A Micro-mobile Streetscape in the Age of Vision Zero: An Action Plan for Downtown Washington, D.C.
Koontz, Mary Ellen
In the first nine months of 2019 alone, Washington, D.C. riders took 4.5 million micromobility trips, nearly 6% of the total number of trips that occurred across the United States the year prior.1 As the micromobility market continues to dynamically evolve, the District of Columbia’s government continues to work towards achieving its Vision Zero goals, while incorporating these new modes of transportation. New innovations create both real and perceived impacts on micromobility users and all those with whom they share public space with as micromobility becomes more engrained in our cities. While micromobility raises concerns around enforcement, data protection, and market stability, the benefits of small, shared mobility devices are numerous when properly integrated into existing active transportation systems. In order to do so, cities must understand how these two systems can be integrated into the same, often limited, infrastructure. This paper focuses on determining accurate speeds for e-scooters and bicycles through place-based, on-site observations at a high-risk intersection within downtown D.C. to better understand the interactions between these two small modes within the context of Vision Zero. Specifically, this paper explores the intersection of context appropriate speeds and complete street design. While e-scooters travel at a slower speed than confident cyclists, this form of micromobility experiences only a slightly higher rate of serious injury than other micromobile modes. I argue that on-going innovations in micro-mobility are a critical factor in achieving Vision Zero goals and need to receive special, iterative attention as part of active transportation policies.