Vision Zero in Arlington County -- August Updates

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Arlington Wins Regional Safety Grant to Develop School Zone Speed Camera Guidelines

Earlier this year, Virginia legislators legalized the use of cameras to enforce speed limits in school zones and work zones. The Vision Zero Action Plan calls for the use of such automated enforcement strategies as a way to reduce speeds. The lower a vehicle is going, the lower the chances it will cause a serious injury, so lowering speeds is a critical step toward Vision Zero. Further, Arlington’s Police Practices Work Group likewise Arlington’s Police Practices Work Group highlights that the potential for bias is removed when speed cameras are used.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments introduced the Regional Roadway Safety Program in 2021 to fund local projects that have the potential to improve safety on the region’s roadways. Arlington’s Vision Zero team submitted an application for and was awarded $60,000 in consultant services to develop data-driven, equitable guidelines to help identify, prioritize, and implement speed cameras in school zones, including a review and incorporation of best practices and lessons learned from other jurisdictions that have already implemented speed cameras.

We are very excited to take this first step toward automated speed enforcement in Arlington. As we begin work on the grant project, we will also work with the community to identify goals and parameters as we introduce this new technology in school zones and work zones. Stay tuned for ways to get involved this fall!

Join us at the County Fair!

Join us at the Arlington County Fair on Wednesday, August 18, to Sunday, August 22! There will be a Vision Zero indoor booth on Exploring Our Future! If you’re headed to the County Fair, please swing on by the booth for small giveaways, raffle opportunities, and to learn more about Vision Zero. We’re looking forward to talking about safe transportation (from a distance) at the fair!!
County Fair Farris Wheel

Plus a Free Micro-Mobility “Petting Zoo”

BikeArlington will have a variety of innovative personal vehicles for you to try, including e-bikes, cargo bikes, e-scooters, Capital Bikeshare, and more. Our staff will be onsite to provide a comfortable, guided experience for your test ride, and to answer any questions you have. Plus, we have a special traffic garden area just for kids (strider bikes provided) with lots to explore. Head to the tennis courts to take these bikes and more for a spin.

  • Friday, Aug. 20, 6pm – 8pm

  • Saturday, Aug 21, 12pm – 4pm

  • Sunday, Aug 22, 12pm – 4pm


2020 Annual Crash Analysis: How the Pandemic Affected Safety

Using data reviewed and cleaned by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Transportation, Arlington County staff conducted a year-end review of 2020 crash data and trends. Below are key findings from the analysis:

  • Overall, crashes were about 40% lower than previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on travel patterns and behavior.

  • Despite lower vehicle volumes and fewer crashes in 2020, there was minimal change in severe and fatal crashes compared to previous years (55 in 2020 versus 61 for the 2015-2019 average).

  • Looking at time of day patterns, there were fewer crashes for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles in traditional morning commuter peak hours in 2020 compared to 2015-2019 averages.

  • While the percentage of speed-related crashes increased from 20 to 28% in 2020, the percentage of severe speed-related crashes remained the same as 2015-19 averages.

Click here to see the full 2020 Annual Report. In addition to this high-level data review, Vision Zero staff are working on identifying 2020 Hot Spot locations using crash data combined with traffic volume and characteristic information. We are also planning additional systemic analysis to understand the intersectionality of crash factors to help us predict and address crashes at the countywide level before they happen. Stay tuned for more information in future newsletters!

Injury Graph


New Pilot Safety Project in Rosslyn

In mid-August we will install a pedestrian safety pilot project at Fort Myer Drive and Eastbound Langston Boulevard (former Lee Highway) intersection. The pilot project will reconfigure one of the southbound Fort Myer Drive left turn lanes in order to:

  • Reduce vehicle turning conflicts with people walking or biking across the east leg of the intersection

  • Increase visibility and awareness of people crossing Langston Blvd (formerly Lee Highway)

  • Left turns will still be permitted from the far-left lane


Holistic Safety Improvements: Multi-lane Crossings

The Vision Zero Action Plan Item B7: Multimodal Safety Toolbox states that staff will “conduct system-wide, holistic reviews of deployed tools and implement updates to ensure consistent and equitable safety treatments throughout the county.” A recent example of this systemic work is a countywide review of crosswalks over three or more lanes of traffic. Staff identified each of these “multilane crossing” locations, documented existing conditions (signs, pavement markings, curb conditions, flashing beacons, etc.), and then recommended updates to ensure consistency at these types of locations countywide.

As a result of the review, the County added new warning signage, pavement yield and high visibility crosswalk markings, and other minor improvements at 12 multilane crossing locations (including those pictured on Walter Reed Dr below). Creating consistency is important so that drivers are aware of an upcoming crossing in advance—especially in these areas where there can be multiple cars approaching the crosswalk at the same time.

New Crossing 


Completed Projects / What We're Working On