WASHINGTON — A group of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners are pushing the DC Council and Mayor to ensure traffic camera revenue funds traffic safety measures.
In the budget Mayor Muriel Bowser proposed a few weeks ago, she funnels the estimated half a billion dollars in revenue to general budget measures.
“I was incredibly frustrated and angry, because this was that original intent that was written, was approved by law by the council and signed by the mayor. And it was a way to fund the Vision Zero omnibus bill, which is a very key traffic safety legislation that was passed a few years ago," Kwan said. "There is the public criticism that traffic cameras are viewed as predatory and as just a revenue stream.”
Christy Kwan, ANC for 6C01, and close to 80 other ANCs sent a letter to these leaders, calling on them to make sure the revenue is going to the place it was originally intended.
Right before the mayor announced her budget, the DC auditor released a report saying the District wasn’t properly funding Vision Zero, which was part of why they weren’t making much headway in reducing traffic deaths.
The Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) System Revenue Designation Amendment Act of 2022 states that revenues from the traffic cams are supposed to go to vision zero initiatives and other traffic safety efforts.
The ANC letter also criticizes the reduction in funding for DPW enforcement and DDOT vision zero resources.
This fight is personal for Kwan.
“My cousin, [Jamie,] was killed in a crash 21 years ago, and actually, I think it's 22 years ago, this month," Kwan said. "And as an ANC Commissioner, I hear from my constituents fairly frequently about unsafe situations. I do my work to make sure that no others suffer the loss that I have and go through the life-debilitating changes that I know many crash survivors have experienced.”
The DC Council’s Transportation Committee has a budget hearing at 9 a.m., where DDOT will be testifying.