Newsletter

Poll: Should the City Rethink the Seminary Road Diet?

Three months after a portion of Seminary Road was re-paved and re-striped to reduce it from two vehicular lanes in each direction to one lane, a turn lane and bike lanes, the debate over the “road diet” still rages on.

On the now-private Alexandria Residents Against the Seminary Road Diet Facebook group, numerous posts per day bemoan the state of rush hour traffic along Seminary Road, report on cut-through traffic on nearby roads, and rip Mayor Justin Wilson for his support of the project. (Wilson, a member of the group, often politely replies to the invective.)

No one is denying that the road diet is causing some level of increased traffic during certain times. Earlier this month Wilson wrote in his Council Connection newsletter that there were still increased delays for drivers on Seminary Road, but they were largely confined to narrow peak rush hour periods and were improving over time:

During the evening rush, the peak travel period has been 5:15 PM to 5:30 PM. Prior to the change, the average travel time from the intersection of Quaker Lane and Seminary Road to Jordan Street and Seminary Road was 3.5 minutes. In November, after the changes were implemented, we saw a 40% increase in this travel time, with an average of 4.9 minutes. In December (excluding holidays and days when school is not in session), the average travel time was down to 3.9 minutes, an increase of 24 seconds from before the changes.

During the morning rush, the peak travel period has been 8:15 AM to 8:30 AM. Prior to the change, the average travel time from the intersection of Quaker Lane and Seminary Road to Jordan Street and Seminary Road was 3.6 minutes. In November, after the changes were implemented, we saw a 98% increase in this travel time, with an average of 7.1 minutes. In December (excluding holidays and days when school is not in session), the average travel time was down to 4.7 minutes, an increase of a bit over a minute from before the changes.

This morning, a review of traffic conditions via Google Maps showed mostly clear sailing as of 8:45 a.m. The city’s traffic monitoring service similarly showed a 25 mph average speed on Seminary and Janneys Lane, between N. Beauregard Street and King Street, from 8-9 a.m. this morning.

Google Maps reports higher levels of “typical traffic” and delays around 8 a.m. on most weekdays.

Ultimately, the Seminary Road question is one of priorities. Should the city’s priority be to reduce rush hour delays for drivers? (And, potentially, emergency vehicles — though no issues have been reported so far.)

Or should the city stick to its guns and sacrifice some commute times in the name of pedestrian safety and encouraging other forms of transportation, like bikes and scooters?

Let us know what you think in the poll and the comments.

Map via Google Maps

Recent Stories

A 20 year-old Alexandria man was shot to death in his car in Lincolnia, and a 20-year-old Fairfax County man and a 17-year-old alleged accomplice have been arrested for his…

The Electra America Hospitality Group sees Alexandria’s red brick facade and wants it painted black. The Holiday Inn Express in North Old Town could be rebranded to Hotel AKA as…

Alexandria resident Steven Orellana was found guilty yesterday (Tuesday) for rape of a coworker in 2019. The 32-year-old Orellana was dating the victim and they were coworkers, according to a…

Matt & Tony’s will open for all-day brunch this spring at the former Charlie’s On The Avenue, the new restaurant’s owner tells ALXnow. Alexandria Restaurant Partners bought the 3,000 square-foot…

×

Subscribe to our mailing list