D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Tuesday that she was mobilizing 26 new Parking Enforcement Officers (PEO) in order to step up bike lane safety in the city, particularly to deal with vehicles blocking bike lanes.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) has started assigning new PEOS to the job as of November 12. The move came as part of the city’s Vision Zero D.C. initiative.
“By investing in and deploying additional resources and working together as a community, we can make the District’s bike lanes safer and more efficient,” Mayor Bowser was quoted as saying about the decision.
“In building safer bike lanes we can keep our roads and sidewalks safe for all who use them, encourage residents and visitors to explore alternate modes of transportation, and work toward our Vision Zero goals.”
Currently, there are 272 PEOs who are responsible for 109 spots during five eight-hour shifts. At some of those locations, more officers are required to improve safety. With the new additions, each location will have at least one employee dedicated only to bike lane enforcement.
Officers will be authorized to take photographs of vehicles that are blocking bike lanes. Those pictures will then be mailed to vehicle owners in case they left before receiving a ticket.
“This mobilization of additional PEOs is just another example of District agencies constantly analyzing how we can use our resources more efficiently and effectively, in order to best serve District residents and keep them safe,” said Lucinda Babers, Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure.