Arlington County Board Sets Public Hearing on New Speed Limits for Four Streets

  • Study calls for lowering speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on “downtown” arterials
  • County Code speed limits to be rectified for I-395 and I-66
  • Public hearing set for July 13

ARLINGTON, VA – The Arlington County Board today set a public hearing for its July 13 meeting to consider new speed limits for four Arlington streets.

The proposed amendment to the County Code will decrease the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph along portions of N. Meade Street, Clarendon Boulevard, Wilson Boulevard and N. Sycamore Street. It will also rectify County Code discrepancies in speed limits along I-395 and I-66.

The Board voted unanimously as part of the consent agenda to set the public hearing for the July 15 meeting.

Lower speeds favored for pedestrian, bicyclist safety

As part of the Streets Element of the Master Transportation Plan (MTP), the County set a policy of designing streets to generally favor lower vehicle speeds without impeding or diverting existing vehicle volumes. One way the County is implementing that policy is by adopting 25 miles per hour as the standard speed limit for all arterial streets within Arlington's “downtown” districts, where many pedestrians cross and land is more densely developed.

The results of a study on speed, collisions, traffic volumes, pedestrian and bicyclist activity, land use and development, and roadway characteristics have formed the basis of a staff recommendation to lower the speed limits on four street segments:

  • N. Meade Street from Arlington Boulevard to Marshall Drive
  • Clarendon Boulevard from Washington Boulevard to N. Oak Street
  • Wilson Boulevard from Route 110 to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Sycamore Street from Washington Boulevard to 17th Street N.

A study of N. Roosevelt Street from 17th Street N. to the County line indicated the speed limit should be a consistent 30 mph and should not change.

County Code corrections for I-395 and I-66

A review revealed a discrepancy between Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) records and the County Code for speed limits along I-395 within Arlington. The speed limits for I-66 also were not listed in the County Code.

Speed limits for I-395 and I-66 are the responsibility of VDOT. The County Code will be changed to reflect the actual speed limits to ensure consistency in enforcement under State law and County Codes:

  • I-395 regular lanes from Alexandria line to the District of Columbia line is 55 mph
  • I-395 HOV lanes from Alexandria line to 1.37 miles north of Quaker Lane (MP 7.8) is 65 mph
  • I-395 HOV lanes from 1.37 miles north of Quaker Lane (MP 7.8) to the District of Columbia line is 55 mph
  • I-66 from Virginia line to the ramp of N. Lynn Street is 45 mph
  • I-66 from the ramp of N. Lynn Street to the Fairfax County line is 55 mph

To read the staff report on this item and to view location maps for the affected streets, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #21 on the June 15, 2013 Regular County Board Meeting Agenda.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.