Curb Extensions Act of 2019

Introduced: May 7, 2019

Co-introducers: Councilmembers Anita Bonds, Elissa Silverman, Brianne Nadeau, Mary Cheh, Brandon Todd, and Charles Allen


Summary: To require the installation of curb extensions to reduce pedestrian crossing distances when the District performs reconstructions and repavings of roadways.

Councilmember Grosso’s Introduction Statement

Thank you Chairman Mendelson.

All road users, and especially pedestrians, are incredibly vulnerable at intersections.

Unfortunately, we are constantly reminded of this fact, as many of the pedestrians killed recently on our streets were in a crosswalk, like Monica Adams Carlson and Cora Louise Adam just a few blocks away from here on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The standard now is for pedestrians to cross the parking lanes before they have a chance to cross the general travel lanes.

This makes them less visible to cars, extends the crossing time, and makes it too easy for drivers to park in areas that block crosswalks.

Today, along with my colleagues Brianne Nadeau, Elissa Silverman, Charles Allen, Brandon Todd, and Anita Bonds, I am introducing the Curb Extensions Act of 2019 to require the District Department of Transportation to install curb extensions whenever it performs road reconstruction or repavement work.

Curb extensions prioritize pedestrian safety by raising crosswalks to sidewalk level and shortening crossing distances. They also provide an opportunity to beautify our streets and expand our urban tree canopy with additional space for greenery.

Further, curb extensions narrow the turning radius for vehicles, forcing cars to slow down at intersections and effectively making our streets and sidewalks safer for all modes of transportation, not just pedestrians.

We need to change the culture at DDOT in order to achieve our Vision Zero goals of eliminating serious injuries and deaths on our roads. This will never happen as long as we, by default, continually rebuild our dangerous intersections in their same unsafe configurations.

Thank you and I welcome any co-sponsors.