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(h/t to reader JL) US transportation secretary Ray LaHood just posted on his "Fast Lane Blog" an entry about the recent accidents on M Street, SE near the USDOT headquarters that have resulted in one DOT employee being killed and another being seriously injured after being hit by dump trucks. He writes that he is "really, really worried about our employees' safety," and that he met today with DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier, DDOT's director Gabe Klein, and staff from both agencies to talk about ways to prevent future pedestrian injuries.
He writes: "We agreed to work on a plan that attempts to solve this problem from a variety of angles. Some ideas under consideration include: Extended crossing-guard hours; Stepped-up pedestrian and vehicle enforcement; Pedestrian training and education; Speed trailers (the roadside digital signs that display a driver's speed); Prohibiting "right turn on red" in the Southeast Federal Center area."
But, he also reminds everyone that "the quickest way I can think of to prevent more accidents like these is for employees and visitors walking to and from our building to, please, stay alert." As he says, "[W]hether you're a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or a driver, having the right-of-way does not guarantee your safety."
Judging by the comment thread in my post about Wednesday's incident, there's a lot of concern about pedestrian safety in Near Southeast, not just on M Street but on most of the other streets, as well.
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Nimby says: (8/7/10 9:34 AM)
1) Reset the timing of the lights on M St to prohibit speeding
2) Set up speed Indicators (with photo ticketing) on M St
3) Hire crossing guards that actually work
4) Add 4 ways stops to every intersection in near SE
5) Add some strategic speed humps in the neighborhood
6) Reset the light at 3rd and Virginia (northbound on 3rd - entrance to the Freeway) I swear sometimes it NEVER changes - huge backups only in that direction. Have seen many, many people with no choice but to take a left on red.
7) MPD - Put a bait car anywhere in near Southeast and wait five minutes I guarantee you will catch a car thief.


Khan says: (8/8/10 11:24 AM)
They need to put stop sign for pedestrian. I have no idea why people speed on L street between 1st street and half. Every time I use the back door of the Velocity, I see some one always speeding. You can't even see a car coming because the parked cars are always blocking your view.


jill says: (8/8/10 5:45 PM)
Just throwing in another voice to echo the chorus of "can we please get the speeding under control here so people don't get hurt" -
Agreed with Nimby, particularly with #1 and #4. And we need MPD surveillance in the area. It's insane that there aren't more stop signs. And it's insane how many people speed right through the few that do exist, without even slowing down a little bit to look up. All the intersections along K and L, between New Jersey and 8th Street SE, are treacherous - particularly the intersection of New Jersey and K. The cars on K always think that the cars on NJ have stop signs (they don't) so there are always near-misses with cars... forget trying to walk across the street at a busy time.


Lawrence Impett says: (8/9/10 5:34 PM)
Too bad traffic enforcement on the part of our MPD is nonexistent in near SE and SW DC.

L. Impett

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