My View | Corey Smedley: Fire Department provided input on Seminary

Corey Smedley (Photo/City of Alexandria)

On Jan. 20, the Alexandria Times published a summary it prepared of selected emails between city transportation and fire officials. This summary does not accurately reflect the work leading up to the new design of Seminary Road. I want to reassure the community that the Fire Department participated in the design process for Seminary Road and is satisfied that appropriate measures have been put in place for us to safely travel before, during and after an emergency call.

The emails summarized by the Times centered on discussion between two design options. The Fire Department preferred the design labelled “Option 3” over the one proposed by transportation staff, and Option 3 was ultimately adopted by city council and exists on the roadway today.

The Times chose to summarize emails from only one 90-day period in mid-2019. As a result, the summary does not include any of the discussion that took place before or after that period. This includes initial discussion between transportation and fire officials about Seminary Road in 2018 and early 2019, and further discussion of Option 3 in late 2019 prior to its eventual adoption.

Our first priority will always be the safety of our community and our staff. Our staff has not reported any difficulties in using Seminary Road since the implementation of the new design began in October 2019.

The writer is chief of the Alexandria Fire Department.