The Alexandria Traffic and Parking Board unanimously approved a proposal to change the “No Turn on Red When Pedestrians Present” to a “No Turn on Red” sign where the Mount Vernon Trail crosses the driveway to the Porto Vecchio condos. The Board also recommended that city evaluate making changes to the signal timing for cars to exit the condos as well as prohibiting left turns from the southbound lanes of Washington Avenue when trail users have a signal to cross the driveway. The change will improve safety for over 400,000 trail users that cross this driveway each year where the signals provided right of way to both vehicles and trail users.
Three Mount Vernon Trail users spoke in support of changing the signage to prohibit right on red at this trail crossing. John Pickett spoke about an incident two years ago where he was hit by a car making a right on red as it exited the condo. You can read about John’s near death experience here: https://rootchopper.com/2017/03/31/making-nelles-hit-list-errandonnee-no-11/
Erin Meter spoke on behalf of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. She spoke about the number of trail users at this crossing, the frequent reports of near misses and the City of Alexandria’s Vision Zero Goals to end all serious injuries and fatalities. She also spoke to an experience the week prior where right on red presented a dangerous situation for trail users: https://twitter.com/ErinMeter/status/1097279244953157632
Zack DesJardins spoke to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and how the Federal Highway Authority discourages the use of the currently installed “No Right Turn on Red When Pedestrians are Present” because it is a vague signal and has low compliance. He also spoke about his weekend observations of traffic exiting Porto Vecchio and the number of times that he witnessed conflicts.
All three speakers recommended changes to the signaling of the entire intersection to improve safety but also ensure that residents of Porto Vecchio did not have excessive wait times to exit the condo.