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What you said about what we said last week

Last week’s cover package on pedestrian and cyclist safety in D.C. included a piece by staff writer Andrew Giambrone on Vision Zero, an initiative to end traffic fatalities in the District by 2024. Readers were dubious.

Commenter Northwesterner said that the problem is clearly… zombies? “Twice when my car got hit the drivers were dead-eyed idiots. One deliveryman, drawling like he was from Charles County, greasy clothes and unclean hair, gripping some odd communication device where he probably asked homeowners to sign. You could neither reason with him nor expect him to reasonably pay attention to the road. Another time, a young adult, maybe not high right then, but who had the slack-jawed look of someone who got high plenty, also incapable and incompetent of really, truly, paying attention to what they were doing, clearly a product of Mayor Barry’s Washington, DC. If DC wants to stop car accidents from them, they need to keep everyone who dropped out of school and smoked the love boat, played xbox all afternoon, and never got a job outside of Barry’s job program from getting driver’s licenses. As long as that’s part of DC, there will be car accidents in DC.” Got it. So no more deliveries or slacker teenagers.

Anybody else? Not Telling? “Removing visual clutter would also help tremendously. There’s too much to look at on most roads in DC—dozens upon dozens of road signs, plus lane-changing schemes that are unfamiliar to most drivers in the world, plus worrying about what all the other drivers are doing. A driver is almost guaranteed to miss something. Sadly sometimes that something is a pedestrian.” So it’s the roads that have been inducing ADD? We’ll have some Ritalin to go with our bike lanes. Or wait! Maybe blame cell phones?

Yeah, let’s try that. CN “Would love it if DC police would enforce the cell phone laws, or even if we could get some more signs reminding drivers about the cell phone laws. The number of people I see talking on the phone or texting is just ridiculous.” Meanwhile Gene thinks the biggest problem are the bikes. “I have yet to see one DC Police Officer give a ticket to a bicyclist for breaking the law. I’m tired of looking for blind sites to see what some nut case bicyclist does. ARE YOU LISTEN DC POLICE?” All our base will belong to Gene someday.

JM, meanwhile, laments that it’s really too difficult NOT to hit people with one’s car when one is trying to get around the city as quickly as possible. “One issue is that the city has made it so onerous to drive a car efficiently, that drivers get frustrated and speed just to beat the myriad of ill timed red lights.” The struggle is real. JM’s solution: just go the separate-but-equal route. “Rather than continuing to wage war on drivers, I’d like to see the District better separate autos from bikes and pedestrians. Some major arterials (NY Ave, North Capitol) should be preserved as high-throughput “expressways” for vehicles. Other roads should have personal cars banned completely and be preserved for bikes and buses.”