Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bikesharing Program Receives National Award

The Public Technology Institute (PTI) has honored Montgomery County with a 2013-2014 Technology Solutions Award for its “Bikeshare Station Site Identification and Property Verification” program. This program was recognized as a winner in the Energy/Environment Technology award category. The BikeShare Station Site Identification and Property Verification program allows MCDOT staff to collaborate with organizations outside of County government to research and identify potential bikeshare station locations in the County.

For the second consecutive year, Montgomery was the only county in the State of Maryland - and the only jurisdiction in the Washington DC metropolitan area - to be recognized as an award winner by PTI in its annual technology solutions awards competition.

For more information on bikesharing in Montgomery County, visit MCDOT's bikesharing website or call 240.777.7170 for general information or 240.777.8380 for information on bikesharing for low income populations.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

County Addresses Comments Received on Plyers Mill Traffic Calming Project


On Friday, March 21, 2014, Montgomery County Department of Transportation attended a community meeting organized by members of the Kensington Heights Civic Association, McKenney Hills - Carroll Knolls Civic Association, and Plyers Mill Road residents.  At the meeting, Montgomery County officials Jeff Dunckel, Seifu Kerse, and Rick Earp discussed with residents plans for improving pedestrian safety by constructing traffic calming features, sidewalks, and enhanced pedestrian crossings on Plyers Mill Road between Drumm Avenue and Georgia Avenue.  Experience with traffic calming projects at other locations in Montgomery County has demonstrated that traffic is slowed to posted speed limits with a resulting decline in pedestrian collisions.  With the decline of speeding and the addition of new improved pedestrian facilities, communities report - - and pedestrian crash data confirms - -  traffic calming projects result in much safer and more walkable communities.  

The County posted plans for the Plyers Mill traffic calming project previously on this site, and residents were asked to provide comments.  The County has addressed the comments provided, and a response can be viewed here.  Based on community feedback, the County has revised the plans.  The revised plans can be accessed at the links below.

Plyers Mill at Brunswick
Plyers Mill at Douglas
Plyers Mill at Drumm (1)
Plyers Mill at Drumm (2)
Plyers Mill at Maybrook (1)
Plyers Mill at Maybrook (2)
Plyers Mill at Saint Margaret

If you have any questions about this project, please contact the Project Manager, Seifu Kerse, at  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Commuter Services Hosting Outreach Programs at Capital Bikeshare Stations

Almost 50 bikesharing stations now exist in Montgomery County alone

The Division of Transit Services's Commuter Services section continues to host a series of community events at Capital Bikeshare locations in Silver Spring in an effort to encourage and promote the bikeshare system to residents, businesses and employees. The campaign is designed to showcase bikeshare station locations, demonstrate how the system works and encourage memberships. Additionally, MCCS wants to encourage local companies to promote the bikeshare program by offering them bulk or corporate memberships.

The following events in Silver Spring are free and open to the public: 

• Wednesday, June 25, 5 – 7 p.m. - Silver Spring Metro Station
• Thursday, June 26, 3 – 7 p.m. - 13th Street and Eastern Avenue
• Friday June 27, 1 – 5 p.m. - Fenton Street and New York Avenue

Capital Bikeshare offers a simple, low cost and reliable way to travel throughout the region. It gives members access to thousands of bikes at hundreds of locations in Montgomery County, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria. Individuals are encouraged to use Capital Bikeshare to travel to and from transit, work or school, as well as for recreation. Businesses and corporations are urged to join as corporate partners and provide discounted memberships to interested employees as part of their own health and green initiatives.

For more information on the program, contact Commuter Services at 240-777-8380 or visit MCDOT's Bikesharing website.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Leggett Seeks Applicants for Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee

County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill four public member vacancies, including one member who represents people with disabilities, on the Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee. The incumbent representing people with disabilities is eligible to apply for reappointment.

The 17-member Advisory Committee includes six government representatives, one public school representative, one Maryland Municipal League representative, and nine general public members who represent various regions of Montgomery County, including one member representing advocates of bicycling, and one member representing people with disabilities.

