Today, there’s a deadly car crash virtually every week in the region. Back in 1938, we didn’t look at these things in such a blasé manner.
The excellent @councilofdc Twitter account, the official one for the District’s legislature, tweeted, “Back in 1938, the DC government and the Washington Post ran death flags up a pole if someone died in a car crash.”
Only recently, with Vision Zero, are governments like DC’s making it a serious priority to end traffic deaths. But there are eighty years of cultural expectations around street design and driving speed which make it difficult to really design streets for safety.
Looking a little less far back, @councilofdc also tweeted about 1997, when former council chairman and civil rights lawyer Dave Clarke (for whom UDC’s law school is named) lay in state in the Wilson Building. Note his means of transportation, right next to his casket.
Today in 1997, Dave Clarke was the first official to lie in state in the Wilson Building (yes, that's his bike) pic.twitter.com/EStDvybIzg— Council of DC (@councilofdc) April 3, 2016
Fortunately, it wasn’t a road crash that took Clarke — sadly, it was brain cancer.