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.
Mobility companies that deploy scooters and dockless bikes in the District are pushing back against new regulations for the vehicles that city transportation officials declared last week.
Half of the companies say the rules, which are poised to come into effect in January, overly restrict growth for their D.C. fleets. Another half say they have concerns about the 10 mph speed limit for electric scooters in the regulations. Currently, six companies operate either scooters or dockless bikes in D.C.: Bird, Lyft, Lime, Spin, Skip, and Jump, an arm of Uber.
Operators could maintain up to 600 dockless vehicles each on city streets as a starting point next year. With regulators’ approval, they could also expand their fleets by 25 percent every three months. As of now, 400 vehicles per operator (whether scooters or bikes, or both) are permitted, under a pilot program that the District has been running since September 2017.
But in a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser dated Nov. 11, California-based scooter-share operator Bird said the proposed cap on dockless vehicles “eliminates any chance of this program being equitable, of solving issues related to transportation deserts in the city, and ultimately of getting more cars off the road.” Bird also asked Bowser to “consider intervening in” the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) implementation of the policies to ensure “fair and practical conditions” for scooters based on “convenience and accessibility.”
Recently, Mayor Bowser unveiled proposals to make our roads safer for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. These include banning right turn on red at 100 locations, enhancing protections around school zones and intersections near bike lanes, and stiffer penalties for dangerous driving behavior.
As part of the District’s Vision Zero strategy, DFHV Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) will continue outreach and enforcement of bike lane violations and unsafe driving maneuvers by Uber, Lyft, Via, taxi, and limo drivers.
To help with road safety we ask that you tweet or email pictures or videos of alleged violations. If you see something say something – VIOs patrol 24/7 to help reduce traffic-related accidents and fatalities.
The nation’s capital early next year joins a roster of cities across the country where self-driving cars are being tested amid the real-world conditions of everyday commuter traffic.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that Ford Motor Co. will deploy a fleet of up to 10 self-driving, or semiautonomous, vehicles in the city in February as part of the automaker’s nationwide push to test driverless cars. In the city’s pilot program, the high-tech autos will aim to carry passengers and make deliveries across the city by 2021, officials said.
Supporters of self-driving cars say the artificial intelligence that controls them will remove human errors that cause accidents.