For Immediate Release: March 15, 2022
Nancy Espinoza, CASA Campaigns Communications Specialist
email@example.com; (240) 701-2777
Sonya Breehey, CSG Northern Virginia Advocacy Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org; (202) 675-0016, Ext. 3
FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA – Immigrant advocacy organization CASA and the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CGS) hosted a canvass kickoff as part of the Bailey’s Crossroads street safety campaign, focused on repairing this highly-transited road for the safety of the residents in the area. The organizations began the canvass kickoff by door-knocking in the area to get residents living near Bailey’s Crossroads to mobilize for better lighting, signage, and pedestrian crossings.
Residents who live and use in the area are invited to fill out the survey on the CASA webpage to provide feedback regarding their daily commute in Culmore: https://wearecasa.org/programs/safe-streets culmore/
CASA Member Viviana Valverde is a single mom who cleans houses: “The area around the Route 7 highway is where we regularly travel to get our jobs, to go shopping, to do our laundry, and to eat at local restaurants; this part of town has become more dangerous due to the lack of street, pedestrian, and cyclist signage. The immigrant community that calls Culmore home has suffered great damage from the high speed traffic and lack of visibility in the area. I am especially concerned that there are still crashes that unfortunately claim so many lives. We will no longer accept this reality.”
The Bailey’s Crossroads community is home to a large immigrant population where many residents rely on walking, biking and using the bus to get to work and their daily activities. Yet, the main arterial roads are unsafe because of the lack of sidewalks, few safe crossing options, bus stops without crosswalks, and heavy high-speed traffic. Just 12 weeks ago, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a driver in a location lacking a safe sidewalk.
“Many people living in the Culmore community of Bailey’s Crossroads walk, bike and take the bus to get around but are faced with high-speed traffic, missing sidewalks and a lack of safe crossing options that quickly turn deadly. Now is the time to provide safer streets in Culmore and save lives,” said Sonya Breehey, Northern Virginia Advocacy Manager of Coalition for Smarter Growth.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have identified the Route 7 corridor as a high risk corridor for vulnerable road users based on years of data showing the high numbers of fatalities and serious injuries. Yet, no significant investments in safety improvements have been made to stem the traffic fatalities and injuries that plague residents trying to navigate their community on foot or by bike.
“This community-powered campaign, which kicks off today, can save the lives of countless immigrants who transit Leesburg Pike and Columbia Pike,” said Eduardo Zelaya, director of Virginia organizing. “Let’s make sure that everyone gets home safely.”
With over 122,000 lifetime Latino, immigrant, and working-class members across 46 US states, CASA is the foremost immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region and a national leader in supporting immigrant families and ensuring that all individuals have the core support necessary for full participation in society. Now a national immigrant powerhouse, CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington, DC region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to advocate for walkable, bikeable, inclusive, transit oriented communities as the most sustainable and equitable way for the region to grow and provide opportunities for all.