Tag Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign

FOWF Advocacy Works — NEW LONGER CROSSING TIMES!

Thanks to advocacy by Friends of White Flint and our successful Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign, we’re so excited to announce MCDOT implemented new pedestrian timings yesterday at Old Georgetown Road and Rockville Pike!!

Pedestrians crossing Old Georgetown Road at Route 355 now have 7 seconds of walk time followed by 20 seconds of Flashing Don’t Walk time for total pedestrian crossing time of 27 seconds.  That gives pedestrians 3 extra seconds to cross the street. It doesn’t sound like much, but every second counts.

Thank you to MCDOT for responding to our community concerns.

How much do we love this new mid-block crosswalk?

Thank you, MCDOT, for our beautiful brand new mid-block crosswalk on Marinelli between the Conference Center and the Grand/Wisconsin buildings!  We’ve been working with MCDOT for a year to create this crosswalk, and we couldn’t be happier to see it installed. It’s a boon for walking convenience and safety.  (Of course — be careful and be sure no cars are zooming through as you cross.)

There’s more pedestrian improvements to come through our Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign, so stay tuned!

 

A Success for Walkability and #PikePeds

Thank you Montgomery County Department of Transportation for paving this dirt trail by Pike and Rose!  Our Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign is getting results because advocacy works…and because the White Flint area truly wants walking in our community to be safe and convenient.

Jay Corablis, Friends of White Flint board member, stands by our #PikePeds sign next to the dirt path that’s getting paved.

MCDOT getting ready to pave a walking path where thousands of footsteps had beat a path.

Tomorrow is your chance to join the fun at the second Walkable Wednesday

Fifty people attended our first Walkable Wednesday, and we hope you will be part of our second informative and entertaining Walkable Wednesday on July 12 at noon. Join Friends of White Flint and the Coalition for Smarter Growth to learn what makes a community walkable and what we can do to make sure the White Flint area is as walkable as possible as quickly as possible. (This is part of our increasingly successful Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign.)

Wouldn’t these artsy crosswalks be perfect for the Pike District?

How can we make it safer for pedestrians, brand the Pike District, and beautify our neighborhood with  inexpensive paint, some creativity, and a bit of flexibility from MCDOT and SHA? With eye-catching crosswalks like these. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and it’s wonderful. I  can’t imagine any reason why we wouldn’t we do this.

We could develop a color scheme that works for the White Flint area, hold a design contest, and allow the community to do the painting in between MCDOT/SHA’s standard white stripes. In one pretty swoop, we’d make crosswalks more visible, thereby increasing pedestrian safety, and bring a much-needed “wow” factor to our community. Seriously — why on earth would we not do this?

In his project, Funnycross, artist Christo Guelov brings Madrid crosswalks to life using colorful patterns

Survey Says:  More than 70% in the Pike District Would Walk More If It Were Safer

In a survey of 100 area residents conducted in November by the Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign, an overwhelming majority of respondents said they would walk more in the Pike District, if only it were safer

Other revealing findings from the survey include:

70% say driver inattention to pedestrians is the most dangerous obstacle.

Almost one half say there aren’t crosswalks where they want to cross.

44% say pushing the walk button to cross is a problem.

One third say there isn’t enough light at night to walk safely

65% of respondents walk in the Pike District three or more time a week

The survey is part of a broader effort to improve conditions for pedestrians in the Pike District. This past September, advocates, Friends of White Flint, and Coalition for Smarter Growth launched the campaign by placing pedestrian safety signs around the district. With messages like “Wish there was a crosswalk here? So do we,” the signs call attention to needed improvements and encourage walkers to join in the push for safer streets.

“In January, based on the survey results, we will prioritize the improvements that can be implemented relatively easily and inexpensively,” said Amy Ginsburg, Executive Director at Friends of White Flint. “The community will then advocate for implementing those simple changes to make walking in the Pike District as safe as possible as quickly as possible.”

Respondents to the survey noted areas where walking was not safe and gave many suggestions for ways to improve walkability in the Pike District. Here are a few comments.

“The largest danger to me are drivers who are turning right: they often don’t look right before roaring into ongoing traffic. I have almost been hit several times. The other danger are the unpleasant stretches where sidewalks are missing or badly maintained. The third problem are the long, long stretches without crosswalks or lights.”

“The slip turn lanes make it hard to cross even when I have a signal. The Pike is a highway, not a street. It is way too wide and there are so many curb cuts. It feels transgressive to walk in an area so obviously designed primarily for through-traffic and commuters.”

“We need longer, automatic walk signals on crosswalks across Rockville Pike”.