This Committee provides advice to the County Executive, County Council, and elected officials on implementation of the County’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative, priorities and needs in the area of pedestrian and bicycle safety and access, gathers information on pedestrian and bicycle safety, and identifies any new issues that may emerge.

Members serve three-year terms without compensation, but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Meetings generally are held every other month on weekday evenings. All members are also expected to serve on various sub-committees, and these meetings will be held as needed. For more information, please see the County Website Page for the Committee:

Application Process

County Executive Isiah Leggett is committed to representation on all of the County’s boards, committees, and commissions that is reflective of, and responsive to, our County’s residents. Public participation contributes to the work of County government and provides an important service to the community when a variety of issues, concerns, and viewpoints are presented. 

Applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, gender, geography, disability and ethnicity are encouraged to apply. An application, consisting of a brief cover letter and resume, should be sent by mail to County Executive Isiah Leggett, 101 Monroe Street, 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD  20850, or by email to Home and employment addresses, as well as contact phone numbers and email addresses should be included. If appropriate, applicants should indicate the position for which they are applying.  The application deadline is July 11, 2014. 

Members of County boards, committees and commissions may not serve on more than one such group at a time. Members of these boards are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Leggett’s appointments are generally subject to confirmation by the County Council. Applications of individuals selected for appointment to groups that are confirmed by the Council are made public as part of the confirmation process.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bike to Work Day 2014 is Almost Here!

Montgomery County Commuter Services, Commuter Connections, and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association invite you to join more than 10,000 area commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a fun and healthy way to get to work on Bike To Work Day, Friday, May 16, 2014!

Attend one of 79 pit stops throughout D.C., Maryland, and Virginia for refreshments and to be entered into a raffle for bicycles and other prizes. Free T-shirts are available at pit stops to the first 14,000 who register and attend.

Montgomery County Commuter Services will operate pit stops at Bethesda, Fallsgrove Village Center, Friendship Heights, North Bethesda, Rockville Town Center and Silver Spring in the morning on Bike To Work Day. New for 2014, there will also be an afternoon pit stop in Silver Spring. There will be a raffle drawing for a bicycle at each of the above pit stops.

See the FLYER for more details and visit the website to register:

Maryland Ranks Among Most Bike-Friendly States

Cyclists may find it easy to bike in the Old Line State as Maryland ranked high on a list of most bike-friendly states in the U.S. Maryland ranked No. 7 on The League of American Bicyclists' list of best states for cycling. Each year, the league ranks states on their friendliness to cycling based on measures such as policies and programs, legislation and enforcement, as well as infrastructure and funding. 

Washington state ranked No. 1 with Minnesota close behind. Montana and Alabama came in at the bottom of the list ranking 49 and 50, respectively. Washington state scored 66.8 points out of a possible 100. Maryland scored 53.8 points, in part due to its high scores in education and encouragement with biking. Virginia ranked at No. 18, with a score of 41.5 points. D.C. was not included on the list. 

The results are based on a multi-faceted Bicycle Friendly State questionnaire that is answered by each state's bicycle coordinator. Maryland's Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator is Michael Jackson.

Visit the League of American Bicyclists's website to read the full study.
(Source:, May 7, 2014.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Montgomery County Celebrates Bike to School Day May 7

On May 7, Montgomery County will be joining communities across the nation to celebrate the third annual Bike to School Day that builds on the success of Walk to School Day observed internationally every October. Bike to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking and emphasize the importance of increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The events also develop stronger connections between families, schools and the broader community.

This year’s focus event will be held at Takoma Park Middle School, located at 7611 Piney Branch Rd., Silver Spring. From 7 to 7:20 a.m., bike ambassadors and parent volunteers will welcome students and guide them to use “bike lanes” created on sidewalks leading to the school’s main entrance. Bikers will receive snacks and raffle tickets for bike helmets and accessories. Morning physical education classes will engage students in a “Bike-Academic” game show designed to highlight bicycling best practices.

