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Driving habits along Seminary Road in Virginia cause concern

One man says he's had drivers smash into the fence on his property, twice in two years.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The speed limit along Seminary Road between I-395 and the Alexandria city limits was lowered from 35 mph to 25 mph in 2021.

But, one man who lives at the intersection of Seminary Road and Fillmore Avenue in Alexandria, says he's had enough.

"It's insane, cars continue to go 50, 60 miles per hour," said Ron McNeely.

Wednesday morning, he told WUSA9 a driver lost control and smashed into his fence along Seminary Road.

"I hear a big loud boom and my power goes out. I came out the door and saw the car sticking through my fence," said McNeely.

But, he told WUSA9 it's not the first time this has happened. He moved into his home in 2019 and said this is now the second time a driver has crashed on to his property.

He and other neighbors said Wednesday's crash knocked out power in the area for several hours.

An Alexandria Police Department spokesperson told WUSA9 they responded to a single-vehicle car crash at approximately 7:39 a.m. on Wednesday. Police said the driver crashed into a utility pole and that no injuries were reported.

In addition to the power outage for some of the home, APD shared that two traffic lights in nearby intersections were also impacted by the loss of power.

They said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Seminary Road has been a trouble spot for some time now according to the City of Alexandria.

In January of 2016, they adopted a Vision Zero resolution with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2028. Part of their efforts included a citywide crash analysis in 2021.

Through that study they found that between January of 2016 and June of 2021, there were 239 reportable crashes on Seminary Road between I-395 and the city limit. Of those 239, two involved fatal injuries, eight involved severe injuries, and 59 involved injuries that were not life-threatening.

The speed limit for that stretch of roadway was lowered from 35 mph to 25 mph, and two digital speed limit signs were installed to show drivers their current speed, but McNeely said it's not enough. 

There's a traffic light at the intersection of Dawes Avenue and Seminary Road and another at Echols Avenue.

However, there's a stretch of roadway, about a quarter of a mile that he said drivers speed through, especially if those lights are green.

"They come around the corner and just go as fast as they can," said McNeely.

He said another issue is the lack of turning lanes. "There's no turn lanes so people are constantly stopping, as soon as someone stops someone tries to get around them real quick," he said.

McNeely told WUSA9 he's witnessed dozens of crashes since he moved in, in 2019. He said he'd like to see more enforcement of the speed limit.

"People need to be held accountable for speeding," said McNeely.

He said it's a residential area with lots of kids and families and is begging drivers to slow down.

"People are walking with their kids all the time. Slow down, people live here," said McNeely.

We checked in with the City of Alexandria Wednesday night. They told us concerns about Seminary Road are on their radar, and that they've made some changes in recent years to improve safety, but that there is more to come.


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