Opinion: Letter to the Editor

Opinion: Letter to the Editor

City Invests In Public Safety

— A letter to the editor on Oct. 27 [“Traffic Lawlessness”] suggested that the city is not enforcing traffic laws. In fact, this is not the case.

The safety of our community is the highest priority of city government. The Alexandria Police Department uses its Strategic Response System to identify areas that require targeted enforcement based on traffic crashes and other patterns, and constantly reassesses the effectiveness of enforcement strategies and deployments through ongoing reviews of crash data and traffic complaints. City Council approved my recommendations to add four motorcycle officers and a sergeant over the last two fiscal years, as well as to set aside $500,000 for additional traffic enforcement and parking adjudication. This was a direct result of increasing requests from resident and businesses for additional traffic enforcement in more areas of the city.

It’s important to note that enforcement is only one component of traffic safety. The city also commits significant resources to education and community outreach to encourage safe behavior by transportation users, and traffic engineering to design infrastructure that promotes safety. Police officers handle each traffic complaint with the goal of increasing safety through compliance with the law. When a situation suggests an engineering solution may be helpful, police officers collaborate with traffic engineers to promote a holistic approach to traffic safety across city government. This often means conducting engineering analyses to recommend and build pedestrian safety improvements or conducting targeted encouragement campaigns such as Street Smart.

The city strives to improve safety across all transportation modes — for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit users — through an active combination of education, engineering, and enforcement.

Mark B. Jinks

City Manager