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Activists Call for Safer Streets as Another Cyclist Dies in DC

Activists want city leaders to step up after another cyclist was killed in a car crash

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There are growing calls to make safety changes to the intersection where a fatal crash happened last week.

The latest crash occurred along Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest D.C. where Jim Pagels, a 29-year-old man biking to dinner, was struck and killed by a car Friday night.

For bicycle and safety advocates who have pleaded for more help to make streets safer, the latest deadly crash furthers their concern.

“I’m sad … and I’m also angry,” said Greg Billing, the executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association. “We built this street that is failing everybody. It’s failing drivers, it’s failing pedestrians and it’s failing people on bikes.”

Billing said not just the intersection where the crash occurred but many more around the city need attention before someone else gets hurt.

“It could be your neighbor. It could be your kid's classmate. It could be your faith leader,” Billing said.

He’s calling on city leaders to step up.

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“Nobody walking, nobody biking and nobody driving should have to die when they are going about their business,” Billing said.

One of the points that a lot of people make about the intersection is that these cars are going too fast. They are coming off nearby Southeast/Southwest Freeway.

“We’ve got to slow this traffic down or we are going to have another tragic incident,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “One of the most effective things we can do is a speed camera. […] It changes the behavior. It’s one of the easiest and most effective things we can do.”

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