Contributed by Pedestrian & Bicycle Network
WOODBRIDGE, VA… Last November, Sally Ann Okuly, a resident of the Potomac Woods community, was tragically killed when a vehicle struck her in the crosswalk while she was returning home from picking up the Sunday morning paper. At a recent Town Hall Meeting on Pedestrian Safety with the senior citizens living in the Potomac Woods community, Supervisor Frank Principi was joined by representatives from both Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Prince William County Department of Transportation (PWCDOT). Residents recounted many near-miss accidents on Opitz Boulevard and offered multiple suggestions for making the neighborhood safer for pedestrians. Since January of 2008, there have been 62 crashes involving pedestrians in the Woodbridge District, resulting in seven fatalities.
“I am focused on increasing pedestrian and bicyclist safety,” says Supervisor Principi. “We are all motorists, walkers, or cyclists at one point or another. It’s time we learn to better share the road.”
Supervisor Principi led an effort last year to identify missing links in sidewalks, trails, and crosswalks in the Woodbridge District. Over 30 segments were prioritized based on safety and connectivity factors. “We want to eliminate the ‘sidewalks to nowhere’ and increase safety so families are better connected to schools, churches, parks, shopping, and other amenities,” says Principi.
Once fully completed, the Pedestrian & Bicycle Network will be fifty continuous miles around the Woodbridge District. In the next few years, new sidewalks and trails will be seen along several roads in Woodbridge, including:
• Route 1 between Annapolis Way and Mary’s Way
• Route 1 between Featherstone Road and Neabsco Mills Road
• Route 1 at Powell’s Creek
• Dale/Rippon Boulevard from Neabsco Mills Road across Route 1
• Opitz Boulevard from Mason Creek Drive to Potomac Library
“We need to take a multi-prong approach to improving pedestrian safety,” says Principi. “This includes constructing sidewalks and trails, new signage, better signal timing, and increased enforcement.”
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