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‘It only gets tougher’ | DC cyclists demand safer streets

Dozens of bicycling and pedestrian advocates protested outside the John Wilson Building Wednesday evening after three cyclists were killed in as many weeks.

D.C., DC — After three bicyclists and a pedestrian were killed in July by drivers in D.C., the community is demanding more be done to make traveling in the District safe for everyone.

“It’s one of the deadliest months for people not traveling in vehicles since the mayor announced Vision Zero in 2015. It’s unacceptable,” Rachel Maisler, a Vision Zero advocate said. “We know what needs to be done to prevent these fatalities, we have council acting to try and get some of this stuff done to prevent these fatalities and the mayor isn’t doing it. It's blood on her hands.”

Cyclists took action Wednesday by blocking off a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the John Wilson Building as a call for D.C. Mayor Bowser and the D.C. Council to fulfill the promise of Vision Zero.

The mayor envisioned, under Vision Zero, that D.C. would have zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers of the District’s transportation system by 2024. The initiative hoped to achieve that goal by more effectively using data, education, enforcement, and engineering.

DDOT data on Vision Zero’s website shows D.C. was more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists in 2021 compared to when the Vision Zero initiative was launched in 2015.

As of last month, data shows road fatalities are outpacing 2019 and 2020 and only slightly behind the number of deadly crashes in 2021.

RELATED: 'Ride of Silence' | DC cyclists, pedestrians want safety improvements now

“This is Vision Zero. They made a promise to us they’d work towards zero deaths, zero pedestrian fatalities, zero bike fatalities, zero car fatalities, and I’ve seen almost no action toward that,” Tucker Jones said. “Everybody in D.C. deserves to move around this city safely and efficiently. No matter if they choose to walk, choose to take a scooter, choose to take a bike, choose to take a bus, choose to take the metro, and if they choose to take a car.”

Wednesday’s demonstration comes two days after a third ghost bike was placed along a D.C. street. The third memorial was installed after three bicyclists were killed by drivers in D.C. in the month of July.

“It only gets tougher. Especially the last one I was at,” Jones said. “But with Michael Gordon seeing all of his family it shows how traffic violence impacts not just the immediate family but the whole community.”

RELATED: 3 ghost bikes placed along DC streets in 1 week to honor cyclists killed in this month

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