A large proportion of vehicle/pedestrian collisions at signalized intersections involve left- and right-turning vehicles. One phasing strategy to improve pedestrian safety in locations with heavy volumes of turning traffic and frequent pedestrian crossings is to provide an LPI. During the leading interval, all motor vehicle flows are stopped for 2-4 seconds while pedestrians are given the WALK signal.”
  • Develop guidelines and standard details for utilizing advanced stop lines at all multi-lane uncontrolled crossings.
  • Adopt policies that encouraging medians, minimum width of 6 ft (currently 4 ft)

The consultants preparing the report, Toole Design Group, will accept comments until June 20th before revising it to issue their final plan.

> W. Post: D.C. Pedestrian Safety Strategy to Target High-Crash Intersections
> District of Columbia Pedestrian Master Plan

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. good news on the first recommendation, but why hasn’t this been a common sense thing for years? finishing the sidewalk network just seems like such a “duh” thing.

  2. Well, for one thing it means building sidewalks on lots of very quiet residential streets, many which may dead-ends with low pedestrian use.

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