For Your Mom, Grandfather & Niece: Share the Road

What would you like to see done to make our families safer while traveling on foot or on two wheels from Point A to Point B around Alexandria? There are plenty of relevant folks who your ideas might relate to – drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, City planners, state or federal government, real estate developers, our schools or even the insurance industry.

 

A bicycle hitching post in Old Town, Photo courtesy of Kevin Harber

This is Virginia Cyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week, jointly sponsored by Bike Walk Virginia (BWVA) and Drive Smart Virginia. Over 100 community organizations -- including ACTion Alexandria, local governments, businesses and individuals have joined together as partners. The message is simple: we are all safer if we share the road.

Last year, 88 people died and more than 2,000 individuals were injured while walking or biking on roads in Virginia, according to BWVA. Do you know someone who was killed or injured while walking or bicycling around town? What reasonable actions could be taken to help prevent tragedies in the future? 

And in the spirit of “sharing,” let’s keep in mind that every single one of us venturing outside our doors is a pedestrian at some point. Walking to your car? You want to get there safely. 

This isn’t so much about rights as it is about safe, enjoyable passage. This is about fixing. This is about prescribing. So, doctor (yes, that’s you), what or where are the local weaknesses that you think need some tending to? Do any neighborhoods or streets stand out as needing attention?

While we all must take responsibility to be careful, let’s remember that a motorist’s speed is a major contributing factor in all crashes and in the extent of injuries. A tractor trailer’s sheer size and weight make it more threatening to the driver of a car, than a car is to the driver of a truck. And the size and weight of a car make it more dangerous to a bicyclist or pedestrian than the other way around.

As long as we’re slowing down, let’s take a moment to recognize some benefits of walking and biking. It can:

  • Relieve stress
  • Improve our health
  • Protect the environment
  • Save us money on gas and wear and tear on our cars
  • Reduce traffic for those who are driving

So whether's it's for your mom, your grandfather, your friend or you ... let's get back to my question, doctor: What would you recommend be done to make bicycling and walking safer in Alexandria?

Comments

Replace parking spaces on north side of King St. with a bike lane separated by pylons from the Potomac River to the Masonic Temple.Block off 100 & 200 blocks for pedestrian and bikes only.Add speed cameras at major intersections.  Add speed tables on Washington Street across all lanes between Duke and Princess

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