Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Pedestrian struck at Bethesda intersection where some have called for traffic signal (Photo)
While the Capital Crescent Trail bridge allows pedestrians to cross safely, many continue to try to cross at street level because it is faster. Personally, you would have to pay me significant money to attempt that street-level crossing. Trust me, it's worth the time to either use the bridge, or walk up a short distance to the light at Whole Foods. Being dead is not worth an extra 2 minutes. It's dark under the bridge, and look how worn-off the crosswalk is there. At night? Forget about it! You cannot be seen by drivers.
The Maryland State Highway Administration just announced that the intersection does not currently warrant a traffic signal, after completing a traffic study. There are already 3 traffic signals between Ridgefield Road and Little Falls Parkway. Signal advocates say the construction of a 10-story senior housing development on Landy Lane, and the existing Washington Episcopal School pedestrian and vehicle traffic, warrant a traffic light.
Whatever the outcome, it would seem that SHA could immediately (and fairly cheaply) improve safety there by painting a more visible crosswalk. Perhaps pedestrian-activated warning lights could be added to the bridge to alert drivers that someone is crossing, as well as lighting for that spot at night. The intersection of River and Ridgefield also desperately needs improved street lighting. It's so dark there at night, it's a major safety hazard for pedestrians.