• FABB joins with the Coalition for Smarter Growth to make Richmond Highway safer.
  • Tell VDOT now is the time to lower speed limits and make design changes.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG) has begun an advocacy campaign to generate public support for having the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reduce the speed limit along the Richmond Highway corridor where four people have been struck and killed already in 2020. Reducing the speed limit just 10 mph increases the chances of vulnerable road used of surviving a crash by 40%.

Sadly, pedestrian deaths have increased by 10% in Virginia from 2018 to 2019 alone, many of them on wide high-speed arterials like Richmond Highway. Smart Growth America’s report Dangerous by Design finds that older adults and people of color are disproportionately represented among pedestrian deaths, primarily because of roads like Richmond Highway that divide communities. VDOT’s own 2018 Pedestrian Safety Action Plan identified Richmond Highway in Fairfax as one of the state’s priority crash corridors. Between 2011-2016, the crash rate along Richmond Highway was 60% higher than the state average. Safety improvements have been proposed but they need to be implemented now!

Thanks to this advocacy by CSG and local partners, VDOT is considering reducing the speed limit to 35mph and redesigning the road to make it safer for people to walk, bike, and take transit. But, to make this happen, we need you to show VDOT and Fairfax County officials that you support a safer Richmond Highway by sending them a message.

CSG has made it easy for you to use this link to tell them to:

  • Lower the speed limit to a safer 35 mph ASAP;
  • Provide immediate safety improvements along the corridor;
  • Reconsider the widening plans to physically design the road for 35 mph; and
  • Design the roadway for 35 mph by narrowing travel lanes to help reduce speeding, provide small buffers within the right of way, and minimize the crossing distances for pedestrians.

There are other benefits: A 35 mph speed limit potentially eliminates the need for sound walls, further reducing the extent of the widening and getting rid of physical barriers that cut off neighborhoods. Money saved by buying less right-of-way and not building sound walls could go toward the cost of undergrounding unsightly overhead power lines, which also helps make room for bigger shade trees.

Please act now and email VDOT and your local elected officials to ask them put safety first and make Richmond Highway safer for people to walk, bike, and take transit.


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