- ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan briefed to Board Transportation Committee.
- Updates available on bicycle and pedestrian safety initiatives.
At the end of June, Fairfax County Department of Transportation, Health, and Police officials briefed the Board of Supervisors Transportation Committee on the ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan (AFTP). Chris Wells and Lauren Delmare (FCDOT), Anna Ricklin (FCHD), and Second Lieutenant Jason Long (FCPD) were joined by Rachel Flynn, the Deputy County Executive, to update the committee on the plan’s progress and recent bicycle and pedestrian safety initiatives.
A sad part of the briefing was the report that between 2015 and 2019 that county had witnessed 863 “crashes” involving motor vehicles and pedestrians that resulted in 60 pedestrian fatalities, an average of 12 fatalities per year. At the midpoint of 2020, the county had already suffered 11 pedestrian fatalities.
The highest pedestrian crash areas are Annandale, Seven Corners, Bailey’s Crossroads, the Route 1 Corridor, Springfield, Franconia, Tysons, Merrifield, Blake Lane, Centreville, Fair Oaks, and Reston. Location details on pedestrian crashes are available here.
Factors behind the number of crashes are the county’s wide roads, high speeds, and the separation of commercial and residential areas by major roads. In addition, long distances between crosswalks and pedestrians then crossing roads in areas other than crosswalks contribute to crashes. Speeding and failing to yield right-of-way by drivers are significant factors in crashes as is the lack of adequate lighting at certain locations.
The crashes involving pedestrians indicate the need for more and better infrastructure for walkers and bikers. On the plus side, the county has devoted a significant (if still inadequate) amount funding for multimodal transportation improvements. This includes funding for pedestrian and bike infrastructure and bus stops in the amount of $536 million between 2002 and 2025, not counting ped/bike facilities incorporated into large road projects. This amounts to 10% to 15% of all County-allocated transportation funding.
More than 220 ped/bike projects have been completed between 2007 to 2020, including 22.6 miles of sidewalks and trails, 700 ADA curb ramps, and 60 signalized crosswalks. Fairfax County also added 80 bike-lane miles to 63 roads in the last two years as part of the VDOT repaving program.
FABB is a strong supporter of the AFTP and our advocacy efforts since 2005 have played a significant role in the county’s progress. Please join us and become an advocate for better bicycling and active transportation in your neighborhood. Contact us at [email protected].