2020 was marked by another unfortunate milestone with 18 pedestrians and cyclists killed in traffic incidents in Montgomery County. It is clear that the county and state must do more to make walking and biking safer in all of our communities.
Join Montgomery County Councilmember At-Large Evan Glass and Congressman Anthony Brown Saturday, January 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a virtual Vision Zero conference to discuss road safety, the county’s efforts to implement Vision Zero and how residents can best advocate for safer streets. The event is co-sponsored by the MCCPTA, CASA de Maryland, Washington Area Bicyclists Association, Action Committee for Transit, Sierra Club Montgomery County, and the Coalition for Smarter Growth.
These traffic fatalities are preventable, and we as a county must do more to make our streets and roads safer for all.
Dave Helms, Four Corners Resident and Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advocate, is proposing a better intersection at Route 355/Grosvenor Lane/Rock Creek Parkway due to the pedestrian who was struck and killed in the marked crosswalk across Rockville Pike/355 at Grosvenor Lane in North Bethesda on 11/20/20. You can see all the slides here, but below are a few that show the problems and solutions of this difficult, dangerous intersection.
On Thursday afternoon, December 17, the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Advancing the Pike District project team will provide an overview of key findings and potential solutions from the Development Trends, Infrastructure Update, and Short-Term Solutions Report. Advancing the Pike District is a Planning Department initiative to accelerate the transformation of North Bethesda around the White Flint Metro Station area. You can click this link to read the staff report .
Yes, the report is a long document, and you may have seen slides from the Planning Department’s presentation at our recent community meeting. But it’s a report worth taking a look at. It is chock full of facts and figures as well as plans, placemaking, pedestrian safety and proposals,
This item is currently #9 on the board’s agenda for December 17. The Planning Board’s facility is closed to the public during the pandemic, but the public can watch the meetings live online and on-demand, or hear them in real time by calling 877-668-9160 (password: 24252020).
The Planning Department gave a detailed presentation about their Advancing the Pike District initiative, including placemaking, pedestrian improvements, and statistical analysis. You can view their entire presentation, but if you only have a few minutes enjoy our favorite slides.
We’re especially excited about the Pike District Connector which extends the Bethesda Trolley Trail.
Wow — there were so many people on our online community Zoom meeting! Thank you to everyone who attended.
For those of you didn’t attend — or those of you who didn’t screenshot this image — I want to share with you the rendering of the intersection improvements that will occur at Old Georgetown Road and Rockville Pike. As you can see, good-bye pork chop/slip lane/hot right turns and hello 90 degree, pedestrian-friendly corners!
We’ll share other news and images from the meeting next week.
This project will renovate the trail in Wall Local Park, located at the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Nicholson Lane in North Bethesda. The intent of the project is to make the trail ADA accessible from the parking lot to the Nicholson Lane entrance and to enhance the trail with interpretive and wayfinding signage, and with decorative pavers from donors to the Josiah Henson Museum & Park. There are two retaining walls at the Nicholson Lane entrance that need repair. The project will renovate this access point with new retaining walls, special paving, and a concrete walkway to create a more visible pedestrian entrance to the park and the parking lot.
(The plan isn’t pedestrian but it is all about pedestrians.)
Pedestrian Shortcut Map
For the past several months, the Planning Department has promoted a Pedestrian Shortcut Map on their project website. This map is an effort to understand the shortcuts that pedestrians take that aren’t sidewalks or trails. To date, they have received over 500 contributions from community members identifying lines where they walk through the grass, dirt, or gravel to get where they’re going as quickly as possible. This map is still open for your contributions.
The project team will review the submissions and eventually include a list of master-planned pedestrian connections as part of the Pedestrian Master Plan. Master-planning these shortcut connections will make it easier to upgrade them to more formal sidewalks or trails through private development or the public capital improvement program process.
Pedestrian Preferences Survey in the Field
One important part of the data collection phase of the Pedestrian Master Plan is improving our understanding of how often and for what reasons people are walking and rolling in Montgomery County. While the Census provides information on how people commute to work and traffic counts conducted as part of development projects collect pedestrian data at specific locations, we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the extent of pedestrian travel in the County.
At the end of this month, postcards will go out to thousands of households in the county directing recipients to complete a survey about their pedestrian travel habits. This statistically valid survey will provide insights into how people in different parts of the county get around on foot and using mobility devices. Questions focus on how often and for what purposes people are walking and what changes would encourage them to walk more, so the project team can make sure plan recommendations are tailored to increase the number of people walking.
Montgomery County’s Vision Zero program, which seeks to eliminate serious and fatal traffic crashes, is gathering the ideas of residents to improve safety for walking, biking, rolling and driving. Let’s make sure White Flint viewpoints are represented: take the survey today.
The survey will close on Sunday, Aug. 9. It was launched on June 18 as part of developing a strategic plan that will guide the County toward reaching its Vision Zero goals by 2030.
“Our County is large and diverse, so achieving Vision Zero will look very different in places like Downtown Silver Spring than it will in Germantown or than it will in Damascus,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “That is why we need to hear from our residents on their needs and ideas for improving transportation safety in their neighborhoods. This online survey will be one of many opportunities for residents to share their views.”
Do you use a cut-through to get to your destination faster? If so, the Planning Board wants to hear about it. Use theirnew online pedestrian shortcut map to tell them! Your feedback will help them make recommendations for the Pedestrian Master Plan. We know there are lots of them in the White Flint area.
The map is part of the county’s first Pedestrian Master Plan aimed at making walking and rolling safer, more comfortable, convenient and accessible for pedestrians of all ages and abilities in all parts of the county. It is also an effort to understand what informal pedestrian connections – apparent in trodden grass, dirt or gravel on public or private property – exist in Montgomery County.