Sep 20, 2021 - News

Pedestrians face greater danger as D.C. reopens

A blue campaign-style sign that reads "Slow down 20 (speed limit) saves lives.

Photo: Paige Hopkins/Axios

Near-miss collisions between pedestrians and cars are spiking throughout the area as D.C. reopens, leading to a new push from activists for action from city leaders.

Why it matters: Everyday danger for pedestrians has increased as our area has become more livable and walkable — and more of our activities have moved outside.

By the numbers: Alexandria Families For Safe Streets, which uses crowd-sourced data to track the area's most accident-prone intersections, tracked an increase of 300 near-miss pedestrian incidents from June to now.

  • Arlington, Reston, and Alexandria are some of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians, according to the group's data.
  • Maryland also reported an increase in driver, pedestrian, and cyclist fatalities from 2019 to 2020.
  • Dangerous intersection data from the District's DOT shows that 12 pedestrians have died in traffic accidents this year.

The latest: A driver struck and killed a 5 year old who was riding her bike in Northeast on Sept. 13. 

  • Washington Post columnist Theresa Vargas compiled reactions to the incident, including video of cars blowing through the stop sign in front of her memorial.
  • In response, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and two other organizations sent a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city officials demanding they use funding to prioritize pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

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