Public safety issue at Great Seneca Highway and Orchard Ridge Road featured on Montgomery Community Media.

Gaithersburg Planning Commission Approves Motion for Pedestrian Safety Improvements along Kentlands Boulevard

Public safety issue at Great Seneca Highway and Orchard Ridge Road featured on Montgomery Community Media.The Gaithersburg Planning Commission has unanimously approved a motion to recommend fiscal year 2018 funding for pedestrian safety improvements along Kentlands Boulevard.

Planning and Code Administration Director John Schlichting asked the Commission to make a formal motion for the funding at the Aug. 2nd meeting.

“What we are looking for tonight is just your advocacy for this funding, which we think we can get the city manager on board to fund this for installation in September or October of this year,” Schlichting said.

In an interview after the meeting, Engineering Services Division Chief Ollie Mumpower said right now there is no funding in the budget for this work. He estimated the cost to be well under $100,000.

The pedestrian connectivity improvements were recommended by new urbanism transportation consultant Rick Hall.

The proposed improvements include replacing the deteriorating decorative crosswalks with some more visually enticing ladder-style crosswalks and the installation of four flashing beacons, according to Schlichting. He said the beacons would be located at the easternmost crosswalk at the Main Street roundabout on the block near the senior housing community.

“That would provide a very safe crossing at that point,” Schlichting said. “All of the crosswalks would be improved by the ladder-style crosswalks.”

Alternate Planning Commissioner Philip Wessel said he wanted to know if the city was studying pedestrian improvements in other deficient areas of the city as he noted several of the planning commissioners live in the Kentlands area.

“I can walk around Olde Towne, I can walk around anywhere, and find places where striping needs to be done or we need better sidewalks,” Wessel said.  “How [do] we methodically address that on a citywide basis?”

“I am not prepared to respond to that tonight,” Schlichting said, noting he would consult with the public works department to provide a response to Wessel by the next meeting.

You can watch the Commission’s discussion about the Kentlands improvements on the city’s YouTube channel, below. The improvements were discussed at the end of the meeting, beginning at the 1:41 mark.

 

 

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at sburke@mymcmedia.org or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.

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