October 12, 2010

Md. road redesigns to stem pedestrian deaths

WASHINGTON -- A recent spate of fatal accidents involving pedestrians have led at least one local administrator to consider redesigning the roads. Pedestrians contributed to eight out of 11 fatal crashes in Montgomery County, police say, sometimes engaging in risky behavior as they traverse heavily trafficked routes. Pedestrians accessing the White Flint Metro station in Rockville, Md., for example, have to cross eight lanes of traffic on Rockville Pike.

"I'm sitting there thinking, there's no way on earth I'd do that," Montgomery County Planning Director Rollin Stanley told WTOP as he watched a man dash across the road with little time to spare on the green light.

"It's very unsafe because the cars keep rushing, they come from all directions."

Stanley is considering a road redesign that would slow traffic and add up to 40 seconds to the average commute.

"That's not a lot of time," he said, "and if it means people on the street, and bicycles and pedestrians are going to be safer, then that's a good exchange."

"If we redesign Rockville Pike, people's expectations change, their habits change." SOURCE: WTOP

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