Petition: DC School Communities Demand Safe Routes to School

Mayor Bowser, Councilmember Cheh, Chairman Mendelson, Director Lott, and DC leadership,

DC students deserve to travel to and from school via safe routes, free from worry of being subjected to traffic violence. This should be viewed as a basic expectation for District families, as well as all District residents regardless of age or family situation. Unfortunately, according to DC Families for Safe Streets, 32 people died in DC last year from traffic violence over the course of the school year. As of October 1, Vision Zero DC has counted 2,112 crashes involving injuries in 2022 (including 232 pedestrians and 126 cyclists).

Twice a year, our school communities come together to spotlight safe routes to school via Walk (and Bike) and Roll Days. One hundred and twenty three such events have been recorded over the past 3 school years. Our local government officials and politicians accept sincere invitations to join our communities in walking and biking safely. While we look forward to the joyful celebrations, the work toward safe routes to school cannot continue to be limited to those photo-perfect moments.It is time to follow through on safe routes by updating the laws that prioritize the safety of our students and families, and it is time to equitably implement the infrastructure development and especially the enforcement of laws and regulations. Every school must have access to infrastructure and resources that ensure a minimum standard of safety.

*Legislate and Implement Measures to End Traffic Violence Now*

  1. The DC Council has two bills pending with elements that support safety infrastructure, processes, and enforcement. These bills should be moved immediately, without watering down required safety measures for all schools like raised crosswalks, curb extensions, crosswalk warning pylons, flashing pedestrian signs and speed bumps.
  2. The DC Department of Transportation must accelerate implementation of existing programs that support safe routes to school, and do so in a transparent manner.
  3. In the meantime, our schools are being forced to cobble together inconsistent measures to try to improve safety with untrained staff or volunteers. In the absence of safety infrastructure and comprehensive measures, school communities need crossing guards, the DC Department of Transportation must staff every school with crossing guards until appropriate infrastructure and strategies have been implemented.

In her introduction of the Safe Routes to School Expansion Regulation Amendment Act of 2021, Councilmember Janeese Lewis-George reminded us that, β€œMore than 100,000 children and 7,000 teachers commute across D.C. each day to get to school.” For the sake of all District students and their families, we demand that you immediately use all the tools available to you to end traffic violence in our city.


Sandra Moscoso, Suzanne Well, and Danica Petroshius
Officers, Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization

Initial Signatories:
Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization (W6PSPO)
Ward 4 Education Alliance
Amidon Bowen Elementary School PTA (Ward 6)
Miner Elementary School PTO (Ward 7)
Ross Elementary School PTA (Ward 2)
School Without Walls High School HSA (Ward 2)
Seaton Elementary School PTO (Ward 2)

Robert Henderson, Vice Chair, Ward 5 Education Equity Committee
Amber Gove, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (6A04)
Evan Yeats, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (4B01)
Erin Palmer, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (4B02)
Dr. Carlene Reid, Ward 8 Representative, DC State Board of Education
Rebecca Sohmer, President, Van Ness Elementary PTO (Ward 8)

Maria Helena Carey, Ward 6 Parent
Julie and John Muir, Ward 6 Parents
Sara Ritchey, Ward 3 Parent

400+ school community members across all wards and 80+ schools πŸ‘‡πŸ½πŸ‘‡πŸ½πŸ‘‡πŸ½


Councilmember Charles Allen
Councilmember Anita Bonds
Councilmember Janeese Lewis George
Councilmember Vincent Gray
Councilmember Christina Henderson
Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau
Councilmember Brooke Pinto
Councilmember Elissa Silverman
Councilmember Robert White Jr.
Councilmember Trayon White Sr.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Contee
Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn
DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee


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