EXCLUSIVE: SHA Denies Councilmember Rice’s Request for Pedestrian Safety Audit in Germantown
Officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration have offered to meet with Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice along Md. 355 to see what can be done to make that road safer, but will not conduct the specific safety audit of the area as requested.
On May 12, Rice sent a letter to District Engineer Brian Young requesting a pedestrian road safety audit be completed of the Germantown area specifically along Route 118 and Route 355 including but not limited to the intersections with Clopper Mill Road, Father Hurley Boulevard, Wisteria Drive, Middlebrook Road and Crystal Rock Drive.
Today, SHA responded to that request saying the department is putting together pedestrian road safety audits on areas of the state considered “high pedestrian crash corridors.” The area in Germantown is not on that list, according to the letter.
“The subject corridors referenced in your letter are not one of the priority locations. As a result, we cannot undertake a full PRSA study of these corridors at this time,” the letter states.
Instead, SHA offered a different type of traffic study.
SHA’s Assistant District Engineer-Traffic Anyesha Mookherjee stated in the letter SHA engineering staff will conduct a “comprehensive traffic study along these corridors with emphasis on pedestrian and transit safety.” The study will including meeting with stakeholders such as Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and county officials to identify specific concerns. Mookherjee said he expects that study to take 90 days.
Rice said he doesn’t care what the study is called so long as it examines ways to help pedestrians stay safe.
“It is positive in understanding that they need to take a look regardless of what they call it,” Rice told MyMCMedia.
He hopes the study takes a look at signal timing, improving medians and limiting turn lanes.
And he said he still wants to meet with SHA officials on site.
“We need a comprehensive look at this corridor now that we have grown and take new and bold steps for safety,” he said.
SHA’s Spokesperson David Buck told MyMCMedia on Monday that state highway officials are willing to meet on site to examine the issues.
You can read Rice’s letter here.
Here’s the response from the State Highway Administration.