Pedestrian and biker safety in DC work zones

WASHINGTON (WUSA9)--If you have ever tried to cross a street in a work zone, either by foot or on wheels, you know how frustrating and at times dangerous it can be.

Enter the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) wanting public input into some proposed rules that will require "entities that operate construction sites that block a sidewalk or bicycle lane to provide safe routes for pedestrians and bicyclists through or around work zones."

MORE: To View DDOT's Proposed Rules

"These proposed rules, which implement provisions of the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013, state that these safe routes must be equal to the pedestrian or cyclist accommodation that was blocked. For example, if a work zone blocks a protected cycletrack a bike lane that is physically separated from motor vehicle traffic must be provided for cyclists using the affected area," DDOT says in a news release. "Also, the safe pedestrian or bicycle route must be free of obstructions and surface hazards such as loose gravel or uneven surfaces and must follow the path of the original pedestrian or bicycle route as closely as is practical."

The proposed rules also require that signs be used to direct those on foot and on bikes along a detour route.

DDOT says their Director may revoke a permit if the permittee "fails to comply with these rules or the approved traffic management plan issued with their permit."

"I bike to work every day, so I have first-hand experience with the hazards that work zones can sometimes pose for bicyclists," said DDOT Acting Director Matthew Brown. "These proposed rules will make getting around the city safer for everyone, especially pedestrians and bicyclists."

If you would like to comment on DDOT's proposed rules, you an submit them here:


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