Simply stated: the regulations put the safety of pedestrians and cyclists first and the convenience of developers and construction companies a distant second.
In 2012 the Dupont and Logan Circle ANCs held joint listening sessions on public safety issues and bike and pedestrian safety was a top concern. This has influenced much of my work on the ANC for the last two years.
In ANC 2B09 when the Louis project was being built, I noted that on the east side of the street there was a protected and well lit wooden canopy walkway for pedestrians, while on the west side the Louis offered nothing more than a standard issue three foot high traffic barrier as protection. Only in the last two months of construction did they build the canopy pictured above.
In March 2013 I testified before the DC Council on the need to better define the term “Safe Accommodation” as it relates to pedestrians and cyclists when a sidewalk or bike lane is closed for construction. My language was signed into law and over the last few months I have worked with DDOT, WABA and the Bicycle Advisory Council to draft regulations that enforce those requirements.
The regulations require that developers submit traffic management plans to DDOT prior to granting of a permit that clearly show how the construction will not impede the safety and flow of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. If a sidewalk or bike lane must be closed, there are rules for how it must be handled and what accommodation must be provided to those impacted.
This is a huge win for our most vulnerable road users. I am overjoyed to see this success through from Council hearing to passage to regulation to implementation.