Two incidents on I-395 in Arlington last week illustrate the need for less speed.
First, state police say speeding was the main factor in a crash involving a 23-year-old driver last Wednesday. Despite a photo that shows the car heavily damaged — after striking a construction trailer sign, a crash impact attenuator, and an SUV — police say the driver only suffered minor injuries.
#Speeding was the main cause of this crash in I395 #WorkZone @ArlingtonVA 12:29 AM. Hyundai going north when 23 YO driver lost control, struck constrx trailer sign, crash impact attenuator, slid across the lanes, t-boned an SUV. Minor injuries. Lesson: #SlowYourSpeed @VaDOTNOVA pic.twitter.com/i92MXldicP
— VA State Police (@VSPPIO) May 6, 2020
Over the weekend, VSP posted a photo of a speeding ticket issued to a driver accused of going 115 mph along I-395, where the speed limit it 55 mph. A trooper issued the ticket Saturday morning.
“Would this make your mother proud?” state police asked, ahead of the Mother’s Day holiday.
If you’ve got a lead foot, you should probably slow down, especially — soon — on three particular Arlington streets.
At the County Board meeting on Tuesday, County Manager Mark Schwartz announced the first three streets that would be subject to the new fine.
- Carlin Springs Road from Columbia Pike to George Mason Drive — through the Glencarlyn and Arlington Forest neighborhoods
- Military Road from Old Glebe Road to Nelly Custis Drive — through the Bellevue Forest and Donaldson Run neighborhoods
- Lorcom Lane from Military Road to Spout Run Parkway — through the Maywood and Woodmont neighborhoods
The $200 fine would be in addition to standard $6 for every mile per hour above the speed limit and the $66 in court fees.
Schwartz said the meeting was the first announcement of which streets would have the new fines, but emphasized that there would be more public notification before the change goes into effect. Schwartz did not specify when the new fines would be implemented.
“We will put more out there,” Schwartz said. “People should not think today, all of a sudden, we flipped the switch.”
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
The Arlington County Board voted last night to approve tacking on an extra $200 to speeding tickets in certain residential neighborhoods.
Those hoping the fines will lead to people driving slower on residential streets will have to wait awhile for it to take effect, however.
The zones for the $200 additional fine have yet to be established and will only be created after county staff document speeding issues on a given segment of road. That documentation includes a data collection process and written confirmation from the police department that “speeding has been observed through enforcement activities.”
Only once that process concludes, and signs are posted on the street, will the speeding fine zone be established. More from a county staff report:
Once the evaluation concludes that a road segment is suitable for implementation of the “$200 Additional Speeding Fine Zone,” a “$200 Additional Speeding Fine” sign will be attached to the speed limit signs along the road segment to alert drivers of the posted speed limit and the additional penalty for speeding. A speeding citation issued within a “$200 Additional Speeding Fine Zone” is subject to this additional penalty.
County Board members touted the new ordinance as an example of Arlington getting “serious about pedestrian safety,” amid the county’s ongoing Vision Zero process.
More from a county press release:
The Arlington County Board today voted to establish a $200 additional speeding fine zone for residential neighborhoods that meet certain criteria. The move came in response to complaints from residents about speeding and pedestrian safety.
“Arlington is serious about pedestrian safety and serious about enforcing speeding laws,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “The Board is taking this action to help deter drivers from speeding down residential streets, endangering people who are walking, cycling and using scooters to get around.”
The Board voted unanimously to approve the ordinance change, adopting Virginia State Code 46.2-878.2. To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 29 on the agenda for the Jan. 28, 2020 Recessed County Board Meeting.
The Chair noted that speeding fines are just one of many methods the County uses to make streets across Arlington safe for all who use them, including protected bike lanes; signage; traffic signals; enforcement campaigns, and the Vision Zero traffic safety strategy, adopted by the Board in July 2019.
How a road will be designated for the $200 additional fine
The Transportation Division of the County’s Department of Environmental Services will take speeding complaints and existing traffic data into consideration when deciding which residential streets should be considered for the additional fine.
