Cities across the United States are experiencing increased numbers of crashes on their roads with a commensurate rise in the number of injuries from traffic violence. In 2018, 40,000 people died, and the lives of another 2 million people were permanently altered. In Alexandria in 2018, 5 people were killed in traffic crashes, an increase of more than double the 10-year average.
Our city, recognizing this danger and understanding its responsibility for public safety, has enacted a series of policies to reduce the risk faced by all people using its transportation infrastructure. Alexandria’s Complete Streets policy is one whose aim is to provide safe accommodations for all possible road users including people walking, cycling, taking the bus or driving. Another policy the city is currently implementing is Vision Zero, modeled after successful efforts in Sweden and other jurisdictions in the U.S. and Europe. The goal of Vision Zero is to minimize, if not outright eliminate, injuries resulting from transportation crashes on our roads. Combined, these policies guide our city in making transportation decisions with the safety of all road users in mind.
The Seminary Road Complete Streets Alternative 3 fits the mold of both of the above policies. It will effectively reduce excessive vehicular speeds, it will provide cycling infrastructure for people who wish to ride their bikes to Old Town by connecting to Janneys Lane, and it will create safe crossings and a buffer for people walking on the sidewalk so that they can comfortably stroll around their neighborhood.
One of the responsibilities of government in our country is the safety of its citizens. The proposed configuration of Seminary Road in Alternative 3 is well within that mandate.