Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Update on dangerous Bradley Boulevard crosswalks in Bethesda

Two and half months ago, I reported on the dangerous - and seemingly abandoned - pedestrian crossing at Bradley Boulevard near Offutt Lane. The crossing signals there, and at another crosswalk further up at Strathmore Street, were not connected. I have finally gotten some information back from the Maryland State Highway Adminstration on what's going on there.

You may recall that there were not only barrels laying in the pedestrian cut-through in the median island at the Offutt-vicinity crossing, but that residents complained parking was being allowed right up against these crosswalks. The latter issue was blocking drivers' views of pedestrians who would be entering the crosswalks.

A MDSHA representative says a solution is likely at least 60 days away. He pointed to PEPCO as the major issue in the failure to connect the signals to the electrical system. In regard to parking, he said that the SHA hired a contractor to study these crosswalks and recommend changes. Her contract with the state apparently ran out in late spring, grinding the process to a halt. She is expected back on the job within the next couple of weeks, however, and should make those recommendations.

Overall, it gives you an excellent sense of how government works (or doesn't, in this case). Residents can point out what's wrong in a few minutes here, but it takes government months just to start studying it. Meanwhile, as the SHA rep noted, the state and local governments apparently have no leverage to force PEPCO to do the work here any faster.

Stay tuned - and stay safe out there.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I hold MDSHA at fault since they put up the signs to change the parking rules there. I was driving by here last night after 9pm, and you can't see anyone in the crosswalk, since the parking signs allowing parking right up to the crosswalk after 7pm. On top of that, if you're traveling north from Arlington Road to Wisconsin Ave, the road is curved so it's hopeless to try and see pedestrians waiting in the crosswalk at all.

Why do they allow parking right up to the crosswalk? That's amazingly dangerous and no other crosswalk in Bethesda is set up this way.

Question for Robert: I think some new bill recently passed or that went into effect on 7/1 in the county included the appointment of a road closing and sidewalk closing person, mostly for construction sites. Is that person in place yet?

Anonymous said...

I just learned this but are you aware that "no parking" does not mean "no parking"? Parking Management tells me it means you can PARK for 15 minutes if you turn on your blinkers. So, the sign next to the crosswalk says "No parking 7AM-7PM" which doesn't make sense either because it's even more dangerous to have cars parked there at night. Regardless, last week, I reported a trailer that was unhitched and parked in that spot before 7PM until way after 7AM the next day. I just hope someone isn't injured before they complete their study and do something about the safety issue.

Anonymous said...

3:20, of course "no parking" means no parking. You're probably confusing it with "standing."

Anonymous said...

SMH- I almost die here every day. The crosswalks were installed last August.