The Montgomery County Planning Board received a briefing Thursday about pedestrian conditions in the county.
While pedestrians were only in 4% of collisions between 2015-2020, they made up 27% of severe injuries and deaths. That’s according to the planning department’s Pedestrian Master Plan Existing Conditions Report.
People with disabilities face more difficulties as a pedestrian in Montgomery County, the report found. Based on a countywide pedestrian survey, about 43% of pedestrians with disabilities are satisfied with their experience, compared to 53% of respondents without disabilities. The disparity becomes even more stark in some areas like transit corridors and exurban/rural areas.
“And that really speaks… to a need to address what the root of those disparities are in these areas of the county,” Project Manager Eli Glazier said during the Thursday meeting.
Equity Focus Areas (EFA), parts of the county with high concentrations of lower-income people of color, have higher pedestrian crash rates. 14% of the county’s roadway miles are in EFAs. But EFAs contain 40% of pedestrian crashes and 44% of pedestrian collisions ending in severe injury or death.
The planning department will present draft recommendations for its Pedestrian Master Plan in the next two months. It will be followed by community meetings about the recommendations in June.
There are almost 2,200 miles of sidewalk in the county, most on local/residential streets. There are about 218 miles of sidewalk gaps on non-local streets, according to the report. Many gaps can be found on roads connecting people to destinations like major highways.