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Fairfax County leaders set to endorse new ‘Safe Streets for All’ program

The intersection of Gallows Road and Cottage Street in the Dunn Loring area (via Fairfax County)

Fairfax County has a new plan that will guide efforts to make streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and others.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is slated to endorse a Safe Streets for All Program at its meeting today (Tuesday).

“The purpose of the Safe Streets for All Program is to improve transportation safety in Fairfax County, particularly for active transportation users,” county staff said in a board packet. “The program framework includes systemic education, policy, planning, programmatic and design strategies.”

The plan identifies nearly 70 objectives for improving active transportation, which includes bicycling, walking, and other non-motorized forms of travel. According to a county survey, one in four people feel the county’s current multimodal network is unsafe.

Last year in Fairfax County, 181 people were injured and 14 pedestrians died due to vehicular crashes, according to Virginia Department of Transportation data. So far this year, six pedestrians have died.

With the board’s endorsement, the county is poised to start seven initiatives:

  • Establish an interdisciplinary task force
  • Create at least one staff position to run the program and monitor performance, growing staff capacity as needed
  • Require every transportation-related project, from studies to capital projects, include an active transportation expert on the consultant team
  • Prioritize maintenance and active transportation capital improvements along high-risk corridors and routes to major activity centers
  • Develop a Safe Streets for All policy prioritizing human safety for planning, designing and operating county roads
  • Train staff on best practices for planning and design of safe streets
  • Create an interactive web map to collect safety concerns from residents

Staff have recommended dozens of other objectives, from funding for transit projects to reducing speed limits to 15 mph in residential and business areas.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation previously suggested that funding for those proposals could be included in the next budget cycle for fiscal year 2024, which would start on July 1, 2023.

Photo via Fairfax County

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