Thursday, December 10, 2015

Maryland will act on dangerous Bradley Blvd. crosswalks in Bethesda (Photos)

Can you see the pedestrian behind
the cars parked at the curb
trying to cross in the crosswalk
ahead? Neither can the
oncoming drivers
You know how they say when scientists use powerful telescopes to look 100 million light years away, they are seeing the universe as it looked 100 million years ago? Well, communicating with the Maryland State Highway Administration is kind of like that sometimes. I just yesterday received a response to an inquiry I made regarding those dangerous crosswalks on Bradley Boulevard so long ago, I can't remember when I sent it. At least a month; maybe several months ago.

The good news is, the SHA is going to do something about the problem.

Anyesha Mookherjee, Assistant District Engineer for Montgomery County traffic with the SHA, says the agency will install "No Standing" signs on the approaches to the crosswalks located between Strathmore Street and Offutt Lane. She says "No Standing" signs are more restrictive than "No Parking" signs, and will therefore create the needed buffer between parked cars and the crosswalks.
Parked cars blocking
visibility for drivers
and pedestrians at this
Bradley Blvd. crosswalk
This will hopefully make pedestrians trying to use those crosswalks more visible to oncoming traffic. Mookherjee says the work order has been given, and that the job should be finished within the next 60 days, weather permitting.

Bravo to the SHA for acting on this urgent issue.


Anonymous said...

Finally. I wrote them also a while ago, and received a response from the same person recently. That lack of visibility was an accident waiting to happen. Looking forward to the improvement.

Next up should be the crosswalks at Woodmont and Bethesda Ave. The corners are not 90-degree angles, making it a bit complicated to see the crosswalks when turning. I propose that they just have a cycle where it's only crosswalks on (all 4) and red lights for all cars. Ideally, they could install a diagonal (corner to corner) crosswalk as well.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate the concerns for pedestrian safety, but mid block crosswalks are just plain dangerous and a terrible practice.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that a crosswalk on a 4 lane road with no red light was dangerous. There are a few others across Bethesda like that. In addition to the one in the article, two that stand out off the top of my head are crossing Rockville Pike @ Commerce Ln and crossing Old Georgetown @ Cordell. And formerly crossing Rockville Pike @ Trader Joes before they put a new light in there. You are taking your life in your hands when you use those marked crosswalks. All they do is provide a false sense of security.

Anonymous said...

A good compromise can be a HAWK like they have in DC on Connecticut Ave in front of the Uptown theater. It looks like a flashlight but it's flashing yellow normally instead of green, and it goes to red if a pedestrian pushes the button. This way, it only stops cars if there is a pedestrian needing to cross -- good for low-usage locations. As I understand it, such a device is not currently allowed under MD law.

Robert Dyer said...

8:58: There's something similar on Westbard Avenue in front of Park Bethesda, where a pedestrian who wants to cross can instantly make the light turn red to stop traffic. Only one I've personally used in MoCo where you can stop traffic yourself. Not a HAWK signal, though.

Anonymous said...

The trader Joe's light is the ideal solution IMHO. It's a standard traffic light so no one has to learn new signals and symbols. Drivers and pedestrians know what it means. It only needs to turn red if there are pedestrians (or drivers in the TJ case).

Anonymous said...

Also, the crosswalk on Woodmont Ave. & Fairmont Ave. Parked car completely blocks the driver's view when driving North. Incredibly dangerous. Wrote to Montgomery County and BCC months ago - no response.