City council adopts Vision Zero action plan

The Seminary Road exit on I-395. (File Photo)

By Alexa Epitropoulos | [email protected]

City council formally adopted a Vision Zero action plan at its public hearing on Saturday, which has the goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2028.

The adoption of the Vision Zero action plan follows city council adopting the international traffic safety concept in January of this year.

The action plan was formed through a drafting and feedback gathering process that ultimately involved more than 1,000 residents, visitors, business owners and employees, according to a city news release.

The adopted plan includes points of focus for Vision Zero’s first two years in action in Alexandria. Some of the biggest focuses are the creation of a public crash and safety data dashboard that can be used to track the plan’s progress, an accelerated timeline for “Safe Route to School” engineering recommendations and increased traffic safety enforcement on city roadways with higher speeds. 

The plan also outlines engineering improvements the city will undergo in the first year of the action plan being in effect, including new signals for pedestrians, new road markings, signs, curb ramps and speed limit changes. 

Alexandria is the first Vision Zero community in Northern Virginia, according to a city news release.

“The adoption of the Vision Zero Action Plan affirms the city’s commitment to making our streets safer and moves Alexandria one step closer to zero traffic deaths and serious injuries,” Mayor Allison Silberberg said in the release. “Public safety is a top priority in our city.”






  1. Vision Zero is easy to achieve, but requires two major changes. 1) Areas with pedestrians and cyclists MUST be totally separated from all moving vehicles. 2) Areas with moving vehicles must be engineered so that the maximum speed of those vehicles is no more than about 20 mph.

    These changes are simple to engineer, but very costly to the infrastructure, and likely negative to commerce.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  2. Mr. Walker’s mis-characterization of Vision Zero leads to erroneous conclusions. For example, effective solutions such as Leading Pedestrian Intervals that reduce vehicle-pedestrian crashes by 60% are also low cost – a simple signal timing adjustment in this case. See FHWA’s report of proven safety countermeasures here: Costs to add pedestrian refuge islands, high visibility crosswalks, re-striping to narrow vehicle travel lanes on a roadway section in Alexandria were a small fraction of the total costs of an associated King Street re-paving project. Results: Zero crashes in the year after the project compared with an average of seven crashes on this roadway annually for the previous decade. Post-project results here: Numerous studies support positive economic benefits accrue when communities invest in becoming safer and more walkable. Bottom line: relatively low-cost Vision Zero infrastructure investments can save lives, eliminate serious injury AND have positive economic impact.
    Jim Durham, Chair of the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee