Fairfax County Pedestrian Fatalities Remain High, Solutions Are Being Investigated
The Virginia Department of Transportation shows the accident fatality numbers for Northern Virginia are lower but are still too high for safety officials. The Virginia DMV's accident data shows that 2019 was the "deadliest year in the last decade" to be a pedestrian in Northern Virginia. Despite the number of fatalities dropping in 2020, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and other transportation officials are hoping to find new strategies that will improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
Chris Wells, Fairfax County Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager, has stated that the number of fatal pedestrian accidents is still at unacceptable levels. Mr. Wells reported that the numbers could actually be increasing in Fairfax County, Virginia, and throughout the United States.
The news report asserts that bicycling appears to be safer, according to the statistics. However, bicycle accident rates are very high, as the statistics show 216 bicycle accidents in 2019 and 157 bicycle accidents in 2020. Also, some areas of Fairfax County are disproportionately affected by pedestrian accidents.
County officials hope to reverse the accident statistics in 2021 and beyond. According to Mr. Wells, FCDOT and VDOT have just improved cycling and walking conditions by "re-striping four-lane roads as two-lane roads, and installing rapid-flashing beacons for crosswalks without lights."
Virginia has a pedestrian safety action plan aimed at improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety along dangerous corridors identified by the DOT. In Fairfax County, the following roads have been given the highest-priority: Braddock Road, Columbia Pike, Little River Turnpike, Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway, Lee Highway, Richmond Highway, and Ox Road.
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