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Brookland families block deadly intersection during a 'chalk-in' for safer streets

Advocates blocked the intersection Sunday after a 5-year-old's death.
Credit: katie kyros

WASHINGTON — Families in northeast DC called for safer streets Sunday by covering a deadly intersection in chalk art and messages.

The “chalk-in” was held at 14th and Irving Street NE, in honor of Allie Hart, a 5-year-old girl who was hit and killed while riding her bike in the crosswalk on Sept. 13.

Those attending decorated the streets with hearts and flowers, Allie’s favorite things.

Advocates say this has been the deadliest year since 2015, when Mayor Muriel Bowser's “Operation Zero” safe streets plan was announced. Each year since has gotten progressively more deadly for pedestrians, according to advocates.

They’re calling for more 4-way stops, raised crosswalks, better signs, more speed bumps and stop sign cameras.

"Our streets need to be designed for the people who live them and use them, especially in this part of DC," said organizer Rachel Maisler.  "14th Street northwest is a throughway for drivers. It shouldn’t be treated like a highway, it’s a residential road. You can see around us it's all houses, a school, a church."

Since Allie died in September, 23 children under the age of 12 have been hit by drivers in DC. She was the 28th person and the second child under 10 struck and killed this year. 

"The other way that we're going to get to zero fatalities is to lower the number of potential conflicts," said Maisler. "We need to lower the headways on our public transit, we need our bus service to be more frequent, we need it to be more efficient, we need it to go where we need it to take us, and we need metro to reliably work."

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