Our last Friends of White Flint meeting was focused on pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and ways we can improve them in the short-term. Although the White Flint Sector Plan does include robust improvements in this realm, we don’t anticipate seeing many of them immediately as they’re parts of larger infrastructure and other redevelopment projects. But, as we’re encouraging folks to get out of their cars more, we must find ways to make it safer for them to do so now. We’re grateful that representatives from county government – Councilmember Hans Riemer and representatives from both MC DOT and the County Executive’s Office – as well as the State Highway Administration were present to offer their ears and their voices to the discussion.
From the meeting, FoWF has narrowed down on five points where we’d like to see progress. I’ve started by sending an email to county stakeholders asking to continue the conversation. Here are our points of focus:
- Our community has grave concern about the intersection of Executive Blvd and Rockville Pike. That super-block, combined with bus stops and attractions located on both sides of the road, encourage jaywalking – which has turned deadly. What is the timeline for evaluating this stretch of road to offer safer alternatives for those crossing without a car? Super-blocks abound in White Flint – are there safety measures we can implement now while we await full build-out?
- How can we improve the southbound right-turn from Rockville Pike onto Executive Boulevard so drivers are more aware of crossing pedestrians?
- How can we be of use on advocating for better bike infrastructure and, ultimately, BikeShare?
- We have asked for one before but, on the recommendation of Councilmember Riemer at our meeting, I’d like to renew our request for a Walkability Audit. As infrastructure plans and designs are being developed, this would be a great time to ensure all bases are being covered the first time.
- A member raised the suggestion of limiting “rights on reds” in the district. While this move would, anecdotally, seem to reduce hazards, is that truly the case? If so, what are the steps to implement such a change at our busier multi-modal intersections?
Of course, this is just the tip of an iceberg but we think it’s a pretty solid starting place. We’ll keep you posted on our progress – we hope you’ll do the same as you notice other spots where safety is a particular concern.