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A new study shows that the most dangerous area for pedestrians is Old Town.

The law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp commissioned the study, which identified 20 areas, and was conducted by California-based 1Point21 Interactive.

The study, which includes an interactive map, tabulated more than 11,000 crashes between 2015 and 2022, with the most in Alexandria’s Old Town Historic District.

There were 68 crashes and 75 injuries, throughout Old Town. In second place is the MCV and Capitol districts of Richmond with 55 crashes and 56 pedestrians injured, followed by  Clarendon in Arlington County with 52 crashes and 58 pedestrian injuries.

“In Virginia, pedestrian safety is a growing concern. From 2015 through June 2022, over 11,000 pedestrians were struck in the state of Virginia, leaving over 10,000 injured and 848 dead,” according to the study.

The top 20 most dangerous areas are below.

RANK ZONE NAME LOCATION CRASHES PEDESTRIANS INJURED
1 Alexandria Historic District Alexandria 68 75
2 Capitol – Biotech and MCV Districts Richmond 55 56
3 Clarendon Arlington County 52 58
4 Belvidere St Corridor Richmond 44 43
5 Monroe Ward Richmond 37 39
6 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond 34 35
7 Ballston Arlington County 32 31
8 North Rosslyn Arlington County 31 32
9 Caroline Street Corridor Fredericksburg 29 33
10 Shockoe Bottom Richmond 26 26
11 Columbia Pike Corridor Arlington County 24 25
12 Pacific Ave Corridor Virginia Beach 20 20
13 Main St Corridor Blacksburg 19 19
14 Shockoe Slip Richmond 18 18
15 Crystal City – Richmond Hwy & 23rd St Arlington County 18 20
16 Wilson Blvd Corridor Arlington County 18 18
17 Court House Arlington County 16 17
18 Ridge St Corridor Charlottesville 15 14
19 Columbia Pike & S Four Mile Run Dr. Arlington County 15 15
20 Downtown Roanoke Roanoke 14 14
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The scene of a crash outside Jefferson Houston Elementary School, March 29, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria is moving forward with plans to install new speed enforcement cameras with public meetings planned this fall ahead of implementation next year.

In a release, the City of Alexandria said the approved speed cameras in school zones are expected to launch in early 2023. The release said the city will provide updates on the program at the:

  • Sept. 26: Traffic and Parking Board public hearing
  • Oct. 11: City Council legislative meeting

The release said the city is planning to install five cameras in school zones next year.

The new cameras were approved after a driver struck a child at an intersection just outside of Jefferson Houston Elementary School (200 block of North West Street). A state law passed in 2020 authorized the use of speed cameras in school and work zones, and both Arlington and the City of Fairfax have been working on implementing cameras in school zones.

“Speed cameras may be fixed or portable,” the release said. “They are placed along the roadway and automatically record speed limit violations. After a sworn law enforcement officer affirms the violation, a speeding citation is mailed to the vehicle’s owner, lessee, or renter. The maximum fine is $100.”

The city said the speed camera locations will be selected through a data-driven process that considers vehicle speeds, vehicle volume, and the history of crashes nearby.

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There was a crash in the area of N. patrick and Montgomery Streets in the Braddock area on July 29, 2022. (Via Google Maps)

A 27-year-old Washington, D.C. man is being held without bond after allegedly crashing his car into a Metro Bus in the Braddock area and ditching a “ghost gun.”

The incident occurred at around 4:45 p.m. on July 29 (Friday) in the area of N. Patrick and Montgomery Streets — just a few blocks from the Braddock Road Metro station. No one was injured in the crash.

The Metro Bus Driver told police that the driver of a black Nissan was driving “extremely fast” westbound on Montgomery Street and “blew through an intersection hitting the Metro Bus,” according to a search warrant affidavit.

“”There was significant damage done to the Nissan showing a crash at a dangerous speed,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “(The driver) admitted to driving the vehicle when it crashed at a dangerous speed… consuming alcohol, and smoking marijuana approximately 30 minutes before operating the vehicle. (The driver) stated he was coming from D.C. to go to his girlfriend’s house.”

A witness then told police that the driver of the Nissan took a gun from his glove compartment and threw it in a bush in the 900 block of N. Patrick Street.

