Arlington Co. to consider lowering speed limits near schools

The speed limit on several residential streets near schools in Arlington County, Virginia, could be lowered, as part of the county’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic deaths.

One of the agenda items being considered next Saturday by the Arlington County Board includes whether to authorize a public hearing next month to discuss lowering the limit to 20 mph on 58 segments of residential streets near 13 schools — 11 of which are public.

Six of the schools were chosen because their existing school zone flashing beacons need replacement.

Three were identified because of the Vision Zero program’s commitment to equitably improve transportation, and because the schools are near the program’s High-Injury Network — which comprises corridors “with relatively high densities of serious injury or fatal crashes.”

And four of the schools chosen are where a new school is coming or the school site is changing.

“Attempts to reduce or eliminate fatal and critical crashes can be achieved by regulating unsafe speeds on our streets with measures such as signage and pavement markings. Lowering the speed limit can be a basic and powerful tool for reducing vehicle speeds,” the request said.

Implementation in these slow zones will include signage and markings that remind drivers to reduce their speed, as well as flashing beacons on streets within 600 feet of a school during arrival and dismissal times. One of the issues cited for lowering the speed limit was the over 10 crashes involving speed within 600 feet of a school every year.

The county adopted the Vision Zero Action plan last May, describing it as a road map to make streets, trails and pathways safer by 2030.

You can see the list of streets being considered here.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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