Walk Without Worry legislation introduced to curb pedestrian accidents in DC

Raised crosswalks, intersections and continuous sidewalks could become the norm in D.C. 

Ward One Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, along with several other council members, introduced the Walk Without Worry Amendment Act this week. 

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It comes after a number of recent accidents involving pedestrians and drivers throughout the city. 

Nadeau says while there aren’t a ton of raised crosswalks in D.C. currently, they hope to change that by making them the standard across the city. 

"When you’re putting in a raised crosswalk or intersection, you’re actually forcing a car to slow down as it approaches because it is a higher plane than the rest of the road," Nadeau said. "Think about it kind of like a speed table where a car is not going to fly over that because they’d be worried about ruining the underside of their car." 

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Nadeau says typically when it comes to improving pedestrian safety, a lot of red tape is involving which she hopes changes if the bill passes. 

"That’s because none of this stuff is standardized," Nadeau said. "So the idea behind the bill is we know how to make crosswalks safe let’s make it the norm. Let’s make it something you don’t have to request and let’s build it into the work we’re doing now as soon as possible because we cannot wait for more children to get hit in crosswalks." 

Nadeau told FOX 5 if the bill passes DDOT would have 180 days to incorporate designs for raised crosswalks and intersections into its design and engineering manual. 

"And then they have to start doing them on all projects and if they don’t do them, they have to explain in a special report why they’re choosing not to do it."

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FOX 5 also spoke to Emily Thomas DeWolf, founder of the Lincoln Road NE Pedestrian Safety Project, says they are a group of parents and neighbors in the Eckington neighborhood who have come together to work on ways to make roads safer.  

DeWolf says the bill is a step in the right direction in improving pedestrian safety. 

"I think that it’s touching on a lot of the important points making safety features sort of the go-to making safety that is something at the forefront of design and I think that’s really important the raised crosswalks is a key part of that." 


FOX 5 did reach out to DDOT for a comment but did not receive a response.