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Alexandria lowers speed limits on major West End streets

The City of Alexandria announced today that drivers will need to go a little slower in the West End.

City Manager James Parajon said, following the unanimous recommendation from the Traffic and Parking Board, speed limits on a handful of corridors on the West End — including some major ones like North Beauregard Street, Seminary Road and King Street — will be reduced by around 10 miles per hour.

According to the city release, the full list of speed limit changes are:

  • North Beauregard Street (Entire Length). Reduce the posted speed limit from 35 to 25 miles per hour and reduce the school zone speed limits from 25 to 15 miles per hour.
  • West Braddock Road (North Beauregard Street to Quaker Lane). Reduce the posted speed limit from 35 to 25 miles per hour and reduce the school zone speed limits from 25 to 15 miles per hour.
  • North Howard Street (Lynn House Driveway to Braddock Road). Reduce the school zone speed limit on North Howard Street from 25 to 15 miles per hour.
  • Seminary Road (Kenmore Avenue to North Pickett Street). Reduce the school zone speed limit from 25 to 15 miles per hour.
  • King Street (Radford Street to Quincy Street). Install a new 15 mile per hour school zone speed limit.

The release said the changes are part of the city’s Vision Zero plan.

“Speed is a critical factor in how often crashes occur and how severe those crashes are,” the release said. “Collectively, there have been over 500 crashes on these corridors since 2015, including over 20 fatal or severe crashes. Over 250 people have been injured in crashes during this time.”

The release said the most recent notable incident was a fatal crash on North Beauregard Street this August.

“According to the Federal Highway Administration, speed limit changes alone can lead to measurable declines in speed and crashes,” the release said. “National guidance encourages local governments to set appropriate speed limits to ensure the safety of all roadway users. This is especially important in urban areas where people walk, bike, and drive. 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 or 15 miles per hour.”

The speed limit reduction is the latest of a series of traffic changes in the works in Alexandria. The city also approved the use of speed cameras for the first time in some school zones and is reviewing options for a new Duke Street Transitway.

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