Tag: safe streets

ACTION ALERT: This coffin is a dramatic illustration of what’s at stake

ACTION ALERT: This coffin is a dramatic illustration of what’s at stake

Image: Sonya Breehey

Last week I joined the Gum Springs community demanding a safer Richmond Highway. The coffin included in the protest is dramatic, but captures just how dangerous our roads are. Fairfax County continues to experience high rates of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries with 10 people killed already this year.

The Washington Post story captures the energy of local community members led by Queenie Cox and the New Gum Springs Civic Association fighting for safer streets. This community is showing that together we can make a difference.

Creating safe and connected ways to walk and bike in Fairfax County will take a strong vision and solid plan to overcome the disconnected and dangerous conditions we face today. That’s why the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan is so important. Let’s make sure Fairfax County knows there is strong support for making active transportation a safe and viable option to get around our communities.  

Email Fairfax County Today

The County is currently seeking public input on the plan’s draft vision, goals, and objectives before it goes to the Board of Supervisors for approval. This is the first part of the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan being developed that will be a road map for a safe and convenient network of sidewalks, bikeways, and trails in the county. 

There is a virtual public meeting tonight, Sept. 15, at 6:30 pm where you can learn more about the plan and ask questions directly to staff. Check out the Active Fairfax Transportation Plan website for information on the plan and how to join one of the meeting. Public comments will be accepted through September 19. 

We need safer streets and better walking and biking now. Remember to ask the county to move quickly from vision and goals to actually funding needed safety improvements!

ACTION ALERT: Because this design is unsafe

ACTION ALERT: Because this design is unsafe

Higher speeds and wide roads that prioritize cars over people have led to rising pedestrian crashes and fatalities. Four people have been struck and killed along the Richmond Highway corridor already in 2020, the latest just a couple weeks ago.

Thanks to advocacy by CSG and local partners, VDOT is considering reducing the speed limit but we need your help to make sure it happens. Reducing the speed limit 10 mph increases the chances of surviving a crash by 40%. Would you take a moment to send an email to VDOT and Fairfax County showing support for lowering the speed limit to 35mph and redesigning the road to make it safer for people to walk, bike, and take transit?

Yes! I support a safer Richmond Highway

Pedestrian deaths increased by 10% in Virginia from 2018 to 2019 alone, many of them on wide high-speed arterials like Richmond Highway. Smart Growth America’s report Dangerous by Design finds that older adults and people of color are disproportionately represented among pedestrian deaths, primarily because of the high-speed arterials that divide communities like those along Richmond Highway.

VDOT’s own 2018 Pedestrian Safety Action Plan identified Richmond Highway in Fairfax as one of the state’s priority crash corridors and proposed safety improvements. Between 2011-2016, the crash rate along Richmond Highway was 60% higher than the state average. We can’t wait any longer!

Tell VDOT and Fairfax County to:  

  • Lower the speed limit to a safer 35 mph ASAP
  • Provide immediate safety improvements along the corridor
  • Reconsider the widening plans to physically design the road for 35 mph

Physically designing the roadway for 35 mph by narrowing travel lanes would help reduce speeding, allow for smaller buffers within the right of way, and minimize the crossing distances for pedestrians.

And there are other benefits: A 35 mph speed limit potentially eliminates the need for sound walls, further reducing the extent of the widening and getting rid of physical barriers that cut off neighborhoods. Money saved by buying less right-of-way and not building sound walls could go toward the cost of undergrounding unsightly overhead power lines, which also helps make room for bigger shade trees.

Speak up now for safer speeds and better design.

A safer roadway will not only reduce the tragic deaths and serious injuries to residents, it will ensure Fairfax achieves the vibrant, transit-oriented economic development the county and community desire for the corridor.