With Thanksgiving upon us, I keep thinking how thankful I am to be Allie’s mom & to have had 5 amazing years with her. I wish we had so many more. I’m also thankful for the support we’ve received as we grieve & as we fight for safe streets. A long 🧵I hope you’ll read.
Allie’s death has compelled me to advocate for safer streets because I need to believe that something good can come out of our tragedy. I hope it compels you, too. I’ve been asked lately: “How can I help you? What can I do to make our streets safer for kids like Allie?” 2/
One thought keeps coming to me: tell others my family’s story, show my photos. Tell your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors. How my amazing girl died while riding her bike in a crosswalk. She was 5. Our story - HER story - needs to reach beyond the bounds of social media. 3/
I’m no expert and I definitely don’t have all the answers to how to fix our broken approach to safe streets in DC or nationally. It’s a crisis. But there are a few things I’ve learned since our nightmare began on Sept 13 worth sharing. 4/
I’ve heard from others: Allie has changed how I drive. So: are you still speeding? Rolling thru stop signs? Thinking your car gets priority over peds and bikes? Or not thinking abt others at all? We must think abt the responsibility we assume when we get into any vehicle. 5/
And if you’re a driver going “look! That bike/pedestrian didn’t follow the rules!” Stop. Look around. Others ARE following the rules. But in every instance, the likelihood of that bike or pedestrian killing you in your car is zero. Zero. 6/
And yes, many are injured or die in cars, but mostly, the tons of steel around you protect you from death. It’s pedestrians and cyclists that are suffering the largest fatalities. A car might protect you from death, but it definitely makes you deadly. 7/
Try walking to the coffee shop or store, or going for a bike ride. Does it feel safe to you? Does it feel safe for your kids? Maybe it makes you realize, hey, we can do more to make the streets safe for everyone. 8/
Learn about safe street design. There is so much expertise out there. Start with @Fam4SafeStreets and @Visionzeronet and see what conversations are happening. In DC, @ggwash @WABADC @SafeStreetsDC 9/
Do you feel safe driving? Or are you seeing the same aggressive driving that I regularly see? Speeding, running stop signs, cars going around stopped cars that are too impatient to wait for their turn at the intersection? Does it feel like a free for all, with no enforcement? 10/
DEMAND enforcement from your local DOT, police, leaders! If you feel safe doing it, take video of reckless driving and post it with the hashtag #enforcesafedriving. In DC, tag @MayorBowser @DDOTDC @DCPoliceDept @DCDPR. SHOW them what’s happening! 11/
In DC, learn about your ANC rep, you’d be surprised how important they are to getting things done: anc.dc.gov Show up at meetings. Make requests on @311DCgov, when they get dismissed & not solved, follow up. Get the app: 311.dc.gov/citizen/home 12/
Contact your Councilmember’s office and tell them what you want to see: dccouncil.us/councilmembers/ Pay attention to the committees, esp Transportation and Public Safety: @marycheh @CMCharlesAllen @CM_McDuffie @CMCHenderson @CMLewisGeorgeW4 13/
Contact @DDOTDC & @DDOTDCDirector. Contact @MayorBowser. If you’re not seeing the changes you want, keep pressing and pressing and pressing. Write letters: mayor.dc.gov/page/invite-ma… ddot.dc.gov Call them out on social media. Let’s not just accept the status quo. 14/
VOTE. Show up for your local elections. We all have our priorities but, at the end of the day, if we can’t safely get around our city, then our leaders have failed us. 15/
And if you’re not in DC - because I’ve been so amazed at the outpouring of support from all over - do these same things within your local government. 16/
My goal here isn’t to be anti-car; it's to FIGHT LIKE HELL so that families are safe on our streets. So that we can all have freedom of mobility. To highlight how we can do SO MUCH BETTER. 17/
Trust me: the pain of losing your child, of seeing her little body covered in the street, is devastating. I will never be the same. 18/
We HAVE to demand ACTION and ACCOUNTABILITY from our local leaders. Talk is cheap. Real, transformative action is hard. Demand that your leaders do the right thing, not the politically easy thing. Write letters, make calls. Show up. Give them praise when you see progress! 19/
Streets are safer when cars go slower, streets are narrower, bulb outs make peds more visible, raised crosswalks make it harder to roll thru. When bike lanes are protected & connected. When we ban all right on reds. When we ENFORCE the laws. There is so much more we can do! 20/
Tell the world about Allison Hart, taken too soon, a joyful, curious, loving 5-yr-old. A beautiful girl who will never meet her brother. Who would want her mom to fight to make things better. She used say, “it’s not right and it’s not fair.” And it could be any of us. /end

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