Partners in the event include Takoma Park Safe Routes to School, Takoma Park Middle School, Takoma Park Police, Bikes for the World, SafeKids Worldwide and SafeKids Montgomery County.
Other Montgomery County schools that are participating in Bike to School Day include Piney Branch, East Silver Spring, Coldspring, Wyngate and Kensington-Parkwood elementary schools as well as Silver Spring International Middle School. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Street Smart Safety Zone Events to be Held in Montgomery County

Street Smart is launching their spring safety campaign to remind area drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to be alert and obey traffic safety laws. To make sure they do, area police will be stepping up enforcement and will ticket and fine violators – whether on foot, a bike, or behind the wheel. 

As part of the campaign, there will be a street team providing on-the-ground pedestrian safety education in downtown Bethesda (along Wisconsin Avenue) on Tuesday, April 29, from 4-7pm. Bethesda Transportation Solutions and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation will also have a tent set up outside of the Bethesda Metro station on Tuesday where you can come and pick up information and some swag!  There will also be a Safety Zone event held in downtown Silver Spring on Tuesday, May 6 from 4-7pm.

Street Smart reminds everyone to share the road and look out for each other. 
  • If you’re driving, watch for people in crosswalks and stop for walkers and cyclists. 
  • If you’re biking, ride in the direction of traffic and stop at red lights. 
  • And if you’re walking, cross in the crosswalk and wait for the "walk" signal. 
Learn more about the campaign at or

Friday, April 18, 2014

Warmer Weather Prompts Increased Outdoor Activity and Safety Enforcement

"Street Smart" Campaign Urges Drivers, Bicyclists and Pedestrians to Exercise Caution

Safety Zones will feature street teams
highlighting key campaign messages
En Español


PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA — After a long, cold winter, Washington-area residents are
ready to get outside and enjoy spring weather. With more people walking and biking, transportation officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia are urging drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, to take extra care and watch for each other when traveling around the region. To make sure they do, law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for anyone not following traffic safety laws and will ticket and fine violators – whether on foot, a bike, or behind the wheel.
These increased efforts are all part of the spring Street Smart public awareness and enforcement campaign. From April 14 through May 11, officers in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia will be stepping up enforcement, watching for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who violate traffic safety laws. Drivers who fail to yield for people in crosswalks, for example, and pedestrians who jaywalk will face tickets and fines ranging from $40 to $500. Additionally, law-breaking drivers are subject to getting points on their driver records.
Gas Station Pump Toppers Remind
Motorists to Watch for Pedestrians
"This has been a particularly harsh winter, so we expect that, as spring unfolds, more people will be out walking and biking. With so many of us sharing the roads, it is critical that we make safety a top priority," said Prince William County Supervisor Frank Principi, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. "It's the duty of all drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to work together, pay attention and follow traffic laws to make sure everyone arrives at their destinations safely."
Street Smart officials launched the spring initiative Thursday morning, April 17, at the Woodbridge, VA intersection where Sally Ann Okuly was killed last November. Okuly, a devoted wife and mother of two, was crossing with the light at the southeast corner of Opitz Boulevard at Montgomery Avenue when she was struck and killed by a car in the crosswalk. That morning was the first time she had taken a walk outside her home since surviving a motorcycle accident six months earlier.
In the wake of Okuly’s death, her friends, family and community leaders have successfully Street Smart officials hope to see similar improvements made at other treacherous intersections in the Washington region.
Bus Ads - Key Component of the
StreetSmart Campaign
advocated for engineering improvements to the intersection, including plans for crosswalk striping and the recent implementation of a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) signal – a timing technique that allows pedestrians a few seconds headstart to begin crossing the street before cars get a green light. 
Street Smart aims to prevent pedestrian and bicyclist deaths like Okuly’s – let alone the countless injuries that occur each year –by urging people to pay more attention when they’re on the road and offering practical, easy-to-follow safety tips (see below). Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians need to follow traffic laws, be aware of their surroundings, and avoid distractions such as cell phones. Street Smart reminds drivers to be alert and yield to anyone walking or biking at intersections, encourages those on foot to use crosswalks and wait for the walk signal, and urges people on bicycles to ride in the direction of traffic and stop at red lights.
While pedestrian fatalities in the DC metro area decreased from 2012 to 2013, bicyclist fatalities more than doubled, from three in 2012 to seven in 2013. In 2013, preliminary data indicate that 73 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in crashes in the Washington metropolitan region. These deaths accounted for 27 percent of all traffic fatalities in the area.
Information on the Street Smart public education program may be found at

