Key Findings from the Pedestrian Master Plan Existing Conditions Report

Key Findings from the Pedestrian Master Plan Existing Conditions Report

The Montgomery County Planning Department, presented the Pedestrian Master Plan Existing Conditions Report to the Montgomery County Planning Board last week. The Pedestrian Master Plan is a multi-year planning effort using a data-driven and equitable approach to make the pedestrian experience in Montgomery County comfortable, direct, and safe.

Key findings from the report are:

  1. Montgomery County residents make 7.5% of their weekly trips on foot or using a mobility device, while only 2.2% of commute trips take place solely on foot.
  2. 16% of students arrive and 18% of students depart from elementary schools on foot. This percentage decreases in middle school (11%/16%) and high school (8%/12%).
  3. Montgomery County residents with a disability are less satisfied with the pedestrian environment than residents without a reported disability (43% vs. 53%). This disparity is most pronounced along the county’s transit corridors (33% vs. 52%) and in the exurban/rural parts of the county (36% vs. 47%). In urban area, pedestrians with and without disabilities have a similar level of satisfaction (59% vs. 60%).
  4. There are over 2,000 miles of sidewalks in the county, but there are prominent gaps in the sidewalk network along some of the busiest streets in urban areas and along transit corridors, particularly along major highways and arterials.
  5. Many sidewalks along wide, high-speed streets in urban areas and along transit corridors are located directly adjacent to the curb and lack separation from traffic.In fact, nearly half of sidewalks along major highways and 20% of sidewalks on arterial streets lack a buffer between the sidewalk and the street.
  6. Crossings in Montgomery County are generally less comfortable than sidewalks and other pathways. 58% of pathways score as comfortable in the county’s Pedestrian Level of Comfort analysis, while 55% of crossing locations countywide are either uncomfortable or undesirable.
  7. Montgomery County pedestrians are more likely to be killed or severely injured than motor vehicle occupants. While pedestrians in Montgomery County are only involved in 4% of the total crashes, they account for 27% of crashes that result in severe or fatal injury.
  8. While only 14% of the county’s roadway miles are located in Equity Focus Areas (EFAs), 40% of pedestrian crashes and 44% of pedestrian crashes resulting in severe or fatal injury are located in EFAs.
  9. A disproportionate share of severe and fatal pedestrian crashes occurs on relatively few roads, largely in urban areas. 55% of severe and fatal pedestrian crashes countywide occur on the 6% of roads in urban areas that are controlled major highways, major highways, arterials, and business streets.

Amy Ginsburg

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