Overwhelmingly, residents living in the Culmore neighborhood of Bailey’s Crossroads feel unsafe walking and biking along Route 7, according to a walkability survey conducted by CSG and immigrant advocacy organization CASA. Residents cite poor lighting, dangerous driving, and the lack of connected sidewalks, bike infrastructure, and safe crossing options as the problem. We are calling on VDOT and Fairfax County to act with greater urgency to make Route 7 safer for the residents of Culmore and everyone who travels the road. Please consider sending an email today urging our leaders to deploy short-term solutions now that can save lives while longer-term plans are developed.
The Culmore community is home to a large immigrant population where many residents regularly walk, bike, and take the bus, at much higher rates than the Fairfax County as a whole. Yet, residents are forced to endure unsafe conditions that have already taken lives and seriously injured others. Since 2015, in this one-mile stretch of Route 7 through Culmore there have been 18 pedestrian crashes, 4 of them fatal and 14 with serious injuries.
Based on the survey results, several quick fixes have been identified that are critical for making the area safer now, including:
- Lowering the speed limit and adding driver speed feedback signs to help reduce speeding in this area
- Installing a temporary, in-street sidewalk connection until a permanent one can be built in front of the gas station where a woman was struck and killed in December
- Creating temporary midblock crossings while permanent solutions are developed
- Reprograming the traffic signals to give pedestrians a head start and more time to cross Route 7
- Striping additional high visibility crosswalks across Route 7 and all side streets and driveways in the corridor
- Providing brighter pedestrian-scale lighting
Ultimately, Route 7 should be redesigned as a complete street that is walkable, bike-friendly, and provides safe and easy access to transit while also providing safe movement for drivers.
Now is the time to make this road safer before anymore lives are lost.