Monday, October 31, 2011

County Kicks Off Pedestrian Safety Campaign at Piney Branch

Safety Promotion Team member speaking to pedestrian on the street about safety
Safety Promotion Team member speaks with a pedestrian about walking safely

Montgomery County kicked off a pedestrian safety campaign on November 7 at the Piney Branch High Incidence Area (HIA). The portion of Piney Branch Road (MD 320) between Flower Avenue (MD 787) and University Boulevard (MD 193) in Silver Spring has historically been the area with the highest number of pedestrian collisions in the county. In October 2008, a Pedestrian Road Safety Audit (PRSA) of this area was conducted in order to identify the major issues for pedestrians and potential engineering treatments to address those issues. The Piney Branch Road PRSA team identified a number of pedestrian safety issues in the study area, the most significant of which was uncontrolled mid-block crossings, which were prevalent and identified as one of the primary contributing factors to pedestrian collisions. Since completion of the PRSA in 2008, MCDOT and MDSHA have been working jointly in the implementation of safety-related engineering improvements within the Piney Branch HIA.

Examles of curb markers on Piney Branch Road
Curb Markers on Piney Branch Road north of University Boulevard

The pedestrian safety campaign that began on November 7 ran through mid-December and included both education and enforcement efforts. The first step of the initiative was the installation of curb markers , which discourage pedestrians from crossing at unmarked locations and direct them to the crosswalks. These messages were reinforced by Safety Promotion Teams speaking with pedestrians on the street about safe pedestrian behavior (click here for information on how to be a safe pedestrian). The team members distributed pedestrian safety informational materials and visible neon green bags that included a safety message. Following the Safety Promotion Team effort, police began a targeted enforcement campaign in the area, focused on ticketing pedestrians and drivers who break the law.

                       Photo of Piney Branch Safety Promotion Team

The Piney Branch pedestrian safety initiative was also featured on November 14 during the StreetSmart 2011 kick-off event. The event highlighted the coordinated efforts of the County and State in improving the pedestrian environment in the area. Click here to see the press release from the event. For more information about the StreetSmart regional pedestrian safety campaign, please click here.

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