In 2017, Arlington County saw a spike in pedestrian- and bicycle-involved crashes. The following year, the police department, Department of Environmental Services, Bike Arlington, Walk Arlington, the Bicycle Advisory Commission and the Pedestrian Advisory Commission responded.
The county reports their efforts resulted in a 29 percent reduction in bicycle-involved crashes and a 7 percent reduction in pedestrian-involved crashes.
Last week, their collective effort was recognized, and the county was awarded the Governor’s Highway Safety Award.
To reduce the number of such crashes in the county, Communication Specialist with the Arlington County Police Department Kirby Clark reports the police department and DES worked with community partners to accomplish three goals: enforcement, education, and engineering.
“Both pedestrian and bicyclist safety is a big priority for the county, so this award has been well-received and the work that we’re doing in the community to improve safety for all travelers is being well-received,” said Clark.
Enforcement efforts included:
- Traffic Accident Reduction Program’s geographical heat maps identified high-frequency accident locations and enforcement efforts responded at most accurate times and locations.
- Rosslyn Pedestrian-Safety Initiative
- Council of Government’s Street Smart program
- Click It or Ticket national safety campaign
Education elements included:
- Police officers were provided with information on crash data and behavior trends.
- Regular meetings were held between county staff and Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commissions.
- Arlington Restaurant Initiative increased advocacy efforts to prevent drunk driving incidents in the county.
Engineering elements included:
- New bike lanes and additional barriers
- Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFBS) were installed at designated pedestrian crossings to increase visibility.
- Unused pavement space was reduced in some areas.
- Installation of new signage