Press Articles about the Spring 2014 StreetSmart Launch:

WUSA9 (article 1)
WUSA9 (article 2)
Univision (article 1)
Univision (article 2)
Prince William Daily Monitor
Associated Press

About the Street Smart Campaign & the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB)
Sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), the Street Smart public awareness and enforcement campaign is in its twelfth year. Its goal is to reduce pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths in the Washington metropolitan area. For more information about Street Smart, please visit and The TPB is the regional transportation planning organization for the Washington region. It includes local governments, state transportation agencies, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and members of the Maryland and Virginia General Assemblies.

El clima más cálido da a lugar a actividades al aire libre y al cumplimiento de las reglas de seguridad

La campaña “Street Smart” insta a los conductores, ciclistas y peatones a ser prudentes

Prince William County, VA– Después de un largo y frío invierno, los residentes del área de
Washington están listos para salir y disfrutar del clima de primavera. Con más personas caminando y en bicicleta, los funcionarios del transporte del Distrito de Columbia, Maryland y Virgina están pidiéndoles a los conductores, peatones y ciclistas que presten mayor atención y que estén pendientes los unos de los otros cuando se desplacen por la región. Para asegurarse de que así lo hagan, las agencias del orden público estarán vigilando a las personas que no estén cumpliendo las leyes de tránsito y multarán a los infractores, ya sea que vayan a pie, en bicicleta o detrás del volante.

Estos mayores esfuerzos forman parte de la campaña de concientización pública y cumplimiento de esta primavera Street Smart. Del 14 de abril al 11 de mayo, los policías del Distrito de Columbia, el área suburbana de Maryland y el norte de Virginia estarán reforzando las actividades de cumplimiento, estarán atentos a los conductores, peatones y ciclistas que violen las leyes de seguridad vial. Por ejemplo, los conductores que no les den paso a las personas en el cruce de peatones y los peatones que cruzan en rojo se enfrentarán a multas que van de $40 a $500. Por otra parte, los conductores que violen la ley estarán sujetos a recibir puntos en sus récords de manejo.

“Este ha sido un invierno particularmente duro, así que esperamos que, cuando se despliegue la primavera, muchas más personas comiencen a caminar y a montar bicicleta. Pero con tantos de nosotros compartiendo las calles, es crucial que mantengamos a la seguridad como una prioridad”, dijo el supervisor del condado de Prince William, Frank Principi, quien presta servicio en la Junta de Directores del Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “Al tomar medidas sencillas como prestar atención y cumplir con las leyes de tránsito, cada quien puede ayudar a garantizar que las personas lleguen sanas y salvas a sus destinos”.

Los funcionarios de Street Smart introdujeron la iniciativa de primavera la mañana del jueves 17 de abril, en Woodbridge, VA, en la intersección donde murió Sally Ann Okuly en noviembre pasado. Okuly, madre dedicada de dos niños, estaba cruzando con el semáforo en la esquina sureste de Opitz Boulevard y Montgomery Avenue cuando fue atropellada por un auto en el cruce de peatones y murió. Esa mañana fue la primera vez que salía a caminar afuera de su casa luego de sobrevivir un choque en motocicleta seis meses antes.

A raíz de la muerte de Okuly, sus amigos, familiares y líderes de la comunidad han promovido con éxito varias mejoras de ingeniería en la intersección, incluyendo planes para el rayado del cruce de peatones y la puesta es práctica recientemente de una señal de Guía Peatonal por Intervalo (LPI, por sus siglas en inglés), una técnica de tiempo que les concede a los peatones algunos segundos de ventaja para comenzar a cruzar la calle antes de que los automóviles tengan la luz verde. Los funcionarios de Street Smart esperan ver mejoras similares en otras intersecciones traicioneras en la región de Washington.

