Parents with children at Wilson Wims Elementary School in Clarksburg finally got what they wanted after years of campaigning for a traffic light and crosswalk across Snowden Farm Parkway. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation announced in a March 13 letter that it will install a traffic signal at Snowden Farm Road and Grand Elm Street by the fall of 2015.
The Friends of White Flint displayed the designs next to what the Sector Plan recommended. Together with the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the Friends group encouraged supporters of a more pedestrian-friendly road design to write to county officials. So far, more than 350 people have written emails calling for an Old Georgetown Road design that matches the Sector Plan, according to the group.
Stewart Schwartz of the DC-area’s Coalition for Smarter Growth contested the idea that street redesigns have to be put on hold. ”The traffic engineers are nervous about the interim period,” he said. “They don’t recognize that congestion always provides a feedback signal. If there’s congestion, people change the time of day of their commute; they change the mode of their commute; and you’re likely to see more transit riders. What this points to is the need to move faster in redesigning these places and incentivizing redevelopment.”
We are submitting comments in support of the Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Amendment Act of 2014 and for Council member Grosso’s amendment to cover pedestrians in addition to cyclists with this bill. The District of Columbia’s continued use of contributory negligence presents major barriers for cyclists and pedestrians alike to recover damages in the event of a collision, and widespread misunderstanding and uneven enforcement of bicycle and pedestrian laws only compounds the problem.
By 2017, officials want D.C. to be a World Health Organization-defined “age-friendly” city for older adults. A report released by the Coalition for Smarter Growth today finds that, while the city has policies in place that work toward this goal, there are many improvements to pedestrian and transportation infrastructure needed.
I am here to express our strong support for this important bill, which we call the “walk/bike connections” bill. This bill helps ensure that Prince George’s residents and visitors have better and safer transportation choices. By allowing the Planning Board to ensure that developments fill in missing links of essential sidewalk and other walk/bike facilities around a new development, the quality of development, as well as safety and access, will be improved. Offering multimodal transportation choices has been the intention of the County for several years through the “Complete Streets” policy adopted in the 2009 County Master Plan for Transportation. This bill helps implement this policy in the development review process.
Fairfax County is becoming a leader in addressing the challenges created by the patterns of suburban development through transit-oriented development, commercial corridor revitalization, affordable housing, stormwater, and reform to parking policies. We believe that Fairfax County can also join places like Charlotte, North Carolina, in addressing the design flaws and safety risks inherent in overly wide suburban streets. Therefore, we are concerned about and recommend strongly against the proposal to mandate a standard width of 36 feet for new suburban streets in the county.
Walkable neighborhoods are not only more vibrant and convenient, but safer, too. In this 2010 presentation, CSG Policy Director Cheryl Cort shows how missing sidewalks create hazardous walking conditions for pedestrians and lead to more traffic fatalities, as evident in local data. She argues that streets need to be more pedestrian-friendly, especially in high-demand areas with lots of traffic.