WASHINGTON (DC News Now)—Councilmember Matt Frumin is calling for changes along Connecticut Avenue after a multi-vehicle crash killed one person last month.
The crash, which happened outside of the National Zoo, involved four vehicles. Three people were critically injured in the crash. Police said a 21-year-old man was killed.
Monday, Frumin sent a letter to DDOT Director Everett Lott asking that traffic calming measures be implemented on the roadway immediately.
“This tragedy occurred near the Smithsonian National Zoo, a pedestrian-heavy area often traversed by children and their families,” wrote Frumin. “Unfortunately, the crash was not a surprise. Connecticut Avenue NW is a Vision Zero high crash corridor, and there were more than 34 crashes on the corridor in the last calendar year, some of them fatal.”
The Ward 3 councilmember is requesting that rush hour parking restrictions on Connecticut Avenue be eliminated.
“You make a road thinner and the traffic slows down. Having parking on the side of the street is in effect a road diet. This has been an issue for a long time,” he said.
He’d also like to see automated traffic enforcement cameras placed on the road. And, speed feedback signs to alert drivers when they are speeding.
“We lowered the speed limit here, we eliminated the reversible lanes, we still had that crash so let’s try something different,” he said.
“There’s always a lot of traffic, but there’s also a lot of people here,” said Jeffrey Engels, who lives on Connecticut Avenue.
Engels said the street is always busy with speeding and distracted drivers.
“It’s not so much that I worry about it, I’m conscious of it,” he said. “I would pause even on a green light that says it’s clear to walk to make sure people are stopping.”
Engels would like to see traffic slowed down, although his focus is more on ensuring people are paying attention.
“Fewer lanes of traffic might slow things down, or it might cause a bottleneck. I’m just not sure,” he said. “I’d like to see whoever is out on the road more aware of the environment and what’s going on. As well as, the pedestrians need to be more aware of the vehicles themselves.”
Heather Fierce, who also lives on Connecticut Avenue, agrees.
“I think the most important thing, I think whatever (council) decides to do, is education. People need to understand it. Because what I’ve also seen living here over the years, is confusion,” she said.