A Fairfax County resident posted a petition on Change.org urging more measures for pedestrian safety around the George Mason University campus area, particularly along Braddock and Ox Road.
The petition calls for either a pedestrian bridge, speed table or a raised intersection at primary sections of the two heavily traffic areas. A speed table is a form of a speed bump, but is flat on top and long enough for the entire wheelbase of the vehicle to rest on top.
Addressed in the petition are Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, Fairfax City Mayor Scott Silverthorne, Seved Nabavi, Fairfax county transportation design division staff member and Ann Sharp, senior staff assistant for constituent services of Fairfax County. The petition even called upon Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to take action. So far, 162 people have signed the petition, but it still needs 32 more signatures.
Fourth Estate searched for the petition organizer, Jeff Pareja, on the university database, Facebook and White Pages, but there were no results in Fairfax, Virginia on any of these websites.
Mayor Silverthorne said he could not comment on the petition because it’s about county policy and he represents the city. Nabavi, who was also mentioned in the petition, was asked to comment, but she had no knowledge of the petition.
According to Cook, the Braddock District is working on the petition’s appeals. Cook said that the Braddock District hasn’t talked to Pareja yet.
“At this time we have not [talked to Pareja], but we plan on releasing a statement to Mr. Pareja/all petition signatories on the petition website,” Cook said.
Cook says that there are challenges in responding to the petition’s requests for speed tables or raised intersections.
“Speed tables and raised intersections are traffic calming measures intended for residential streets posted at or below 25 mph. Braddock Road and Route 123 are high-speed, high-volume roadways and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) does not allow these types of traffic calming devices to be placed on them,” Cook said. “It is important to remember that the state of Virginia, and not Fairfax County, owns the roads. So we have to follow the rules and regulations of VDOT.”
Petition signer Wallace Geiger from Alexandria posted a “reasons for signing” comment on the petition’s website page.
“I live on campus and have friends living in a house across Roberts road and the walk is dangerous between campus and there,” Geiger said. “[I] will be living there next year so I would like to see a safe walkway to get there.”
According to Mason’s Director of Parking and Transportation Josh Cantor, the university is aware of the petition as well. He said that the request for a pedestrian bridge would be difficult to accomplish because even a small pedestrian bridge costs millions of dollars.
According to Cantor, Mason has and is currently working closely with Fairfax County and VDOT to insure pedestrian safety in the campus area. Cook also said that the Braddock District has already taken measures on this concern with multiple construction projects. A recent project is the pedestrian crossing improvement on the Roanoke Road and Braddock Road intersection.
“At Roberts Road and Braddock Road there are pedestrian walk signals and cross walk markings at all four corners and lights at three of the four,” Cook said. “At Braddock Road there are pedestrian crossing signals, cross walks and it’s a very well-lit intersection.”
Featured photo credit: swong95765. No changes were made. Creative Commons License.