Let me introduce you to the city’s latest plan for traffic management and safety in our city. Vision Zero is an organizational concept that states serious traffic deaths and injuries are preventable through proper engineering, enforcement of rules and education of the populus. Their purpose is noble – namely the elimination of traffic deaths and serious injuries. The city of Alexandria has adopted this plan of pedestrian and bicycle implementation to evaluate and eliminate traffic deaths and injuries. Citizens — we don’t need it.
The city has adopted this Vision Zero program as part of the city’s attempt to remove automobiles from our city streets. Our streets are congested due to poor planning and misplaced development — the cut-through traffic to the BRACC stifles our roads. A drive down the quarter-mile of Quaker lane at 2 p.m. is memorable — a full 20 minutes to complete the route. The city’s last resort is to remove cars from the streets by making the congestion even worse so residents must find other modes of transportation — the bike- the scooter- the Dash Bus or walk — these are our options. This undertaking of taking cars off the road begins with the elimination of four-way traffic on Seminary Road — removing one car lane in each direction and replacing it with a full bike lane. Because the conditions on Seminary Road are “treacherous and dangerous,” the road needs to be downsized with cyclists.
To support this decision the city states that Seminary Road is deadly, treacherous — having more collisions and injuries than any part of the city. The city has conspired to use this as an excuse in order to remove two lanes at Seminary Road when in fact — Seminary Road is one of the safest roads in the city. The area from Quaker Lane to the hospital has had a total of 21 accidents from 2015 to 2018 (approximately five per year). During this 4-year period there have been no fatalities — no serious injuries, there was property damage and eight of the crashes were the result of speeding or alcohol use.
Seminary Road is the safest major artery in the city, it may need a couple more crosswalks but it is safe. Seminary Road is also the main carrier of cut-through traffic to the BRACC — a conduit for traffic from Quaker Lane, Fort Williams, Jordan, Howard, and Saint Stephens. Removing two lanes on Seminary would be a prescription for gridlock.
We do not need Vision Zero — we do need four lanes on Seminary Road. We certainly do not need to be lied to when in fact the city is safe.