News & Politics

Alexandria Records Zero Traffic Deaths in 2023

Road fatalities were on the rise last year in DC, but they dropped in the nearby Virginia suburb.

Photograph via iStock.

Some good news out of Alexandria: The city recorded zero traffic fatalities—car accidents or auto-related pedestrian deaths—in 2023, its transportation department announced Wednesday. 

The report highlighted Vision Zero, a policy program implemented in 2017 with the goal of reducing the city’s traffic fatalities to zero by 2028 through education, enforcement, and road engineering. One example: the “road diet’—in which one lane was converted into a bike lane—on Seminary Road, which had been identified by the initiative as a high-crash area. While some residents pushed back against the move, a 2022 report from the city found that average annual crashes on the thoroughfare had since decreased by 41 percent.

“Fatalities and severe injuries are not inevitable ‘accidents,’ but crashes that can be prevented by employing a holistic, safe system approach,” the transportation department said in a press release. Still, it cautioned against premature celebrations, noting that in “at least one case in 2023, a crash victim is still fighting for their life in an intensive care unit,” and that there were over a dozen “severe injury crashes” that year.

Comparatively though, Alexandria hasn’t been particularly dangerous for drivers in years past—there have been four recorded traffic deaths per year there since 2019. In DC, road fatalities jumped from 35 in 2022 to 52 in 2023. Arlington County’s numbers increased from four fatalities in 2022 to six in 2023. In the substantially larger area of Montgomery County, there were 45 traffic deaths in 2022 and 43 in 2023. 

Arya Hodjat
Editorial Fellow