The Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG) and CASA write to provide comments (attached and below) to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) on recommendations for pedestrian safety improvements in the Culmore community presented at the Aug. 4th public meeting.
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.
Join CSG and CASA for a rally, followed by the meeting, to demand urgent action to make Route 7 safer for the residents of Culmore and everyone who travels the road.
CSG and CASA’s joint efforts have prompted an important public meeting next week! VDOT, in collaboration with Fairfax DOT and Supervisor Penny Gross, will hold a meeting to hear community requests for potential safety improvements for Route 7 in the Culmore neighborhood of Bailey’s Crossroads.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in collaboration with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and the Office of Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, will host a community meeting to discuss pedestrian safety and present potential solutions along Route 7/Leesburg Pike in the Culmore community. Residents and members of the Culmore community are urged to attend and will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments about the presentation.
Date and Time: Thursday, August 4 at 7pm
Location: Bailey’s Elementary School, Cafeteria: 6111 Knollwood Drive, Falls Church, VA 22041
Parking & Transit Access: Parking is available in the school parking lot or take Metrobus Route 28A
Other information: Spanish interpretation services and an activity station for children will be available at the meeting.
If you’re unable to attend the meeting, send your comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
“They said they don’t feel safe walking, biking and getting to the bus,” said Sonya Breehey with the traffic safety organization, Coalition for Smarter Growth.
Take action to help our neighbors win safer streets!
CSG and immigrant advocacy group CASA partnered on a walkability survey and audit of the Bailey’s Crossroads community. The results and analysis have been compiled in this report.
Immigrant advocacy organization CASA and the Coalition for Smarter Growth will host a press conference to unveil important findings collected as part of the Bailey’s Crossroads street safety campaign, focused on making Route 7 safer for people walking, biking and using transit.