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Commentary: Before Changes to Roads, Committed to Communication
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Commentary: Before Changes to Roads, Committed to Communication

Asking questions about safety, mobility on Seminary Road is the right thing to do.

As part of Alexandria’s Vision Zero commitment to eliminating traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2028, the city uses the opportunity of routine maintenance to consider changes to our roads.

Due to its pending repaving status, Seminary Road is one of the corridors we are currently examining, but contrary to rumor, the city has not yet proposed any changes, nor have any conclusions been drawn.

In the intense public process that accompanies these efforts, in order to have the right decisions made, we need to ask questions that sometimes involve trade-offs. The answers and outcomes of these processes sometimes result in major changes to the roadway, while in other times the street is simply repaved, with no changes.

This objective, data-driven process is routine in Alexandria and includes extensive public input in advance of any decision. On Seminary Road, city staff has been getting feedback from the community since May by meeting with civic associations and residents, conducting community walks and hosting an open house. We summarized input from these efforts in a 52-page report on the project website (alexandriava.gov/103393). At the same time, staff has also been reviewing data and travel patterns along the roadway.

Once all this information is compiled, staff will develop multiple concepts for Seminary Road and bring the ideas back to the community this fall for more input. That process will involve many opportunities to provide feedback, both in person and online, before any recommendations are made.

And, indeed, if a recommendation is proposed that includes significant changes to Seminary Road, it would first be reviewed during a public forum at the city’s Traffic and Parking Board. However, after considering results from the data analysis and civic engagement process, the city might not recommend any changes other than the needed maintenance.

We understand these conversations are difficult. That is why we follow this process and include multiple rounds of feedback. But it’s right to ask questions about safety and how people use our roads before we make a sizeable investment in repaving, because this is the best time we can cost effectively consider options.

For accurate and up-to-date information on process, status and schedule, as well as information about how to get involved, we encourage you to visit the project website.

We look forward to continuing the engagement process with the community this fall as we work together to consider these important and challenging questions.