DEFINING THE RICHMOND HIGHWAY PROBLEM

Why are more people getting injured and killed along Richmond Highway?

Richmond Highway is old.  It's current layout has existed for decades.  There have been few Pedestrian improvements over the years.   In many sections it lacks the basics of bicycle and pedestrian safety: sidewalks,  shoulders, crosswalks and traffic islands.

Sidewalks and Shoulders

At various location along Route 1, Pedestrians have no sidewalks: potentially muddy dirt paths have been trodden in their place.  Uncontrolled vegetation pushes many close to the roadway.  Commuters walking to bus-stops get to feel the whoosh from the mirrors of passing trucks.  At some locations Pedestrian use the unpaved shoulder as a path.  

 

< Route 1 (East Side) North of Quander Road

Unfortunately, many creek crossings have guard rails at the road edge, forcing walkers into the traffic lane.

 Route 1 (Ease side) South of Quander Road 

On many sections, bicyclists must ride in 12 foot the traffic lane.  There are no paved shoulders and worse, there's often a dangerous edge drop-off

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At Belvoir south towards Fairfax Annex


North of Janna Lee Av

Heading south toward Janna Lee Ave (Taco Lucos Restaurant) citizens, their back to traffic,  must step dangerously into the roadway.  

Not only pedestrians are at risk. A sleepy driver is often jarred as their car drifts to the shoulder.   Recently 2 young Marines were killed when their car flipped and crashed into the abutment near the upper right of the photo.

 

Crosswalks and Traffic Islands

There are painted crosswalks a some locations but only a few have raised concrete traffic islands in the median.  Crosswalks make sense for a 2 lane road and highway designer's appreciate the low cost of paint. Unfortunately,  Route #1 pedestrians must cross 4 to 6 lanes of fast and  increasingly heavy traffic.  Many stand waiting on the double yellow line for a wide enough gap.

Where there is no median, crosswalks provide only the illusion of safety.  The problem is compounded by the many side streets and business entrances.  Drivers entering the Highway, many using cell phones, are too concerned with finding a break in the traffic to notice someone in the crosswalk.   Luck, not paint,  is the pedestrian's protection.