Montgomery County Implements Curb Markings to Save Lives | Transportation
For the first time in Maryland, Montgomery County and the Maryland Department of Transportation have installed curb markings along the Piney Branch corridor to prevent tragedies and indicate where it is and isn't safe for pedestrians to cross the street. As part of the Street Smart Campaign, Montgomery County Police will be stepping up their emphasis of traffic safety laws as well as issuing citations and warnings for failing to properly yield to pedestrians and drivers alike.
"It's imperative that we get the word out about pedestrian safety. We launch this new concept in order to address the temptations of some who run across the street mid-block or outside a curb-walk.Crossing the street can be a death defying act, and we hope through this campaign that the new curb markings will help pesdestrians think twice before making impulsive decisions that result in dire consequences," explained Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.
In Montgomery County, pedestrian deaths saw an eight percent decline, with a four percent drop in pedestrian collisions from 2009 to 2010 according to Isiah Leggett. Targeting engineering, education, and enforcement actions where the pedestrian collisions happen most frequently, like the Piney Branch corridor, has effectively reduced collisions.
"When a car and pedestrian try to occupy the same place, the car will always win. Of the 14 crashes that happened along Piney Branch Road, 11 were from pedestrians crossing mid-block. Pedestrians and drivers both have a responsibility to stay alert, and we in the County are trying our best to make sure this doesn't continue to happen," said Captain of the Montgomery County Police Department, Thomas Didone.
Engineering design changes are proven to significantly reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries.The pilot program is the first to use curb markings and is the latest in a series of "Street Smart" engineering improvements across the greater Washington, DC region.
Additionally, bilingual Pedestrian Safety Promotion Teams will be intercepting and instructing jaywalkers on where and how to cross safely.
"The way people drive along this road can be reckless. I think the new curb markings are a good idea as long as people take the time to read them," replied Takoma Park resident Jonathan Velsey.