There are currently serious concerns about the safety of self-driving cars, with specific concerns about the ability of these cars to reliably avoid hitting pedestrians and cyclists. But at the technology advances, city staff are still including plans for self-driving cars on Alexandria streets as a future possibility worth planning for.
The recognition of autonomous vehicles was noted as one of the changes highlighted at a Sept. 29 joint Transportation Commission and Alexandria Mobility Plan Advisory Committee meeting. Staff said that the city needs to be prepared for that future from a policy perspective.
The city is in the middle of a broad update to the original plan from 2008. The new Alexandria Mobility Plan includes several actions to help prepare for autonomous vehicles.
- Consider pilot projects to lay the groundwork for and evaluate the effectiveness
of various new technologies
- Prepare for connected vehicles by developing maintenance and infrastructure
plans to ensure street readiness
- Prepare for autonomous or self-driving vehicles by developing policies to manage
potentially significant increases in miles driven and traffic volumes within the city,
including limiting zero-passenger miles and incentivizing shared use
- Ensure that safety is a priority when testing and implementing new technologies
Despite the current safety concerns, the Alexandria Mobility Plan said there’s potential for autonomous vehicles to be a roadway safety improvement, as well as an accessibility benefit:
Autonomous and connected vehicles have the potential to improve roadway safety, enhance mobility for persons with disabilities, and potentially reduce congestion. Vehicle technology is advancing quickly, and the City needs to be well-positioned to adapt to these changes. It is important to prepare for connected vehicle technology through strategic investments that accommodate vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, which will help travelers find parking spaces, avoid traffic and crashes, navigate hazardous conditions, and more. Proactive policy making and monitoring will be needed to address potential for increased travel and congestion associated with the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles.
The plan’s 20-year goals include accomodating self-driving vehicles, vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, and vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
In neighboring Fairfax, a self-driving shuttle started operation last year, though some drivers have been irked by the vehicle. Autonomous vehicles have also been used at Fort Meyer in Arlington. In 2017 a “driverless car” was spotted in Arlington, though it later turned out to be a car driven by a person disguised as a car seat.
Photo via Alan/Flickr
Updated at 5:45 p.m. Mia’s Italian Kitchen has a permanent home in Alexandria. Douglas Development Corp. sold 100 King Street to Alexandria Restaurant Partners for $8.6 million on October 28,…
Carpenter’s Shelter has been awarded a $2.5 million grant by the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund, and plans to use the money to rapidly re-house homeless Alexandrians. The $2.5 million…
Alexandria is planning for a transit-oriented overhaul of Duke Street, and city staff connected to the project told an advisory group earlier this month that rumors about eminent domain being…
Got your kilt ready? Alexandria’s Scottish Christmas Walk weekend is back. Former City Councilwoman Del Pepper will take center stage as the grand Marshal of the 51st Alexandria Scottish Christmas…
High School Senior Anxious about College Life? Our amazing graduate interns, Meghan Damminger and Kelly Charwat are starting an affordable College Readiness group in early 2023. Working out day and time. Please email [email protected] to set up a free consultation after the Thanksgiving holiday. And yes, Meghan and Kelly have a few openings for individual clients as well. Their rate is $45 per session. [www.sarahmoorelpc.com](http://www.sarahmoorelpc.com/?fbclid=IwAR3ZlfQnSLVRCc78HbTZutDYZErTctC_5pl- zt4eo_wjQo1gF6uHS–k32g).
Monarch Montessori School, located in the education center at 218 East Monroe Avenue, is currently enrolling infants and toddlers for the 2022-2023 school year. We’re an authentic Montessori preschool with a STEM emphasis!
We Offer: Arts & Crafts, Yoga & Pottery, Language & Early Literacy, Botany & Culinary Arts, Music Appreciation, Chorus & Language Immersion, Mathematics, Geography & Science, Practical Life & Culture.
Full-time, part-time, flexible and drop-in options!
Don’t miss this toe tapping celebration!
The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (SONOVA) presents “Brassy Jazzy Christmas,” a strong lineup of Christmas and holiday favorites. Inspired by Stan Keton’s album “A Merry Christmas!,” SONOVA has created a jazz band–substituting french
Join in Alexandria’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition- the 47th Turkey Trot 5 Mile Race. Alexandria’s favorite Thanksgiving morning tradition, the Alexandria Turkey Trot, returns to the streets of Del Ray on Thursday, November 24 at 9 a.m. In the spirit of