What’s been done to improve safety on Vienna road following deadly crash?

Fairfax County leaders provided an update on recent and future initiatives to improve safety on a Virginia road, where two teenagers were killed in a crash.

Fairfax County schools will evaluate the bus stops along Blake Lane in Vienna, following a crash that killed two Oakton High School students.

“We’ll make a determination about each stop,” said James Banachoski with the Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Safety and Security during a dialog Thursday night over safety concerns in the corridor. The meeting was scheduled by Supervisor Dalia Palchik, who represents the area.

Earlier this month, two girls died and three other people were hurt in a crash at Blake Lane and Five Oaks Road near the school. The driver of the striking vehicle has been indicted on manslaughter charges.

There are 7,500 school bus stops in Fairfax County, with many of them located on principal and minor arterial designated road, Banachoski said. The review will confirm that the stops are age-appropriate and all possible safety measures are implemented.

Since the crash, police have placed three electronic speed signs on Blake Lane and citations have dramatically increased — more than 130. Officers will return to monitor the area in the fall when school is back in session.

Fairfax County police Capt. Camille Stewart said her officers have been told to be visible and enforce speed restrictions. Capt. Alan Hanson also gave an update on the school/construction zone pilot program, which has not yet been approved.

The Virginia Department of Transportation also provided an update on the safety improvements on Blake Lane, including installing 30 pedestrian warning signs, high visibility crosswalks, delayed green lights for vehicles, as well as signs that say there’s an additional $200 fine for speeding from Route 123 to Sutton Road, which have been installed since September. VDOT wants to do a road safety audit, with the goal of identifying safety problems for pedestrians and cyclists.

VDOT is also looking at communications and messaging to launch a data-driven campaign with common messaging across agencies and platforms aimed at educating about and communicating pedestrian safety.

The meeting — attended by county and agency leaders, including Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay — ended with a Q&A.

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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