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Here’s to three years of pedestrian safety advocacy! We are excited to share our accomplishments with you in our Summer 2020 newsletter: Walkability audits of uncontrolled crosswalks Extension of our “Near Miss” survey to Arlington Successfully advocating for new traffic legislation, including a handheld phone ban Letter to the editor regarding racial justice and traffic enforcement New Families for Safe Streets chapters in Arlington and Fairfax Read the full account of our advocacy endeavors in the document attached above. As always, thank you for your support.

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“… We urge Alexandria to prioritize speed management as the key tenet to Vision Zero and a safe systems approach because it is more effective at deterring dangerous driving than enforcement and less likely to be a tool for racial injustice. Silence could be interpreted as acquiescing to vehicle violence and racial inequities. We are speaking out and advocating for action.” Take a look at our full statement on racial justice as it applies to traffic enforcement in the Alexandria Gazette Packet and the Alexandria Times.

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Did you know that distracted driving accounts for more than 30% of vehicle crashes? On July 8, Virginia strengthened its driver safety laws by banning hand-held cellphone use while driving. We are now a handsfree state!  AFSS was honored to attend the virtual bill signing today held by Governor Northam, and to have helped advocate for the new law, which takes effect January 1, 2021.  Congratulations to the bills sponsors, Janet Brookings of Drive Smart Virginia, and Senators Scott Surovell and Jeff Bourne, for making our streets safer with a very important piece of legislation!  

Virginia law now requires drivers to stop for pedestrians instead of just yielding. Drivers, you must come to a full stop for pedestrians in any marked and unmarked crosswalks, and remain stopped until the pedestrian passes your lane. When a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk, the driver of any other approaching vehicle may not pass the stopped vehicle  For more information, click here

The Transportation Committee voted to protect vulnerable road users. Mike Doyle testified for improved safety measures for pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-vehicular road users. We want to thank Scott Surovell for leading the charge on road safety in Virginia. We are happy to stand within making our roads safe for everyone. Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling – FABB Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Bryan Porter

The Mayor of Alexandria, Justin Wilson, and the Chair of Arlington County Board, Christian Dorsey, were joined by Alexandria Chief of Police, Mike Brown, as well as the husband and daughters of Rosemarie Cruz in support of the message that there is a health crisis in our communities caused from traffic violence being inflicted on pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. Rosemarie Cruz, the mother of a ten and eleven-year-old daughters, who was killed in the Arlandria area by a distracted driver while crossing Mt. Vernon Ave with the crosswalk sign in her favor on Dec 4, 2016. Additional families who lost loved ones to

Local residents and local officials came out for this weekend for a march in Arlandria to remember those killed in traffic. The march was hosted on Sunday, Nov. 17, by Alexandria Families for Safe Streets to honor World Remembrance Day, an international memorial event dedicated to raising awareness of traffic violence. The husband and daughters of Rosemarie Cruz, who was killed in an Arlandria crosswalk in 2016, marched in the crowd with over 100 residents of Alexandria and Arlington, according to a press release. Photos and video of the event show marchers in the street around the intersection of West Glebe Road and Mount Vernon

The Alexandria, Virginia, city council has passed a measure to reduce Seminary Road from four lanes to just two, with the remaining space accommodating more turn lanes and room for bicyclists. The year-long study which led to the decision was capped off Saturday with another six hours of testimony and debate as the city pondered whether it was time for the road to be slimmed down. The study was so extensive, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson called it “draining.” Support for keeping Seminary Road at its full four lanes came from many residents and civic associations along Alexandria’s west end, concerned that slower-moving traffic will result

On Tuesday, July 16th, AFSS celebrated its second anniversary, with 55 guests in attendance to make for a fun (albeit hot) evening. Among our guests were State Senator Adam Ebbin, Mayor Justin Wilson, Councilman Mo Seifeldein, Councilwoman Del Pepper, Police Chief Mike Brown, and the Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools Dr. Gregory Hutchings plus AFSS Board Members and many of our friends.     During this event, AFSS touched on both what it has accomplished in the past year and what it plans on accomplishing in the coming year. AFSS’s accomplishments include: Public outreach to over 1,500 citizens in our community through farmers’ markets, civic associations meeting and events like the World Day of Remembrance march, Educating over 2,000 students at

AFSS memebers attended Governor Northam’s March 26, 2019 announcement of signing a “Hands Free” driving bill at Market Square in Alexandria.  AFSS members gladly accepted an invitation from Governor Northam’s office to attend the announcemnt ceremony.  We were pleased to join the Street Smart organization and lend our support for the hands free bill as we work to make Alexandria’s roads safe for everyone. Thank you Governor Northam!