“I was able to recover that firearm, which is not serialized,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “(The driver) denied knowledge of the firearm, but admitted to me he is on probation for firearms.”

The driver was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, driving without a license, intent to distribute marijuana and driving while intoxicated. He goes to court on August 31.

Via Google Maps

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A 34-year-old Maryland man is being held without bond after allegedly smashing his car into two others and then fleeing from police on foot across Interstate 95.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, June 21, at around 3:45 p.m. Police were called to the area of Duke Street and Early Street for a report of an injury resulting from a hit-and-run, and were told that the suspect’s Nissan Altima had rear end damage, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Police located the suspect, Allen Johnson, nearby and trying to fix the damage to his car.

“Johnson entered the vehicle and drove east along Duke Street, exiting onto Telegraph (Road) and then (Interstate) 95,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “The driver ignored (the officer’s) emergency lights and sirens and refused to stop, swerving between lanes, nd randomly applying brakes before fleeing at a high rate of speed.”

Another officer then found the vehicle on the southbound local lanes of I-95 — after hitting another vehicle. As the officer arrived on scene, Johnson allegedly fled on foot.

“Your affiant observed Johnson walking sourhbound on the highway in the southbound thru lanes,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “He then hopped the jersey wall, crossed a grassy median, then hopped another jersey wall and continued southbound in the northbound thru lanes. Your affiant took him into custody in the middle lane.”

Police said Johnson was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech and had marijuana shake in one of his pockets.

“When asked if he drank or took drugs today, he replied, ‘You’ll find out,'” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

Johnson was charged with two counts of hit-and-run resulting in injury and driving while intoxicated. He goes to court for the offenses on August 2.

Via Google Maps

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The scene of a crash outside Jefferson Houston Elementary School, March 29, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Alexandria Police Department (APD) will be ready to deploy five speed cameras in schools zones around the city by early next year.

Police Chief Don Hayes and Yon Lambert, the director of the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES), issued a memo to update the joint City Council/School Board subcommittee, which met on Monday (June 26).

“Staff have immediately mobilized to develop and implement this new program,” Hayes and Lambert wrote. “staff working group, which includes representatives from ACPS, APD, T&ES, and others, has formed to address the various aspects of such a program, including location selection, public communications, procurement, and other critical tasks. This group is working towards the goal of launching the program by early 2023.”

In May, City Council approved the $400,000 speed camera program, after a child was struck and seriously injured at an intersection just outside of Jefferson Houston Elementary School (200 block of North West Street).

Virginia code was amended in 2020 to add speed cameras in school and work zones. This is the first time Alexandria will use speed cameras, and City Manager Jim Parajon is considering lowering speed limits in residential, business and school zones from 25 miles per hour to 15 mph.

A working group made up of city staff and APD  are also putting together a program webpage, and the future location of the cameras have not yet been chosen.

“The locations will be data-driven,” said Alexandria Police Lt. Delton Goodrum told the subcommittee. “Right now we’re pulling all this data between T&ES, APD and also ACPS (Alexandria City Public Schools).”

Staff will present the subcommittee with more details on the camera locations this fall.

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Updated at 1:25 p.m. An Alexandria motorcyclist was killed Sunday afternoon (June 26) after crashing and falling nearly 30 feet off the westbound Interstate 495 overpass exit ramp for Eisenhower Avenue toward Mill Road.

The motorcyclist took the exit ramp, and crashed into the cement wall while on the overpass. His identity was later released as 23-year-old Braydon A. Stone.

“While on the overpass exit ramp, the motorcycle ran off the left side of the travel lane and struck the cement wall,” Virginia State Police said in a release. “The impact of the crash caused the motorcyclist to be thrown from his bike and over the cement wall. He then landed approximately 28 feet below in the travel lane. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”

Police said Stone was wearing a helmet, and that the crash remains under investigation. He was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Via Google Maps

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A 28-year-old Alexandria man blamed the effects of being on Ambien on a crash that damaged an apartment building in the city’s Arlandria neighborhood.