Reminder: Tonight’s Pedestrian Safety Campaign Meeting is CANCELLED

Just to make sure no one missed this announcement, here’s a reminder that due to the rescheduled Route 355 BRT meeting, we have had to cancel tonight’s Pedestrian Safety Campaign meeting.

But wait a minute, you say? You wanted to provide input on how to make the Pike District/White Flint area more walkable? Not a problem.

Simply complete our short but important ten-question Pedestrian Safety Campaign Survey by clicking here.  We’ re happy so many of you have already completed the survey, but this is one case where more is definitely merrier.

Next Stage of our Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign — Volunteers Needed

As you know, we kicked off our Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign last week. It’s getting some traction with coverage in Bethesda Beat and a blog post on Greater Greater Washington. There’s been a few posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and my 22-year-old son even told me  our signs are being shared on Snapchat.

Now it’s time to start phase two of our campaign. Volunteers from the Coalition for Smarter Growth and Friends of White Flint will canvas the streets of the Pike District on Thursday September 29th asking people to sign our pedestrian improvement petition. We will have a morning shift from 7:30am-9pm, afternoon shift 12pm-2pm, and evening shift 4pm-6pm. Please let us know if you can volunteer help us gather signatures…we can use all the help we can get!

We will also be canvassing residents at Fall Fest on Marinelli Road on October 8th from noon to 2pm, so let us know if you’d like to volunteer next Saturday, too.

Together, we can make the Pike District safe and convenient for pedestrians!

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Exciting Pedestrian Safety Campaign Launched!

Last night, volunteers from Coalition for Smarter Growth and Friends of White Flint (along with your intrepid FoWF executive director) launched the exciting Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign by hanging dozens of signs with safety tips and ways to get involved all around the Pike District.

Walkable may be one of the most over-used adjectives in the new urbanism realm, but that does not diminish its significance.   Making it possible, even pleasurable, for people to walk to the office or farmers market or happy hour is the essential essence of a successful smart growth community like the White Flint/Pike District area.. Named a Bicycle Pedestrian Priority Area in 2012, the Pike District is currently caught between its past as a car-oriented community and its future as a walkable community, yet significantly more people are now traversing streets that just a couple of years ago rarely saw a pedestrian.

Fortunately, many of the measures needed to make the Pike District more walkable are relatively easy and inexpensive to implement. Montgomery County and the State of Maryland can create a more walkable Pike District for surprisingly little money and difficulty. Here’s how.

Improve pedestrian lighting. Right now, street lights are just that, lights for the street. We need lights for the sidewalk so pedestrians strolling at night can see where they’re going and cars can see them.

Make crosswalks more visible. Drivers on Rockville Pike and on many of the major streets in the White Flint area aren’t used to pedestrians walking alongside them since for decades, a pedestrian in that area was almost as rare as a great $5 Bordeaux.  For the cost of a bucket of paint, unique crosswalks would draw attention to the fact that people now walk in the Pike District.

While we’re on the subject of crosswalks, they need to be at every intersection, and cross all the roads of each intersection. There are far too many intersections that have crosswalks on only a portion of their roads.

Make pedestrian signals automatic. Recently, the Coalition for Smarter Growth and Friends of White Flint worked with SHA and MCDOT to change the pedestrian walk signals at Marinelli Road and Rockville Pike to automatic. While careful calculations are necessary to ensure traffic needs are met, it costs nothing to flip the switch to make pedestrian signals automatic like they are in nearly every urban area.

Improve sight lines by trimming trees and other vegetation so that drivers can actually see walkers.

Improve signage so that drivers are more aware that pedestrians will be crossing the street. Wayfinding signs could also be invaluable in directing people to cross where it’s safest.

Create pedestrian refuges in the median so that people crossing complex intersections with complicated traffic patterns have a back up option if they can’t make it across all the lanes of traffic.

Install mid-block crossings at some of the super blocks. A crosswalk at Executive Boulevard and Rockville Pike by North Bethesda Market is just one place where a mid-block crosswalk is needed.

Eliminate hot rights. Also called slip lanes, hot rights allow cars to make right turns at any time, as long as they yield to traffic. Unfortunately, they are a dangerous nightmare for pedestrians trying to navigate through an intersection.

A walkable Pike District has been the goal since the approval of the 2010 White Flint Sector Plan. With the notable increase of walkers in the White Flint area and all the new development being built, now is the time to make the goal a reality.

To learn more or get involved in the Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign, visit www.PikeDistrictPeds.org. The Pike District Pedestrian Safety Campaign is a joint project of Friends of White Flint and the Coalition for Smarter Growth.