Wow! Over a hundred residents, including school-aged children, attended the Route 7-Culmore Pedestrian Safety public meeting demanding that Fairfax County and VDOT make it safer for their families and neighbors to walk and bike in the community.
On the positive side, officials announced at the meeting the possibility of several safety enhancements – a speed study, a crossing study, and potential sidewalk connections. However, we are very concerned these studies will take years to implement and that the short-term fixes they’ve already done to Route 7 are totally inadequate to truly keep people safe now.
Please email your comments before the August 26 deadline demanding more robust short-term fixes and asking that they prioritize and fund the longer-term projects ASAP.
Community feedback shared during the meeting was very much aligned with the findings of the walkability survey conducted by CSG and CASA in Spring 2022. Residents living in the Culmore community overwhelmingly feel unsafe walking and biking along Route 7 citing poor lighting, dangerous driving, and the lack of connected sidewalks, bike infrastructure, and safe crossing options as core problems.
We are urging several quick fixes that are critical for making the area safer now while longer-term plans are developed, including:
- Installing a temporary, in-street sidewalk connection with jersey barriers or flex posts until a permanent one can be built in front of the gas station where the woman was struck and killed in December
- Reprogramming the traffic signals to give pedestrians a head start and more time to cross Route 7 at all intersections in the corridor
- Lowering the speed limit and adding driver speed feedback signs
- Adding more high visibility crosswalks across Route 7 as well as side streets and driveways along the corridor.
- Providing brighter pedestrian-scale lighting along Route 7 and in the neighborhoods
You can email comments to VDOT and Fairfax County using our action form here asking for these needed quick fixes and safety improvements. Personalizing the email with your own experiences would make an even stronger statement. Comments are being accepted through this Friday, August 26.