"Street Smart" Pedestrian Safety Campaign Launched
Fairfax County Office of Public
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
April 5, 2004
"Street Smart" Pedestrian Safety
to Increase Awareness that Everyone is a Pedestrian
Today, Monday, April 5, at 2 p.m., various state and local officials gathered at the 4200 block of Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, directly across from Ballston Mall, for a pedestrian safety news conference to kick off the 2004 “Street Smart” Pedestrian Safety Campaign, a regional initiative sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly and
Providence District Supervisor and Metropolitan Washington Council of
Governments Transportation Planning Board Member Linda Q. Smyth were both
on hand representing the county. Chairman Connolly spoke and emphasized
Fairfax County’s commitment to improving pedestrian safety and mobility.
He offered several examples of aggressive actions the county has taken to
improve the roads for pedestrians. Some of these include:
• Establishing a pedestrian program manager position.
• Conducting a countywide Bus Stop Pedestrian Safety Study of over 5,000 bus stops
• Installing Yield To Pedestrians In Crosswalk $100-$500 Violation Fine Signs at 75 intersections in the first year of this program. Fairfax County Police continue to enforce these new signs as they are installed.
• Prioritizing funding within the VDOT Six Year Construction Program to be used for constructing pedestrian improvements.
• Providing county funding to work with VDOT to begin installing countdown pedestrian traffic signals.
• Joining in the working group that helped draft VDOT’s new Policy for Integrating Pedestrian and Bicycle Accommodations.
• Convening a Pedestrian Task Force to coordinate and prioritize county pedestrian education/outreach and construction efforts.
• Conducting police enforcement actions in high-pedestrian areas such as the Route 1 Corridor, Tysons, Annandale and at the Huntington and Vienna Metro Stations, targeting both motorists and pedestrians who violate pedestrian and traffic laws.
Fairfax County has supported the Street Smart campaign for two years now contributing $150,000 to this and other regional efforts to improve awareness of laws governing drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike, while educating these groups on safer practices to reduce street crossing risks.
Pedestrian Safety is a complicated issue in a region with some of the worst congestion in the country and motorists, pedestrians and cyclists who too often disregard or unfortunately don’t understand traffic signals, signs and street markings. Throughout the region, and in Fairfax especially, sustained efforts to improve awareness can make a difference. Connolly was able to report, in the year 2003, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the county was almost half of what it was in 2002.
For more information, contact Chris Wells,
pedestrian program manager, at 703-324-1188, TTY 703-324-1102.