El propósito de Street Smart es evitar más muertes de peatones y ciclistas como Okuly, sin contar las numerosas lesiones que ocurren cada año, instando a las personas a prestar más atención cuando estén en al calle y ofreciendo consejos de seguridad prácticos y fáciles de seguir (ver más abajo). Los conductores, ciclistas y peatones tienen que obedecer las leyes de tránsito, estar pendientes de lo que los rodea y evitar distraerse con cosas como sus teléfonos celulares. Street Smart les recuerda a los conductores que estén alertas y les den el paso a las personas que estén caminando o en bicicleta en las intersecciones, alienta a aquellos que vayan a pie a utilizar los cruces de peatones y esperar la señal de caminar, y les insta a los ciclistas a manejar en la dirección del tráfico y detenerse en los semáforos en rojo.

Si bien el número de muertes en el área metropolitana de DC disminuyó de 2012 a 2013, las muertes de ciclistas han aumentado más del doble, de tres en 2012 a siete en 2013.  En el 2013, los datos preliminares indican que 73 peatones y ciclistas murieron en choques en la región metropolitana de Washington. Estas muertes conforman el 27 por ciento de todas las muertes relacionadas con el tráfico en el área.

Puede encontrar información sobre el programa de educación pública Street Smart en


Información acerca de la campaña Street Smart y la National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB)

Patrocinada por el Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) y la National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), la campaña pública de concientización y ejecución Street Smart está cumpliendo su décimo segundo año. Su meta es reducir las lesiones y muertes de peatones y ciclistas en el área metropolitana de Washington. Para más información sobre Street Smart, por favor visite  y La TPB es la organización de planificación de transporte regional para la región de Washington e incluye los gobiernos locales, las agencias de transporte del estado, la Autoridad de Tránsito del Área Metropolitana de Washington (WMATA, por sus siglas en inglés) y los miembros de  las Asambleas Generales de Maryland y Virginia.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pedestrian Crosswalk Stings are Back

A sting operation at an often disregarded Wisconsin Avenue crosswalk last week led to 24 citations for drivers who didn’t stop for an undercover cop posing as a pedestrian.
Next week, Montgomery County will launch a spring Street Smart campaign managed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Jeff Dunckel, Montgomery County’s pedestrian safety coordinator, said part of that initiative will include a new wave of the undercover police crosswalk stings.
The sting last week was set up for two hours at the notorious intersection of Stanford Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Drivers there must stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
But with no traffic signal on the six-lane road, pedestrians say that rarely happens.
Last June, police nabbed 22 drivers for failing to stop with a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Last April, as county officials and police began an aggressive spring pedestrian safety initiative, a motorist mowed down one of the pedestrian signs at the crosswalk.
Esther Bowring, a county government spokesperson, said police do regular enforcement of pedestrian safety laws. The effort that will begin next week is a more concentrated effort to raise awareness with more and more pedestrians taking advantage of warmer weather.
The decoy pedestrian police stings started last year.  Officials began putting the enforcement focus on drivers who were violating the law, not just pedestrians jaywalking or crossing without the walk signal.
Source: Bethesda Now, April 11, 2014
To see a video about crosswalk stings, click here.
To hear an audio clip on the stings, click here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Nationally, Accident Rates Improving for Older Drivers

Nationally, accident rates improving for older drivers
Safety researchers expressed concern a decade ago that traffic accidents would increase as the nation's aging population swelled the number of older drivers on the road. Now, they say they've been proved wrong. Today's drivers aged 70 and older are less likely to be involved in crashes than previous generations and are less likely to be killed or seriously injured if they do crash, according to a study recently released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That's because vehicles are getting safer and seniors are generally getting healthier. The marked shift began taking hold in the mid-1990s and indicates that growing ranks of aging drivers as baby boomers head into their retirement years aren't making U.S. roads deadlier. Traffic fatalities overall in the U.S. have declined to levels not seen since the late 1940s, and accident rates have come down for other drivers as well.

