Here's Everything in CM Allen's Vision Zero Law Taking Effect This Year

Last September, the DC Council unanimously passed into law Councilmember Allen's Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act. Here's what you need to know about the law, which will go into effect as it is funded.

Engineering Improvements

  • For modifications that will increase safety at a high-risk intersection or corridor, reduces ANC notice to 10 days.
  • DDOT has to put in sidewalks on both sides of the street, and make crosswalks high-visibility crosswalks, when doing major roadwork, and have to connect to existing sidewalks within a block.
  • DDOT can’t do work over $1 million if DDOT can’t show that the project would, inter alia:
    • Implement a project or recommendation in MoveDC
    • Improve safety for non-drivers
    • Increase equitable access to public transportation
  • DDOT can only issue a public space permit for work done in public space over $1 million if
    • The project adds new sidewalks, high-visibility crosswalks, and bike lanes that are called for in the MoveDC plan
    • The project plans require the contractor to submit evidence that crosswalks, bike lanes, etc. are returned as required
    • DDOT determines that the applicant has done what it is supposed to do—in particular with regard to putting crosswalks and bike lanes back—for past projects
  • DDOT has to make a monthly, public report of petitions for all-way stops or signalized intersections made in the previous three months.
    • To disapprove a request for an all-way stop, DDOT has to provide a reasoning explaining why an all-way stop would decrease pedestrian safety.
  • Requires a building with 50 or more residential units to develop a plan to reduce congestion from TNCs and delivery trucks—pursuant to regulations that DDOT will write
  • Requires new developments of 10 or more units plan for ride-share and deliveries that do not block the right-of-way of sidewalks or bicycle lanes and plan for congestion
  • If DDOT is doing major street work, it has to put in protected bike lanes that are part of the MoveDC plan and make efforts to ensure that the bike lanes form a network. DDOT can opt out if building a particular PBL would make building the whole network financially unfeasible.

Enforcement Measures

  • Requires the Mayor to have 75 red light cameras and 10 bus lane cameras by Jan 1, 2022, and 30 stop sign cameras and 125 red light cameras by Jan 1, 2024.
  • 20 mph on local and collector streets
  • Makes each day after 48 hours of completing a project that a contractor doesn’t put back crosswalks, bike lanes, etc. a separate Class 1 violation. Fines per day are $2k for the first day, $4k for the second day, $8k for the third day, and $16k every day thereafter.
  • Clarifies the Mayor can impound cars parked illegally in crosswalks and bicycle lanes and allows parking enforcement staff to mail tickets when a driver leaves before receiving the ticket.
  • Can’t wear two earphones/buds while driving, and can get points for a distracted driving infraction (even if the infraction doesn’t result in an accident)
  • Requires a flashing red light on the back of bikes
  • Allows DPW to ticket a semi-trailer for parking alongside, even if not in, a bike lane
  • No right turn on red on a road with a bike lane or that is within 400 feet of a playground, school, rec center, library, Metrorail station. Allows DDOT to avoid prohibiting right on red if it can prove that prohibiting right on red would “not contribute to safety”
  • Allows Mayor to revoke license or suspend vehicle registration if someone who is required to enroll in the ignition lock program does not enroll
  • Requires the Mayor to send warning notices from ATE cameras at 8-10 mph over the speed limit (if the Mayor chooses not to send a citation at that speed)

Equity and Education for Safe Streets

  • Requires DDOT to update MoveDC by September 2021, then every 5 years. Plan has to include
    • Plan to get to 50/25/25 goals
    • Plan to ensure equitable access to public transit in “priority needs areas” that DDOT has identified has having a higher than average reliance on transit.
    • A street in each ward or bus line serving each ward that will get a dedicated bus lane
    • A list of high-risk intersections
  • Within 10 days of the Mayor submitting a proposed budget, DDOT must submit a Vision Zero infrastructure progress report that includes:
    • A list of the 15 most dangerous corridors in the District for pedestrians and cyclists
    • Projects in the proposed budget that
      • make those dangerous corridors safer
      • would increase transit equity
      • contribute to reaching the goal of only 25% of commutes by single occupancy vehicles, 50% transit, and 25% walk or bike (“50/25/25 goals”
      • decrease speed in a dangerous corridor
    • If fixes are more than 2 years away, a list of interim measures DDOT will put in place to make the identified corridors safer.
  • Adds the Dutch reach and passing distance for bikes to the driver’s license test
  • Requires someone who is converting an out-of-state license to take a written driver’s test, if they haven’t taken the test in 5 years.
  • Requires a public outreach program for Vision Zero
  • Requires DDOT to adopt a complete streets policy and report to the Council on progress
  • Requires a report after a crash that results in death or a serious injury, including interim safety measures that were put in place within 60 days after the crash
  • Requires DDOT to make Vision Zero data more accessible
  • Adds DPW to the Bicycle Advisory Council
  • Adds DMV to the Major Crash Review Task Force
  • Requires the Mayor to enter into negotiations with MD and VA about ATE reciprocity

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