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Alexandria drops speed limit on Seminary Road

Pump the brakes if you’re cruising down Seminary Road, the City of Alexandria has dropped the speed limit on the arterial road from 35 mph to 25.

The move comes after years of efforts by the city to redesign the road, which included reducing travel lanes to add more pedestrian and bicycle space, which have at times sparked intense backlash. In a press release, the city said the goal is to reduce speed on the street to limit the severity and frequency of crashes. The change will impact Seminary Road between I-395 and the City limits.

“This section of Seminary Road has the highest number of injury crashes per mile per year, compared to similar streets in Alexandria,” the city said. “Between January 2016 and June 2021, there were 239 reportable crashes on this section of Seminary Road. Of those crashes, two were fatal, eight involved severe injury and 59 involved non-life-threatening injuries. A third person was killed on Seminary Road at Fairbanks Avenue in September 2021.”

The recommendation for the reduced speed limit came from the Traffic and Parking Board. The new speed limit signs were installed this week, the city said.

“The likelihood of a person being killed or seriously injured when struck at 35 miles per hour is significantly higher than if that person is struck at 25 miles per hour,” the city said. “After the speed limit was reduced on Quaker Lane and on Seminary Road east of I-395, both speeds and average annual number of crashes declined.”

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