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New code change could allow Alexandria to crack down on crosswalk infractions

A pedestrian tries to cross Duke St. at N. Jordan St. (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Currently, in Alexandria, drivers have to yield to pedestrians, but a new state-level change has given Alexandria the authority to tell drivers to stop.

According to a memo from Hillary Orr, deputy director of Transportation and Environmental Services, a change to City Code requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians crossing the street is heading to City Council in December.

“In December, City Council will consider a change to City Code requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians crossing or attempting to cross the street,” Orr said. “Currently, City Code requires motorists to yield to pedestrians, which was consistent with State Code.”

But Orr said the state legislature granted more authority to localities to install signs requiring drivers to fully stop at crosswalks. Currently, drivers only have to yield to pedestrians. While the difference between “stop” and “yield” may be technical, Orr said the new language will allow Alexandria to do more to enforce crosswalk infractions.

According to Orr:

In the 2023 legislative session, SB 1069 provided authority to named localities, including Alexandria, to install signs requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians who are crossing or attempting to cross the street. Additionally, the Vision Zero Action Plan identifies the strategy 2A.4 to ‘pursue and support state legislation to require drivers to stop, rather than yield, for pedestrians in the crosswalk.’ Therefore, staff is proposing an update to Section 10-3-924(D) to mirror state legislative language. The proposed change is both consistent with Vision Zero goals and increases the legal standing to enforce crosswalk infractions.

The proposed change is scheduled for review at the Transportation Commission meeting tomorrow (Wednesday).

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