0
Votes

Stop and Go: Increasing Pedestrian Safety

County initiative reduces injuries.

Residents concerned for pedestrian safety at the intersection of Falls Road and Oaklyn Drive prompted a study of the intersection in March 2011.

Residents concerned for pedestrian safety at the intersection of Falls Road and Oaklyn Drive prompted a study of the intersection in March 2011.

— Pedestrian collisions continue to decrease in Montgomery County, according to a statistical review presented Monday, May 14 on the County Executive’s pedestrian safety initiative.

Since 2005, pedestrian collisions per 100,000 residents have fallen from 46.7 in 2005 to 40.5 in 2011, and the severity of those collisions decreased, according to Esther Bowring.

“We are setting an example for all of Maryland that targeted interventions really can make a difference in reducing the number of pedestrians who are injured or killed,” according to County Executive Isiah Leggett, who outlined a blueprint for reducing pedestrian collisions in the county in 2007.

A new traffic light at Falls Road and Oaklyn Drive was turned on earlier this month.

Residents’ concern for pedestrian safety prompted a MCDOT study of the intersection in March 2011, according to Bowring. Pedestrians are encouraged to cross at the crosswalks.

Improving pedestrian safety in high incidence areas takes time and continues incrementally, according to county officials.

Engineering improvements at 129 county schools, in conjunction with education and enforcement actions, have dropped the collision rate around schools, according to county officials.

The report stated that another important tool in improving pedestrian safety is traffic-calming efforts that reduced speeding on arterial and primary residential roads by as much as 11 miles per hour.

During three-quarters of fiscal year 2012, the County constructed a total of 3.2 miles of new sidewalks, 518 curb ramps to meet Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, 1.5 miles of new bus stop-related sidewalks and improvements to 273 bus stops.

The full CountyStat presentation is available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/countystat.

— Ken Moore