Imagine a DC where 75 percent of trips were made by walking, bicycling or transit! This would include streets that accommodate all modes of traffic, better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure for safety and of course, kids enjoying their safe walk or bike to school!
This past Saturday, moveDC launched with an idea exchange at the MLK library in downtown. Mayor Vincent Gray opened up the day noting the goal of 75 percent of trips using non-motorized forms. This stat is from the Sustainable DC initiative, which will be releasing its plan later this month. Several speakers referred to the recently released report rating the Washington DC region as having the worst congestion in the nation and stating that we cannot solve the problem with cars.
Councilmember Mary Cheh specifically pointed out the personal health and air quality benefits of more walking and bicycling and that young people do not want to own cars. DDOT Director Terry Bellamy noted that all trips, no matter the mode, begin and end with walking. Finally, Councilmember Tommy Wells concluded talking about how land use is the most profound way to change the way we move. If destinations places, and the places we live, work and play, are in proximity to safe walking, bicycling and transit, then people will use it.
A panel discussion continued and noted the constraints of working at a regional level. As Chris Leinberger discussed, at a regional level, communities often compete against each other but in reality, they are on the same baseball team. This issue of older adults and transportation was also a popular topic. As one older adult noted, walking is the only option for older adults that does not put them at the will of a bureaucracy or someone else to provide transportation.
It is clear that creating a multimodal plan for the District of Columbia will encompass many and all important topics. We need to be engaged as pedestrians, bicyclists and advocates for Safe Routes to School. Please sign up for the moveDC mailing list and check out their website now!