Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Meeting tonight re: safety improvements at River Rd. intersection where 3 died last year

A meeting will be held at 7:00 PM tonight, March 8, 2017, in the auditorium at Walt Whitman High School at 7100 Whittier Boulevard in Bethesda, to discuss potential safety improvements at the intersection of River Road and Braeburn Parkway. Three members of a Whitman family were killed when a westbound driver approaching at extreme speeds struck their vehicle as it attempted to turn left across the westbound lanes last year.

Community members seeking ways to make the intersection safer have been frustrated by the slow-moving process at the state level. Maryland State Highway Administration crews started, and then abruptly stopped, installing warning flashers near the intersection late last summer. Many felt warning lights were not sufficient, and have called for a traffic signal and realignment of the intersection with Braeburn Parkway and Pyle Road. Pedestrian crossing of River Road is an equal concern. A vote taken at a previous meeting found a majority of attendees supporting these ideas.

The SHA's public statements have so far stated a full traffic signal is not warranted. Others in the community have suggested simply closing the rear entrance to Whitman and/or banning turns at the intersection, believing the guarantee of safety for students and others would outweigh the minor inconvenience. However, some Bannockburn residents have pointed out that they need to make turns there to get in and out of their neighborhood, likely making closing the Whitman entrance the more viable option of the latter two.

Whatever your position or ideas, it is a good idea to attend tonight's meeting to make your opinion heard, or introduce further suggestions no one has considered yet.


Anonymous said...

If they are not going to put a full signal there, they should close the gap. Other than the back entrance into Kenwood, which has much better sight lines, it's the only non-signalized intersection on River from Kenwood Country Club to the fire station.

Anonymous said...

This is all bellyaching. The concern seems to be Whitman students. who are inexperienced drivers. The simple solution is for the Whitman Principal to close the back gate to Whitman. He can do that now, and at no cost. He claims he's worried it will take students longer to get to school if they have to use Whittier Blvd instead. Tough luck.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the old legacy non-hyperlocal print Washington Post has reported on last night's hearing.


Robert Dyer said...

5:53: I have a full report here:

Just did a Google search for Post article and got no results. I've been the leading news source on the Whitman crash since the night it happened. In fact, the Washington Post plagiarized my exclusive reporting over that night.

I also broke the story about the warning flasher project beginning last August. My story was then knocked off by the small and slightly-failing magazine two days later without attribution - they, like Obi Wan Kenobi, had simply sensed via ESP that SHA was out on River Road but apparently had to wait 48 hours for approval from the Jedi Council before publishing.

#Scooped, moron.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

And GGW linked to the Post's article. LOL