WASHINGTON — “No right turn on red” signs will start going up in dozens of new D.C. locations starting Feb. 19, as long as weather permits.
The District Department of Transportation is banning right turns on red at about 100 new intersections throughout the city, and the signs will be installed over the next six months by the end of July.
The effort supports Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Vision Zero Initiative that was launched in 2016, aimed at eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries in the nation’s capital by 2024.
“We have taken a number of approaches to make intersections across the District safer, and banning right turns on red in over 100 intersections is one of those approaches,” DDOT Director Jeff Marootian told WTOP.
The other evening as I worked in a coffee shop on a busy intersection at rush hour in Washington, DC, I was struck by the sheer magnitude of the number of drivers passing by that were looking down at their phones. Over the hour I watched, at least half of the drivers who were stopped at the red light looked down at their phone screens at least once, hurriedly scrolling and typing away, entirely oblivious to the fact that the light had turned green until they received a helpful honk from the car behind. When the light was green at least a quarter of those passing through were glancing down at their phones or fixated on some knob or dial on their console, glancing up only sporadically to see if the car ahead was braking. While driverless cars may eventually free us to spend our commutes entirely on our phones, in the meantime, could AI-powered traffic cameras finally rid of the dangers of distracted drivers?
A bill introduced in D.C. this week would give e-bike and electric scooter riders more rights when they are involved in crashes.
Council Member Mary Cheh introduced a bill on Tuesday designed to give e-bike and electric scooter riders the same protections as pedestrians and regular bike riders.
The proposed amendment to Cheh’s 2016 Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act would mandate that scooter and e-bike riders be found at least 50 percent liable before their civil claims for damages are denied.
“The prospect of this law applying to them is if they’ve been seriously injured and they’ve been applying for damages,” Cheh said. “You are never barred from recovery if it was an accident with a car unless it’s more your fault than the car’s fault.”
Everyone has to start somewhere, and air taxis are no exception.
Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, said it completed the first flight of its autonomous air taxi Tuesday at a small airport outside Washington, DC. No one was on board. The flight lasted less than a minute, according to Boeing, and it didn’t actually go anywhere. Instead, it hoveredabove the runway. Boeing declined to share how high above the ground it flew. ButBoeing is hailing the achievement as a milestone for its NeXt division, which develops autonomous airplanes. The flying carprototype is 30 feet long and 28 feet wide. It’s designed to fly up to 50 miles at a time.
Road sign in the street of Washington DC, USA. It is located near the National Mall on one of the main streets.[/caption]
As part of D.C.’s effort to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is setting up a new Vision Zero office that will focus on safety strategies, including through engineering, regulation, and community engagement.
Starting in March, the office’s inaugural director will be Linda Bailey, who was most recently the executive director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, a group of more than 60 North American cities, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced last week. Bailey has helped shape policies around street design, bike infrastructure, public space, and sustainable stormwater systems, per Bowser’s office. Her resume includes “work on the accommodation of autonomous vehicles”—which Ford is anticipated to begin testing in the District this year.