Resolution Regarding the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Notice of Intent 24-02-TESD regarding reduction of the speed limit on Nebraska Avenue NW

Whereas, ANC 3E has a long history of advocating for the improved walkability and bikeability of neighborhoods and improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists;

Whereas, on January 31, 2024 ANC 3E received Notice of Intent 24-02-TESD from DDOT that DDOT intends to lower the speed limit on Nebraska Avenue NW between Macomb Street and Military Road NW from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour;

Whereas, Nebraska Avenue transects a significant portion of ANC 3E, running from its intersection at Reno Road to its intersection with Rockwood Parkway, a distance of 1.6 miles;

Whereas, over the 1.6 miles within ANC 3E Nebraska Avenue directly abuts the campuses of Alice Deal Middle School, Jackson-Reed High School, the American University Law School, the American University Main Campus and the National Presbyterian School. In the case of the American University Main Campus Nebraska Avenue in fact divides the campus with hundreds of student beds located in dorms on the south side of the Avenue.  Nebraska Avenue also borders Fort Reno park, is heavily used by students and their families accessing Murch Elementary School and includes single family homes;

Whereas, the Sustainable DC plan seeks to reduce reliance on automobiles and to expand provision of safe, secure infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, with the goal to increase biking and walking to 25% of all commuter trips;

Whereas, in January of 2022 the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced a National Roadway Safety Strategy which set a long term goal of getting to zero roadway fatalities in the United States[1];

Whereas, safety is the top priority of the USDOT and many of the USDOT operating administrations play a role in improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists[2];

Whereas, in December of 2015 DC Mayor Muriel Bowser set a ”Vision Zero” goal to get the District of Columbia down to zero roadway fatalities by 2024[3];

Whereas, DDOT has sought to reach this objective of zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers using the city’s transportation infrastructure by the year 2024 through more effective use of data, education, enforcement, and engineering in its Vision Zero initiative;

Whereas, in 2021 the District of Columbia instead trended in the wrong direction with 40 total roadway deaths including 17 pedestrians and 3 bicyclists and among the pedestrian and bicyclist deaths were two children[4];

Whereas, in 2022 the District of Columbia modestly trended in the right direction with 35 total roadway deaths[5];

Whereas, in 2023 the District of Columbia recorded 49 total roadway deaths[6] which was the highest total in 16 years. The District’s goal of reaching zero roadway deaths by 2024 appears to be completely out of reach;

Whereas, numerous peer reviewed studies[7] have shown that lowering speed limits reduce vehicular speeds and accidents and other US cities that have reduced speed limits have realized reductions in both crashes and the severity of crashes[8].

Now therefore be it resolved, ANC 3E supports the DDOT proposal to reduce the speed limit on Nebraska Avenue from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour.

Be it further resolved, ANC 3E believes that additional traffic calming and safety measures should be considered in the corridor including but not limited to installing speed cameras, adding red-light cameras at signalized intersections and physical traffic calming infrastructure such as traffic islands and reducing travel lanes in areas with high pedestrian traffic.

ANC 3E approved this resolution at its meeting on February 8, 2024, which was properly noticed and at which a quorum was present.  The resolution was approved by a vote of 8-0-0.  Commissioners Jonathan Bender, Diego Carney, Matthew Cohen, Jeffrey Denny, Ali Gianinno Rohin Ghosh, Amy Hall and Tom Quinn were present.

__________________________

ANC 3E

By Jonathan Bender, Chairperson

[1] https://www.transportation.gov/NRSS

[2] Available at: https://www.transportation.gov/pedestrian-bicycle-safety#:~:text=Safety%20is%20the%20top%20priority,safety%20for%20pedestrians%20and%20bicyclists

[3] https://wtop.com/dc/2015/12/mayor-bowser-unveils-plan-to-make-d-c-streets-safer/

[4] https://dcist.com/story/22/01/07/2021-deadliest-year-dc-roads/

[5] https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/traffic-data

[6] https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2023/12/20/dc-reckless-driving-traffic-deaths/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989038/

[8] https://www.motor1.com/news/661329/iihs-study-lower-speed-limits-on-side-streets-make-roads-safer/

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Resolution Regarding DDOT NOI 24-02 – Nebraska Avenue Speed Limit Reduction Final

Resolution Regarding DDOT NOI 24-02 – Nebraska Avenue Speed Limit Reduction – updated Draft

Resolution Regarding DDOT NOI 24-02 – Nebraska Avenue Speed Limit Reduction Draft