Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pedestrian Safety Volunteers Make Wheaton Area Safer

A group of pedestrian safety volunteers hand out materials at the Salvadoran Festival in Wheaton

Volunteers conduct outreach while staffing a booth at a local festival
A group of community volunteers are making a real difference in the Wheaton area as they help to spread the word about pedestrian safety. The community members represent neighborhood civic associations including Connecticut Avenue Estates, Montclair Manor, and Rock Creek Palisades, as well as the Hispanic/Latino community.

With help from MCDOT, the Montgomery County Police Department, and Fire and Rescue Service, in coordination with the Maryland Highway Safety Office, community volunteers have been participating in outreach efforts such as fairs, festivals and community meetings. They talk to pedestrians on the street and visiting community events and distribute reusable bags containing pedestrian safety information.

A YouTube video highlights some of their activities over the last few months. The effort was also recently featured by the Montgomery County Council.  If you would like to volunteer, contact Joana Conklin with MCDOT's pedestrian safety program at 240.777.7195 or by email.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pedestrian Safety Videos Available at No Charge

Pedestrian Safety videos about walking and driving safely are available from Montgomery County Department of Transportation free of charge
Driver-oriented or walker-oriented DVDs are available for free
Two pedestrian safety videos--one oriented to drivers, the other to walkers--are available from MCDOT's Pedestrian Safety program.
* Drive Safe®!: Keeping Pedestrians Safe When You’re Behind the Wheel
Instructional video designed to teach pedestrian safety concepts to students in driver education, classes, or other instructional venues where pedestrian safety issues can be integrated into the curriculum.
* WalkSafe! (TM): Keeping Pedestrians Safe in the “Danger Zone”
English-language instructional video designed to teach pedestrian safety concepts. It was developed for use in ESOL classes and other instructional venues where English is taught at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels.
To order either of these videos, email MCDOT or call the Community Outreach office at 240.777.7155. Teacher manuals are also available.

Friday, March 22, 2013

School Pedestrian Safety Training Underway

MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator recently gave a pedestrian safety presentation to 120 middle school student leaders from 22 County schools.

The Coordinator created an “It’s Academic”-style game to both entertain and educate the students. Questions on pedestrian safety statistics and safe walking tips included, “If a pedestrian is hit by a car traveling 40 mph, what is the chance they will survive?” The team with the most points received wearable blinking lights as a prize. As hoped, the game was engaging, with the students enthusiastically talking amongst themselves about the answers.

Another training activity underway is Train the Trainer sessions, where high school students learn how to teach elementary kids to walk safely. These programs are especially important due to the recent return to daylight savings time. Now, more students are walking in darkness during the early morning hours, so stay alert!

For more information, see the County's press release and visit MCDOT's revamped pedestrian safety website. You can also call our Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Nadji Kirby, at 240.777.7169 or email her.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More Engineering-Based Pedestrian Safety Improvements

MCDOT continues to invest in engineering improvements to enhance pedestrian safety – particularly in high crash areas where collision data shows more pedestrians are being struck.

* In Takoma Park, on Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and the County line, pedestrians are safer because of new street lights, wider sidewalks, new pedestrian signals, and soon a new crosswalk with pedestrian-activated warning lights.
* In Wheaton, at Reedie Drive between Veirs Mill Road and Georgia Avenue, a major safety project included refurbished crosswalks, new pedestrian refuge islands, and clearer lane markings.
* On Randolph Road at Veirs Mill, new sidewalks and streetscaping have been installed.
* On Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring, Community Affairs is installing streetscape improvements in Fenton Village.
* And in Rockville and Bethesda, segments of MD355 have received new pedestrian signals.

These investments are part of County Executive Leggett’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative. For more information, go to MCDOT's revamped pedestrian safety website.