Pedestrian fatalities in Northern Virginia have increased in recent years, and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved funding to implement safety measures that they are hoping will reduce this trend and make county streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists all over the county.
On Feb. 11, a man was struck by a car and killed as he was crossing Richmond Highway near the intersection of Giles Run Road around 1:13 a.m. The driver of a 2012 Hyundai Elantra was traveling northbound on Richmond Highway in the rain and struck the man who was not in a crosswalk, Fairfax County Police said. The driver remained on the scene and is cooperating with detectives. Preliminarily, alcohol does not appear to be a factor for the driver and speed is still under investigation. Detectives have not yet determined if alcohol was a factor for the pedestrian.
In January, there were two fatalities on Richmond Highway that involved pedestrians. On Jan. 9, a 51-year-old woman was hit near the intersection of South Kings Highway, and another fatality occurred at 9:45 p.m. on Jan. 1 when 52-year-old Daniel Yeboah was crossing Richmond Highway near the intersection of Pohick Road when he was hit and killed. In December, a pedestrian was hit and killed in McLean; two people killed in August, and another man hit and killed on Commerce Street in Springfield, according to police.
In all total, there were 16 pedestrian fatalities in 2019, and 16 in 2018, so at the January 28 Board of Supervisors meeting, the board reviewed the county effort to make Fairfax County roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. The Board Matter was co-sponsored by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, chair of the Board’s Transportation Committee, and Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk, chair of the Board’s Public Safety Committee.
One thing Alcorn and Lusk are asking for is a review of The ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan, which is an effort by Fairfax County to review plans for pedestrians and bicyclists. The Countywide Trails Plan was originally adopted in 1976, last updated in 2018. In mid-December 2019, FCDOT officials looked at the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan and came up with several key project goals, such as:
- Reconcile the Bicycle Master Plan, Countywide Trails Plan and regional connectivity in Area Plans
- Coordinate with neighboring jurisdictions
- Identify and address missing links in the network and improve access to activity centers, schools, parks and transit
- Bring the planned regional bicycle and trails network recommendations up to current standards
- Reinforce Active Transportation as a key element to Placemaking