In March 2016, the post speed limits were reduced to 25 mph from 35 mph on the following streets:
- Seminary Road between I-395 and North Quaker Lane; and
- North Quaker Lane between Duke Street and King Street
The new posted speed limit of 25 mph is strictly enforced by the Alexandria Police Department (APD).
At the February 1, 2016 Traffic and Parking Board meeting, the Board approved motion to recommend to the City Manager to reduce the speed limits on North Quaker Lane, between Duke Street and King Street, and Seminary Road, between I-395 and North Quaker Lane. The Board requested there be increased enforcement along both roadways to ensure compliance with the new speed limits and asked staff to perform a follow up study in Fall 2016 to evaluate compliance. The proposed speed limit change was initiated by the Seminary Hills community and has strong support within that community. Over 250 residents signed a petition in support of the speed limit changes. On February 2, 2016, the City Manager approved the new posted signs as required by the City Code.
The reduced speed limits went into effect on March 25, 2016. The public was notified two weeks prior to changes, through variable message boards installed on both roadways, as well as email notifications, eNews, and social media. Speed indicator signs were install on both Seminary Road and Quaker Lane. Additional APD enforcement was increased for several months on Seminary Road and Quaker Lane, as well as side streets, through the FY 2017 budget.
Staff collected speed and traffic volume counts on Seminary Road and Quaker Lane, as well as select side streets, before implementation of the reduced speed limits. In Fall 2016, staff collected counts on the exact same location, using consistent methodology, to evaluate the impact of the reduced speed limits on these roadways. Staff reported the results to the Traffic and Parking Board at their November 14, 2016 meeting.
The evaluation determined the following:
- Speeds are down on Seminary Road and Quaker Lane since the speed limits were reduced, but speeds still exceed new posted speed limit (25 mph)
- Average 85th percentile speeds decreased 15.4% on Quaker Lane and decreased 6.3% on Seminary Road
- Average 85th percentile speeds still exceed posted speed limit by 11 mph on Quaker Lane and 12 mph on Seminary Road
- Traffic volumes decreased slightly on Quaker Lane and Seminary Road
- Average daily traffic volumes decreased 8% on Quaker Lane and decreased 2.7% on Seminary Road
- Traffic volumes and speeds on side streets have remained relatively the same, with little to no variation, and no clear trends of traffic diversion from Seminary Road and Quaker Lane
- Reported crashes decreased on Quaker Lane and Seminary Road between May 1, 2016 and September 30, 2016 as compared to the previous 5 year average (2011-2015) for this time period. However, no causation can be determined at this time between reduced speed limits and the decrease in reported crashes.
Background data used in the evaluation can be viewed here.
Staff will continue to monitor and evaluate conditions on Quaker Lane and Seminary, as well as side streets. At the November 2016 Traffic and Parking Board meeting, the Board requested staff follow up with potential engineering, enforcement and education efforts to consider in order for speeds to further reduce excessive speeding.
Traffic and Parking Board - November 14, 2016
- Minutes (to be posted in January upon approval by Board)
Traffic and Parking Board - February 1, 2016
Duke Street and West Taylor Run Public Meeting - December 7, 2015
Letters of Support
Please contact the City's Transportation Planning Division at 703-746-4140 if you have further questions or concerns.