(Source: (Boston Globe newspaper), March, 2014, as reported in the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety eNewsletter, March 14, 2014.)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bicycle Safety Class April 12 Sponsored by Bethesda TMD

Class will help bicyclists become more comfortable biking on city streets
Class will help bicyclists become more comfortable biking on city streets

Bethesda Transportation Solutions, which operates the Bethesda Transportation Management District, and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) are holding a bicycle safety class on confident city cyclingon Saturday, April 12, 11 am-2 pm. It will be at Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, 5020 Battery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814. 

Registration is free to the first ten students to arrive within 15 minutes prior to class and to Capital Bikeshare members. The fee is $5 to WABA members and $10 to all others. Registration is online at WABA's website

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dale Drive Sidewalk Completed

The Division of Transportation Engineering has recently completed construction of 1900 feet of new sidewalk along the north side of Dale Drive, from Mansfield Road to Hartford Avenue in Silver Spring. This project was part of the Transportation Improvements for New Schools program, which funds improvements to serve County public schools. The program has previously constructed sections of other sidewalk along Dale Drive from Wayne Avenue to Piney Branch Road. This latest sidewalk provides connectivity to the Sligo Creek Elementary School, the Silver Spring International Middle School, as well as to downtown Silver Spring, Sligo Creek Park, and bus stops.

The project involved construction of significant retaining walls more than 300 feet long and ranging in height from three to 11 feet. Also part of the project was a storm drainage system and gas, sewer, and water utility relocations.

The contractor was Banneker Ventures LLC. Significant construction work was undertaken by subcontractorM. Luis Construction Company, a local woman-owned business recently honored by the President when he visited their asphalt manufacturing plant in Rockville.

For more information, contact Shirley Reeves-Collette, Project Manager, at 240.773.3412 or by email. For budget details on the project, see the Office of Management and Budget website. For information on transportation construction projects, visit the Division of Transportation Engineering's website.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Texting and Walking Results in More Injuries Per Mile Than Texting and Driving

A new study found that texting while walking causes more injuries per mile than texting while driving. Many studies have focused on the dangerous consequences of texting while driving. However, researchers found that texting and walking can be far more dangerous as they cause more injuries per mile. The consequences of texting include bumping into walls, falling down stairs, tripping over clutter or stepping into traffic, according to a press statement. Researchers pointed out that even though injuries from texting and driving are more severe, physical harm resulting from texting and walking occurs more frequently. People who text and walk face three types of distractions. The first one is manual where they're doing something else, the second one is visual where they're seeing something else and the third one is cognitive where their mind is somewhere else.

To see the full article, click here.

(Source for national data: Headline and Global News, March 4, 2014, as reported in the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety eNewsletter, March 14, 2014.)

Nationally, Pedestrian Deaths Drop After Three-Year Rise

After three straight years of increases that baffled experts, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. appears to be dropping. Compared with the first six months of 2012, pedestrian deaths fell 8.7 percent during the first six months of 2013, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says, citing preliminary data reported to the federal government by the states and the District of Columbia. There were 1,985 pedestrians killed in crashes in the first half of last year, down from 2,175 in January through June of 2012. Pedestrian fatality data for all of 2013 is expected later this year. Pedestrian safety experts, who were puzzled by the 15 percent, three-year jump in deaths—given it came while all other categories of road fatalities were dropping three percent—are just as stumped by the recent decline.

In Montgomery County, pedestrian deaths have totalled 11 in 2011, 6 in 2012, and 13 in 2013. The four year average (2010-2013) stands at 10.8, which is significantly below the three year average prior to the County Executive's Pedestrian Safety Initiative of 16.7 fatalities (2007-2009).

(Source for national data: USA Today, March 5, 2014, as reported in the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety eNewsletter, March 14, 2014. Local data from MCPD.)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Enforcement is an important component of improving pedestrian safety

Montgomery County Police ticketing a driver who did not yield to a pedestrian

MCDOT continues to invest in engineering improvements and educational outreach to enhance pedestrian safety – particularly in high crash areas where collision data show more pedestrians are being struck. In addition, County Police evaluate pedestrian crash types, locations, and victims to plan enforcement. In 2011 and 2012, pedestrian enforcement focused primarily on ticketing pedestrians who were not following the law (i.e. crossing against pedestrian signals and in illegal midblock locations).  In 2013, there was a shift to driver education and ticketing - over 1,200 citations were issued and approximately half of these were driver citations. 

