Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mid-month update

Highlights of the BAC's mid-month activity.

Contributory negligence reform passes
At today's Legislative meeting, the Council passed the contributory negligence bill, officially termed the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016. It awaits mayoral signature and the standard 30-day congressional review before it becomes law.

Bicycle Awareness Motor Vehicle License Plate Amendment Act of 2016
Speaking individually, BAC member Bob Summersgill delivered the following testimony at yesterday's Transportation and the Environment Committee hearing:

Testimony on Bill 21-0759
Bicycle Awareness Motor Vehicle License Plate Amendment Act of 2016
By Bob Summersgill for the Bicycle Advisory Council

Chairman Cheh:

Thank you for holding this hearing. I am Bob Summersgill, a member of the Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC), appointed by Councilmember David Grosso.

All the members of the BAC support this legislation.

The bill will allow car owners to buy specialty license plates promoting the 3-foot minimum passing law and by assigning the application and annual fees to the Vision Zero Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Fund. It will also assign $500,000 per year from fines generated from the automatic traffic system to the fund.

There is disagreement on whether or not the bill should be more specific and include language on what words we want the license plate to include. Ideas include:

• please respect cyclists: give 3 feet
• I give 3 feet
• give [insert bicycle line drawing] 3 feet, it's the law!
• Give [bicycle stick symbol] 3 ft?
• Give 3 Feet

The other view is it becomes harder to change if it somehow doesn't work and it makes it less flexible. Thank you. I am available to answer any questions.

Here is the press release by the bill's author, Councilmember Charles Allen, and here is the bill text.

Crosstown multimodal study
Last week, DDOT held the final public meeting for the crosstown Columbia Heights/Brookland study. The final recommendation and other meeting materials can be viewed here. Jump here for a diagram of the proposed bicycle and bus facilities.

Award from federal DOT
On Friday, US DOT presented its Mayors’ Challenge Awards to cities improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety. DC won a Secretary’s Award for Overall Success and an award for improving safety laws and regulations. The BAC is proud of its behind-the-scenes contributions to this success. We're working on a blog post, but here is the DOT write-up and here is a picture of DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo with Sec. Foxx accepting DC's award.

Happy Car-Free Day
Team Bike is in the lead for this Thursday's Car-Free Day. That's the spirit!

New DC Councilmember
In case you missed it, Councilmember Robert White has taken office to fill the at-large seat former Councilmember Vincent Orange vacated.

Looking ahead
We're attending the Sept. 28 Downtown West Transportation Planning Study meeting and saving the date for an Oct. 22 Facilities Committee "rolling" meeting.