To qualify for the designation, a road must be in a residential area; must be classified as a neighborhood principal, minor arterial or major arterial street on the County’s road classification map and must have a documented speeding issue. A documented speeding issue exists when the County has speed data, collected within five years from the day of the “$200 Additional Speeding Fine Zone” evaluation, showing speeding on the segment; there is a recorded traffic evaluation produced within five years from the day of the “$200 Additional Speeding fine Zone” evaluation, that includes speeding as one of the issues and the County has written confirmation from the Police Department that speeding has been observed through documented transportation safety activities.
Once a road is found to qualify, a “$200 Additional Speeding Fine” sign will be attached to the speed limit signs along the road to alert drivers. The fine will be added to the current fine for speeding in a residential neighborhood, which is $6 for every mile-per-hour above the 25 miles-per-hour speed limit (plus the state-mandated $66 in court fees). The County Manager said staff will widely communicate the new fine.
Imposition of the fine depends on the data-supported speeding confirmation. Any additional revenue generated by the additional fine will be added to the County’s Operational Budget.
Pentagon City Redevelopment on Pause — “Brookfield Properties has suspended plans to launch a major redevelopment of the Transportation Security Administration’s headquarters in Pentagon City once the federal agency moves to its new home in Springfield in mid- to late 2020… it’s a reflection of the new reality that Amazon’s HQ2 has created in the neighborhood.” [Washington Business Journal]
Vote on Add’l Speeding Fine This Weekend — “Currently, a ticket for going 10 mph over the speed limit in a residential zone is about $80. The additional fine would bring that ticket to $280. ‘People drive like maniacs around here. It’s about time they got some punishment,’ Arlington resident Jack Feegel said.” [NBC 4]
Arlington Resident Helps Return Lost Dog — “A lost dog was reunited with its owner thanks to a passing motorist, who noticed something unusual on their way to work, and a fellow driver farther along the road. Dashcam footage shows the unnamed motorist, from Arlington, Virginia, driving to their workplace in Silver Spring, Maryland, on January 13.” [Daily Mail]
ACFD Responds to Calls in Maryland — It’s rare for the Arlington County Fire Department to respond as mutual aid to an incident in Maryland, but it happened Wednesday morning, with several units dispatched to Prince George’s County. [Twitter, Twitter]
Arlington Tourism Tax May Be Made Permanent — “The Arlington County government looks ready to get a major present from the new Democratic majority in the General Assembly. The state Senate has passed and sent to the House of Delegates a measure that removes the sunset provision on Arlington’s authority to impose a 0.25-percent surcharge on hotel taxes to support tourism promotion.” [InsideNova]
Nearby: No Streetcar in Georgetown — “Plans to extend the DC Streetcar to Georgetown have been effectively scrapped. The District Department of Transportation is halting all work on the project ‘for the foreseeable future,’ according to documents submitted to the D.C. Council.” [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by Rex Block
Arlington County is taking steps that would allow it to impose a supplemental $200 fine for speeding on certain designated, residential streets.
The County Board will consider a request to advertise the addition of an “Additional Speeding Fine Zone” to its traffic ordinance at tomorrow’s Board meeting.
County staff said residents have asked for stricter speeding enforcement. If approved, traffic studies will need to be conducted to determine which roads have “documented speeding issues” and are thus eligible for the additional fines. Less than 20% of county streets are expected to qualify.
More details from portions of the county staff report:
The Code of Virginia allows localities to post signs for and enforce an additional $200 fine for speeding on residential streets which meet a certain criteria as stated below. Arlington County residents have asked for staff to implement these additional fines for multiple neighborhood street segments. […]
The “$200 Additional Speeding Fine Zone” targets Arlington County’s residential streets that carry relatively higher traffic volumes and have documented speeding issues. Arlington has approximately 88 centerline miles of arterial streets and neighborhood principal streets. They account for about 20% of total centerline miles owned by Arlington County. However, since data-supported speeding confirmation is required by the proposed criteria of this ordinance, the actual impact is expected to be less than 20% of County-owned streets. […]
The “$200 Additional Speeding Fine Zone” is an addition to the County’s full transportation safety toolbox and the Vision Zero initiative and does not replace the consideration and implementation of any other suitable tools.