In 2014, the focus of police pedestrian safety enforcement continues to be on driver education and ticketing, with police conducting a series of "crosswalk stings" at areas around the County. During these stings, a plainclothes police officer legally enters a crosswalk.  When drivers fail to yield to the pedestrian, they are pulled over and ticketed.  Pedestrians will also continue to be cited when unlawful crossing is observed. 

Preliminary data from 2013 indicate pedestrian crashes occurred at a slightly higher rate than in the previous year, and pedestrian fatalities almost doubled.  Therefore, we urge everyone to stay alert and watch out for each other. Drivers must follow the laws for yielding to pedestrian right-of-way. Pedestrians must help protect their safety by always giving their undivided attention when crossing the street.

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

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Montgomery County Department of Transportation Installs Two New Sidewalks

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation Division of Transportation Engineering's New Sidewalk program has recently completed two new sidewalk links to enhance pedestrian connectivity in the county.

  • In the Silver Spring area, a link was installed along Franklin Avenue, from Colesville Road/US29 to University Boulevard/MD193. This project cost approximately $437,700.
  • In the Silver Spring area, a link was installed along Melbourne Avenue, at the dead end. This project cost approximately $4,900.
Other new sidewalk links constructed in fiscal year 2014 include the following. 
  • In the Potomac area, a link was installed along Oaklyn Drive, from Persimmon Tree Road to Avenel Farm Road. This project cost approximately $237,700.
  • In the Potomac/Bethesda/Cabin John Creek area, a link was installed along River Road, from Bradley Boulevard to Clewerwell Drive. This project cost approximately $125,300.

For more information on the New Sidewalk program, including how to request a new sidewalk in your neighborhood, visit the Division of Transportation Engineering's website

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pedestrian Safety Volunteers Needed

We have been working with a group of fabulous volunteers in the Wheaton area, who have helped us spread the word to the community about how to be a safe pedestrian, and how drivers can keep pedestrians safe. We are looking forward to developing a similar volunteer group in other areas where collisions are most frequent. 

The County’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative uses a three-pronged approach that coordinates Engineering, Education, and Enforcement with the intention of influencing pedestrian and driver behavior. You can learn more about our program by visiting our website:  As a volunteer, you will work with us to spread the pedestrian safety message. Prior to participating in outreach activities, we will provide a training session to explain the program and the core messages we communicate to the public. 

How do you become a pedestrian safety volunteer? Send an email to Shelley Johnson at the Department of Transportation, indicating your interest: or call her at 240-777-2112.

To view the Pedestrian Safety Volunteer Training Presentation, click here.  

We hope you decide to join our group and help to make our streets and sidewalks safer!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

County Continues Investments and Activities to Make Piney Branch High Incidence Area Safer

New midblock crosswalk installed on Piney Branch Road
New Midblock Crosswalk Installed on Piney Branch Road
When the County Executive announced his Pedestrian Safety Initiative five years ago, a key approach was to focus on areas that were experiencing the highest number of pedestrian collisions. Piney Branch Road, between Flower Avenue and the County line, was such a place. Two new crosswalks with pedestrian refuge islands and flashing beacons to warn motorists are the latest improvements in a multi-year effort to enhance safety. 

In 2010 and 2011, MCDOT upgraded sidewalks and ADA ramps in the corridor. Through agreements with PEPCO, additional street lights were installed and other lights were brightened. In 2011, traffic signal upgrades for pedestrians were installed, with more now being planned in cooperation with the State. To see a graphic of all engineering improvements along this corridor, click below.

Additional resources were spent on extensive grassroots education, and Police conducted intensive enforcement, writing over 800 citations to both pedestrians and motorists. Pedestrian collisions here are now down 36 percent since this effort began.