Seminary Road Complete Streets Project

Seminary Road is a key corridor in the City of Alexandria’s transportation network, and was repaved in Fall of 2019. According to the Complete Streets Policy, T&ES Staff is encouraged to use repaving as an opportunity to consider and incorporate changes to enhance the safety and convenience of all users. In September 2019, City Council voted to reorganize the roadway to include one travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane, new crossings, and bicycle lanes.

Page updated on Jan 10, 2020 at 3:15 PM

What's New

In September 2019, City Council approved a reconfiguration of Seminary Road from four lanes to three lanes to reduce speeding, improve pedestrian crossings, and enhance mobility and safety for people biking. The design is shown as concept plans and final design plans here. With any project of this size and level of redesign, delays are to be expected while the project is implemented. Paving, concrete work, and most of the construction has been completed. Crews and staff have been working on implementing the remaining pieces of the Council-adopted 4-to-3 lane road reconfiguration and monitoring conditions in real time. 

Ongoing work includes signage, remaining roadway markings, pedestrian signal work, as well as pedestrian crossing treatments. Staff continue to monitor roadway conditions on-site during peak periods and as remotely from our Traffic Management Center. 

Work completed as of 1/10/19:

  • Resurfaced the roadway
  • Installed Roadway markings
  • Reinstalled and reconnected the signal detection that was removed during resurfacing
  • Upgraded the signals and signal timing; adjustments made at St. Stephens Road, Quaker Lane, and Howard Street
  • Installed new regulatory signage
  • Constructed median islands for new crossings
  • Striped new crossings with high visibility crosswalks
  • Installed new pedestrian signals at Quaker Lane 
  • Added curb ramps for pedestrians to access the interim in-street shared-use path
  • Installed of the curb stops and flex posts for the barrier for the in-street shared-use path 
  • Installed rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) at mid-block locations

Outstanding or ongoing work to be completed this winter (weather permitting):

  • Installation of other remaining signage (early January)
  • Installation of pedestrian improvements on south side of the Seminary & St. Stephens intersection 
  • Ongoing adjustments to signal timing at St. Stephens Road, Quaker Lane, and Howard Street

Staff will keep the project website up to date with information, where possible, and will continue to keep the community updated through social media. Staff appreciates the community’s patience as we complete this project.  

City to Begin Resurfacing of Seminary Road

On October 14 (weather permitting), the City of Alexandria, through its Public Works Services Division, will begin milling and resurfacing Seminary Road from North Quaker Lane to Library Lane. The Seminary repaving work will implement design changes to Seminary Road that were approved by City Council in September 2019.

Seminary Road Project

The Seminary Road Complete Streets project has worked with the community and stakeholders to determine roadway improvements for Seminary Road, from Quaker Lane to Kenmore Avenue, and at North Howard Street, where staff was awarded grant funding to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility. At the March 25, 2019 meeting, Staff showed that the project area was reduced to N Howard Street to N Quaker Lane.

Seminary Study Area - revised


Seminary Road was identified in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Chapter of the Transportation Master Plan for potential improvements to ensure the safety, mobility, and accessibility for all roadway users. Data analysis conducted through the Vision Zero Action Plan also showed that Seminary Road was a corridor with a high number of KSI (killed or seriously injured) crashes.

Since the reduction of the speed limit on Seminary (from Quaker to Library Lanes) in 2016, data has shown that safety has improved. However, to sustain this benefit, the roadway design must reflect the posted speed limit as well as encourage and better accommodate people walking, biking, driving, and riding transit. 

Project Goals and Objectives

The goals of the Seminary Road Complete Streets project are to: 

  • Improve safety and accessibility for all users
  • Improve facilities for people who walk, bike, ride transit or drive cars
  • Implement previously adopted plans, policies, and study recommendations


  • Eliminate serious injuries and fatalities on the corridor
  • Improve safety and accessibility for all roadway users by upgrading curb ramps and sidewalks
  • Provide continuous, safe, and comfortable places for people to walk
  • Introduce safer pedestrian crossings for residents, transit users, and all others walking the corridor
  • Where excess roadway capacity exists, identify ways to meet the goals set forth in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, Vision Zero Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Environmental Action Plan, and the Central Alexandria Traffic Study
  • Serve vehicle traffic with a roadway design that minimizes delay at intersections, and encourages speed limit compliance.


