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Bicyclist Community Gathers to Demand Change

By: CSCS

Last week the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) organized a rally to raise awareness about the alarming upward trend of bicyclist fatalities in the District and the Mayor’s lack of commitment to the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan. In the past month, two preventable deaths, one of which was a recent high school graduate just starting out his last summer before college, rocked the community and sparked outrage. Over the past three years, the number of bicyclist fatalities has risen, and as of July 2018 there were 3 more fatalities than this time last year. The Vision Zero Action Plan, which the Mayor committed to in 2015, called for 67 specific safety deadlines to be met by the end of 2017. As of July 2018 only 32 of those deadlines have been met, and the Mayor’s office did not even release a progress report in 2017 to share updated deadlines.

WABA members were fed up with the City’s failure to protect bicyclists and rallied on the steps of the Wilson Building to send the Mayor a clear message, “we’re doing the best we can, isn’t good enough.” The gatherers mourned the loss over 100 members of the bicyclist community throughout the past several years. Many of these deaths would have been preventable with the safety measures proposed in the Vision Zero Action Plan. WABA staff then held a meeting with the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, Kevin Donahue, to discuss a concrete plan for change and to demand that Mayor Browser make “people not dying her priority.” Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. stands with WABA in their fight for change. The bicycling community in the District is rapidly growing due to the healthy and environmentally friendly benefits, and we need to protect the bicyclists on our roadways by putting an end to preventable deaths.