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Town of Herndon to develop roadway safety action plan

Elden Street in downtown Herndon (staff photo by James Jarvis)

The Town of Herndon is working on the development of a roadway safety action plan that aligns its priorities with federal and state programs.

The action plan, which would run from this year through at least 2028, will use crash data to identify locations that need to be addressed and open up additional funding for transportation improvement projects.

“One of the challenges with the data is there is a lot of it,” Mike Shindledecker, a transportation engineer for Herndon, said at a town council work session on March 19.

He noted that comparisons to the Federal Highway Administration and Virginia Department of Transportation programs should take into account that the Town of Herndon lacks freeways and highways. Its highest speed limit is 35 mph, significantly lower than that of the state.

Problematic hotspots in the town include Elden Street, pinpoints along Herndon Parkway and gateway intersections, he told the council.

Shindledecker also noted that the town’s fatality rate is “trending far better than other similar jurisdictions and far better than the state as a whole.”

A five-year comparison shows that the town had more crashes between 2018 and 2022 that resulted in serious injuries and non-visible injuries than other small towns and cities in Virginia and the state as a whole. Serious injuries stand at 8% compared to the statewide average of 5% and the 3% average in towns of similar sizes.

In Herndon, 53% of crashes led to non-visible injuries compared to 19% in towns of comparable size and 8% in the state.

However, crashes that only involve property damage were lower (34%) than in other towns (60%) and the state (67%). Crashes involving injuries were also relatively lower — 5% compared with 18% in other small towns and 19% in the state.

The roadway safety plan will be developed with community input and identify key corridors for focused study. Once problem areas are identified, the town will develop new “technology-driven solutions,” according to the town staff presentation.

The plan will help the town establish a planning structure for transportation projects and safety analyses while also emphasizing engagement and collaboration, equity and transparency.

The action plan will be completed in 2026, followed by an implementation plan in 2027.

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