The project has followed the process below:

Phase 1 - Spring/Summer 2018 - Information gathering and data analysis

  • City staff will gather feedback from the community regarding their concerns with Seminary Road through: 
    • Complete Streets Repaving Feedback -- Click here
    • Community Walkabout -- Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 12 p.m. (noon). Separate groups will meet at Seminary and N. Jordan, and at Seminary and N. Quaker. The two groups will walk along Seminary Road, stopping at intersections along the way, and meeting at St Stephens Road at approximately 12:45 p.m. 
    • Community open house meeting -- Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 5:30 - 7:30pm, Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Road.  Brief presentation at 6 p.m. followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. Posters that were displayed at this meeting are posted here (7MB pdf)
  • Comment summary as a result of all outreach to date is available here: 


City staff will continue to take the comments received and develop design concepts or a list of improvements to be further discussed with the community.


Public Meeting on Seminary Road Complete Streets Project held on Monday, March 25, 2019

The Seminary Road project was postponed last fall due to an announcement from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) regarding potential operational changes to the existing I-395 high-occupancy vehicle-only (HOV) exit ramp to Seminary Road. However, due to the poor pavement condition on Seminary Road, the project can no longer be delayed—Seminary Road is scheduled to be repaved in September 2019. While significant traffic impacts are not expected from operational changes to the exit ramp, staff will move forward with the primary goal of making improvements to Seminary Road between N. Quaker Lane and N. Howard St.

Three alternative options were developed after reviewing public comments and concerns from previous engagement efforts as well as those that have been a part of this project process. The three alternatives, as well as supporting background information, can be viewed below. 

Listen to a narrated presentation on the project and design alternatives please CLICK HERE 
The file will download and you can listen to the recording by opening the PowerPoint file, going to the slideshow tab, and selecting "start from beginning" or pressing the F5 key on your keyboard.  

For Frequently Asked Questions on this project and proposed design alternatives please CLICK HERE

Background Information: 

Summary sheets for concept alternatives

Alternative 3 proposes what is known as a Road Diet. Some benefits of a road diet are described in this Federal Highway Administration video

Multi-lane roads put crossing pedestrians at risk for an often-severe type of crash known as the Multiple Threat. This Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center video shows the causes of this crash risk. 

The survey for this phase of the project is now closed. 

Phase 2 Comment Summary

The public comment summary is available here with all comments noted in the Appendices. 

Comment Summary Document

Phase 3 - Spring/Summer 2019 - Staff Recommendation

After reviewing public input as well as considering technical analysis and consistency with Council-approved priorities, staff developed a recommended design alternative for Seminary Road between Howard Street and Quaker Lane. Staff Recommendation is a hybrid of Alternatives 1 and 2 with modifications. 

Review the meeting presentation here.

Review the Staff Recommended Alternative Boards here:

The live stream of the meeting is available here:

Public Comments

The comment form is now closed for this phase of the project. A comment summary has been prepared and is available below:
Comment Summary of Staff Recommendation

Summer 2019 - September 2019- Repave the Roadway

The staff recommendation was presented to the Traffic and Parking Board on June 24, 2019.  

After plans are finalized for the roadway, the road will be repaved in September and the plans will be implemented. 


The Traffic and Parking Board meeting docket item was posted at the link for the June 24, 2019 meeting.

The Traffic and Parking Board's recommendation to the T&ES Director was to maintain four vehicle travel lanes (two in each direction) and establish two HAWK (Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon) Crossings. One at Gaillard/Chapel Hill Bus Stop pair and another to be determined between St. Stephen's Road and Ft. Williams Parkway. 

The Director has waived the appeals process and the Traffic and Parking Board's recommendation will be presented directly to City Council in September.  


On Saturday September 14, 2019, Alexandria City Council, in a 4-3 vote, adopted Alternative 3 for the design of Seminary Road between N. Howard Street and N. Quaker Lane. Watch the Video here or listen to the Audio here

As staff is working on the design with an inter-agency group that includes the Fire Department, the following design features will be implemented:

  • Vehicle Travel Lanes: One through-lane in each direction (eastbound and westbound) and a center left turn lane that allows left-turning traffic to wait outside of the travel lane to make their turn. This is shown in the Concept plan for Alternative 3
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities: Bicycle lanes will be installed with the remaining roadway width. In the portion without a sidewalk today, an in-street, shared, protected, bicycle and pedestrian space will be implemented to connect the sidewalk portions that are existing.
  • New Crossings: Median islands with flashing beacons will be installed in four new locations, Chapel Hill Drive, Beth El Hebrew Congregation, Ft. Williams Parkway, and near the Seminary Road entrance of Virginia Theological Seminary.

Paving is tentatively scheduled for October 2019. More information will be posted and sent to the community soon to address frequently asked questions that Staff and City Leadership have been receiving. Additional flyers will be sent to residents a week before paving begins as is typical with other paving projects. 

Submit Your Comments

Staff and crews are implementing the Council-adopted 4-3 lane road reconfiguration. 
Contact the T&ES Project Manager: