Alexandria, VA

More Alexandrians are hitting the trails and roads around the city on bicycles — one of the safest forms of outdoor exercise amid the coronavirus pandemic — but the city has started to see a slight increase in bicycle crashes over the last few months as well.

Sarah Godfrey, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services, said that May, June, and July have all had more crashes in 2020 than in 2021, though for May and July that has only been by one. According to data provided by the Alexandria Police Department:

Year

May

June

July

2019

3

8

2

2020

4

10

4

The total number of crashes is too low to substantially indicate a trend, but the increase is enough that the city has started offering bicycle safety classes with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. A digital session is planned for next Wednesday, July 29 from 5:30-7 p.m.

“Join the Washington Area Bicyclist Association for a lesson on how to ride your bike in traffic and take your riding to the next level,” the city said in an event listing. “You will learn how to prepare for your ride, where to ride in the road, communicating with motorists and how to build confidence!”

The pandemic has created a demand for bicycles, so much so that one shop in Old Town has had to put customers down on a waiting list for new bicycles.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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