(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the ongoing construction of the 16th Street NW bus lane, kicked off the 2021 paving season, and highlighted the upcoming Spring Cleanup. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is currently installing the long-awaited 16th Street bus lane, which will be completed by Spring 2022, to make the transit experience better and more efficient for the thousands of passengers, motorists, and cyclists who travel through the corridor each day.
“The 16th Street bus lane is going to be a game-changer for everyone who travels this corridor,” said Mayor Bowser. “Throughout this year-long public health emergency, many of our agencies have been quietly working behind the scenes to keep DC moving forward and to deliver high-quality services to our community. We are proud to highlight that work and to draw attention to the many ways residents in all eight wards can support their efforts.”
DDOT is also launching the agency’s annual PaveDC campaign, a focused effort to bring DC roads, sidewalks, and alleys into a state of good repair. Between now and this fall, DDOT will pave more than 85 miles of roadway, and repair 109 alleys and 369 blocks of sidewalks across all eight wards. This year’s efforts build on two milestone years of paving and repair work, during which DDOT paved more that 240 miles of roadway.
“Keeping our infrastructure in a state of good repair is critical to all the other work that we do as a department to keep the traveling public safe,” said Interim DDOT Director Everett Lott. “This paving season, we look forward to continuing to build on the great progress we have made during the Bowser Administration.”
The beginning of spring also launches a rite of passage for residents and businesses: coming together to beautify homes, blocks, and neighborhoods. The Bowser Administration is kicking things off on Saturday, March 20 with the 3rd Annual Spring Cleanup. Residents are hosting more than 75 events across all eight wards, with more than 1,000 residents working together to clean more than 1,200 blocks. The event is being coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of the Clean City (MOCC).
“It’s inspiring to see so many of our District neighbors eager to get outside, mask up, and work together to keep our communities clean, safe, and healthy,” said MOCC Director Julie Lawson. “The Mayor's Office of the Clean City is proud to support more than a thousand residents this weekend, and throughout the year, on our way to a Trash Free DC.”
But the Mayor and her team emphasized that the cleanup is not a one day – or even a one season – call to action. Public litter cans are frequently, and increasingly, misused for household trash and illegally dumped renovation materials and other items. This problem has increased during the pandemic, and even as Department of Public Works (DPW) crews empty many cans multiple times daily, seven days a week, they are rapidly refilled with trash. So, today, DPW and MOCC are launching a new public education campaign to remind neighbors how to properly dispose of waste with a focus on three priorities: overflowing litter cans, illegal dumping, and best practices for recycling.
“Trash and illegally dumped items create a home for rats, pollutes our waterways and can injure or kill pets when ingested,” said DPW Interim Director Christine Davis. “This is our city, our home. When we welcome visitors and enjoy this great city, let’s do so in a clean and safe place. A clean DC is a safe DC.”
Additionally, on March 23, DPW will launch an eight-week recycling cart tagging campaign designed to remind residents not to put plastic bags and other unacceptable items in their recycling. DPW inspectors will check for recycling carts containing unacceptable items and tag them with an “Oops” sticker. During a 2019 pilot program, tagging resulted in a 20% reduction in plastic film. This year, DPW will also reward one resident in each Ward whose recycling cart displays the perfect recycling set out. Winners will be celebrated on Earth Day, April 22.
Residents can learn more about each of these programs:
- 16th Street Bus Lane: visit 16thstreetnwbus.com
- PaveDC: visit ddot.dc.gov/pavedc
- Recycling Cart Tagging Campaign: visit zerowaste.dc.gov to learn more about the contest and see a complete list of acceptable/unacceptable items
- Spring Cleanup: go here, take the pledge for a #TrashFreeDC, find a list of events, and get tips for a safe cleanup