Thursday, May 23, 2013

Progress on Pedestrian Safety Noted at County Stat Review

An analysis at a May 8, 2013 CountyStat review of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's Pedestrian Safety Initiative showed that County efforts to improve pedestrian safety are having a positive effect. In 2012, the most sever collisions resulting in debilitating injury (Level 4) or death (Level 5) decreased by 20 percent and fatalities dropped to an all-time low of .6 per 100,000 people. This fatality rate is one of the lowest in the nation according to 2011 national data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The reductions in collisions are most notable in areas around schools improved in the Safe Routes to School program, the County's High Incidence Areas (locations targeted as having the highest density of collisions) and locations where traffic calming measures have been completed. 

Other program trends noted in the CountyStat review included:
  • An 85% reduction in collisions for Safe Routes to School
  • A 37% reduction in pedestrian collisions in the County's High Incidence Areas
  • An increase in the number of pedestrian collisions where drivers are at fault
  • A 29% increase in pedestrian collisions countywide from 2011 to 2012, primarily attributable to parking lot collisions
  • 29% of the pedestrian collisions in 2012 occurred in parking lots 
Montgomery County is committed to achieving data-driven results to reduce the frequency and severity of pedestrian collisions. These periodic reviews have become a critical and valuable part of implementing the County Executive's Pedestrian Safety Initiative. By reviewing data and information from the program, the County works to assure that effective strategies are being employed to improve pedestrian safety. Information evaluated in these reviews provides vital direction on how best to target activities that are reducing the number of pedestrian collisions in the County. A press release has been issued on the conclusions of this most recent CountyStat survey. 

Click below to view the presentation:
May 8, 2013 County Stat Pedestrian Safety Presentation
Previous CountyStat Review Presentations can be seen on the County’s CountyStat web site

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Montgomery County Police to Focus Enforcement Efforts on Pedestrian Safety

During the months of April and May, the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) will be focusing enforcement efforts on pedestrian safety. MCPD will be conducting a number of operations at locations with marked crosswalks and areas that have been identified as pedestrian High Incidence Areas (HIAs) -- areas with more pedestrian collisions. Police will be issuing citations to both drivers and pedestrians who are breaking the law.
Particular attention will be paid to the following HIAs:
· Connecticut Avenue between Independence Street and Georgia Avenue (Aspen Hill)
· Randolph Road between Selfridge Road and Colie Drive (Wheaton)
· Four Corners (Silver Spring)
· Rockville Pike between Halpine Drive and Hubbard Road (Rockville)
· Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue (Silver Spring)
In addition to these HIAs, MCPD will focus pedestrian enforcement actions on other crosswalk locations around the County where driver compliance with pedestrian safety laws has been an issue, including:
· Veirs Mill Road at Turkey Branch Parkway (Aspen Hill)
· Bel Pre Road between Georgia Avenue and Layhill Road (Aspen Hill)
· Democracy Boulevard between Old Georgetown Road and Bells Mill Road (Bethesda)
· Arlington Road between Elm Street and Old Georgetown Road (Bethesda)
· Muddy Branch Road between Suffield Drive and Diamondback Drive (Gaithersburg)
· Aircraft Drive between Century Boulevard and Germantown Road at the Germantown Transit Center (Germantown)
· Middlebrook Road at Great Seneca Highway (Germantown)
· Lost Knife Road between Odendhal Ave and Contour Rd at the Lake Forest Transit Center (Montgomery Village)
· Wooton Parkway near Wooton High School (Rockville)
· Spring Street at First Avenue (Silver Spring)
· University Boulevard at Reedie Drive (Wheaton - Glenmont)
· Randolph Road at Livingston Street (Wheaton – Glenmont)
· Randolph Road at Bluhill Road (Wheaton – Glenmont)
In Montgomery County, more than 400 pedestrians are struck by vehicles each year. Many of these collisions could be avoided if drivers and pedestrians obeyed the law and were more aware.
The Montgomery County Police Department takes a proactive approach to ensuring the safety of pedestrians. The department’s Traffic Unit routinely conducts pedestrian safety operations throughout the County to enforce traffic laws. The SafeSpeed and red light camera programs serve to improve the safety of pedestrians by slowing down traffic and reducing the number of vehicles running red lights.  
Drivers and pedestrians have equal responsibilities in reducing pedestrian-involved collisions. Drivers should take extra caution when approaching crosswalks. Look for pedestrians near the crosswalk and prepare to yield when they enter the crosswalk. When driving in a residential area, or near a school zone, scan ahead for pedestrian traffic, especially for children, who may suddenly run out into the roadway. Extra caution should apply in the evening hours. Pedestrians should always use designated crosswalks when crossing a busy roadway. Assume that drivers can’t see you until you have made eye contact. Once in the crosswalk continue to scan for traffic in each lane of traffic. When in doubt, yield to vehicle traffic -- pedestrians are the ones who are injured in a collision.

To see press articles on the pedestrian enforcement efforts, click below:
Wheaton Patch, Article 1
Wheaton Patch, Article 2
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch
To see more pedestrian and driver Safety Tips, visit MCDOT's Pedestrian Safety website

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Construction Begins on MacArthur Boulevard Bikeway Improvements

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Engineering has begun work on bikeway improvements along 13,800 linear feet of MacArthur Boulevard. This is known as Segment 2 of improvements along this bikeway corridor. Segment 2 extends from the Beltway/I-495 to Oberlin Avenue.
The contractor, Fort Myer Construction, has been on site since mid April but has now begun actual construction work.
This project is part of the Capital Improvements Program and is designated as project number 500718-2. For budget information on this or other CIP projects, visit the Office of Management and Budget's website. For more information on this and other transportation-related construction projects, visit the Division of Transportation Engineering's website.