The incident occurred on Friday, June 10, at around 4:30 p.m. in the 3800 block of Russell Road — directly across from St. Rita’s Catholic Church. A witness called police to report that a blue Ford Focus hopped the curb and smashed into the steps and rail of the entrance to the “Andrew Jackson” building of the Presidential Greens Apartments, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The witness told police that, after the crash, the driver got out of the car, and picked up pieces of his car and put them in his trunk.

“The vehicle sustained extensive damage to its front, including bumper, under guard, right headlight, possibly radiator that left a large spill on the walking path near the steps,” police said in a search warrant affidavit. “The subject then returned to the vehicle, although with a struggle, turned around and drove out of the courtyard side — swiping a parked Mini Cooper.”

The witness pointed the driver out to police.

The driver told police that he’d just gone to McDonald’s to buy cigars, and then corrected himself by saying he went to get sandwiches, according to the search warrant affidavit. He also said that he took Ambien before driving.

“(The suspect) stated that he was using Ambien occasionally without prescription because it was helping hi to go to sleep,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “(The suspect) was aware of Ambien side effects. (The suspect) admitted to ‘possibly hitting something’ before parking.”

The driver, who was released on $500 unsecured bond that same day, was charged with hit-and-run property destruction, driving an uninsured vehicle, driving while intoxicated (first offense) and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He goes to court for the offenses on July 1.

Via Google Maps

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Intersection of Quaker Lane and Duke Street (image via Google Maps)

Alexandria is hoping to get federal funding for an audit of the city’s high-crash intersections to look for possible solutions.

The project, which includes the audit, public engagement and design, is estimated to cost $1 million. The grant would cover up to $800,000, with the city or the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

A presentation on the audit includes a map of the city’s most crash-prone intersections, which includes:

  • The intersection of Stevenson Avenue and Yoakum Parkway
  • The intersection of King Street and what looks like N. Hampton Drive
  • The intersection of Duke Street and Quaker Lane
Map of crashes around Alexandria (image via City of Alexandria)

A staff report with the grant request notes that crashes were trending down between 2011 and 2020, though deaths and serious injuries trended upward slightly.

The report said 58% of crashes involving deaths of serious injuries occurred at an intersection

Crashes are also most common in the evenings.

“During the weekday, high crash frequencies are seen during the evening commute,” the report said. “Early spring months had the highest proportion of KSI crashes for bicyclists, while the late summer months were the highest for pedestrians.”

The grant request is scheduled for a vote in the roll-call consent calendar at the Tuesday, June 28 City Council meeting (item 11).

Image via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police continue to investigate a three-vehicle hit-and-run in the West End that downed a tree into the north bound lanes of N. Beauregard Street and Quantrell Avenue.

At around 4 p.m. on May 1, a 2013 silver Dodge Ram was found abandoned at the intersection near a 1995 Chevrolet G20 van it had just struck, knocking off the G20s front passenger side tire, according to a search warrant affidavit.

While investigating the scene, the driver of a 2017 white Honda Civic drove up and told police that the driver of the Ram hit his car at the intersection of N. Beauregard and N. Armistead Street — a block away.

Police found the owner of the Ram, who said that she was allowing a friend’s son to drive it, and that he lives less than a mile from where the crashes occurred, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Police then interviewed the friend’s son, who said that he was not driving that night, but that his friend “Leonardo” was driving the Ram back to his house, “because (the friend’s son) had been drinking alcohol and was self-admittedly intoxicated,” according to a search warrant affidavit.

The friend’s son said that Leonardo lived in an apartment complex nearby on Seminary Road, although the leaseholder of the home the friend’s son lives in told police that no one named Leonardo had ever been in her residence, according to a search warrant affidavit.

No arrests have been made in connection to the incident, which remains under investigation.

Via Google Maps

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West Taylor Run Parkway and Janneys Lane (image via Google Maps)

A woman was critically injured after being struck by a driver this morning in Taylor Run.

The call for a pedestrian struck went out around 6:40 a.m. this morning (Wednesday). Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett said a female pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of West Taylor Run Parkway and Janneys Lane. She suffered a serious but non-life-threatening injury.

Bassett said the car driver remained on the scene and the victim was transported to the hospital.

The intersection and the stretch of West Taylor Run Parkway just south of the intersection have had several serious collisions in recent with local residents frequently expressing concerns about safety.

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