Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pedestrian Safety Improvements on Hewitt Avenue

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced the completion of pedestrian improvements on Hewitt Avenue in Silver Spring that will enhance safety for transit users and the entire community.  The innovative pedestrian protection improvements installed have successfully been used by the MCDOT in other locations and have proven to be effective in reducing motorist speeds, calming traffic and enhancing safety.

Following a request from a resident, MCDOT's Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations installed three pedestrian refuge islands (an area between lanes of traffic where pedestrians may safely wait) along the nearly one-mile stretch of Hewitt Avenue between Georgia Avenue and Blue Spruce Lane.  The refuge islands not only help calm traffic, but also reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians.  The improvement project narrowed the travel lanes on the roadway to reduce vehicle speeds.  MCDOT also installed marked crosswalks, “State Law: Stop for Pedestrians” signs, lane markings and raised pavement markers.  In addition, staff modified the parking restrictions on Hewitt around the refuge islands and adjusted bus stop locations.

MCDOT analyzed traffic along Hewitt Avenue.  The speed limit is 30 mph.  A review of the crash data for five years between 2004 and 2008 revealed a total of 35 non-intersection related crashes.  Of these, two involved pedestrians.

For more information about the County’s Pedestrian Safety program, go to MCDOT's pedestrian safety website or call 240-777-7155.