For those prone to drive a touch fast going down Richmond Highway in Fairfax County, beware. The speed limit will drop from 45 mph to 35 mph starting on Tuesday, May 23.
The change will be in effect along a 7-mile stretch of U.S. 1 from Jeff Todd Way/Mount Vernon Memorial Highway in the Mount Vernon area to Alexandria’s southern limits near the Capital Beltway.
New signs will be posted with the 35 mph speed limit.
By lowering the speed limit, the Virginia Department Transportation and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation hope to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and bus riders. The road carried an average of 55,000 vehicles a day, according to 2019 data.
VDOT studied the Richmond Highway area in August 2021 after hearing about safety concerns from people who live, work, and travel along the corridor that has a number of shopping centers and businesses.
The area is known to have a lot of crashes. The study team then recommended the change after reviewing crashes between 2016 and 2020 and finding the crash rate along Richmond Highway to be 74 percent higher than the statewide average.
So far in 2023, there have been two pedestrian fatalities on Richmond Highway. One woman, who was standing on a sidewalk, was struck and killed in Groveton in March when a driver of Mercedes struck a Jeep and then jumped the curb. In April, a man died after he was struck by two drivers near Fort Belvoir.
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