Greater Greater Washington

Pedestrians


Montgomery DOT tells children: Don't cross the street

Buster Keaton was being funny when he drove across the street to propose marriage in his 1924 movie The Navigator. But the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) was completely serious last month when they told children in Clarksburg to take a school bus 4 miles out of the way instead of walking across the street.


Stringtown Road at Observation Drive, Clarksburg. Photo by the author.

Many parents in the new Gateway Commons development in Clarksburg walk their children 5 or 6 minutes to Clarksburg Elementary School. They cross Stringtown Road at Observation Drive, the development's main street, and then use a pedestrian path that leads to the back of the school grounds.

The intersection at Observation Drive is the rational place for people from Gateway Commons to cross Stringtown Road on the way to or from school. Unfortunately, however, it is not a safe place. Yet MCDOT denied the parents' request for a crosswalk.

Why is the crossing unsafe?

First, many drivers go faster than the 35-mph speed limit. This is not surprising, given the design and purpose of this section of Stringtown Road. The county built the road, which opened in 2007, to move motor vehicles between Clarksburg and I-270. It's an arterial highway, four lanes wide plus turning lanes and a median, and designed for a posted speed of 40 mph.

Second, the two crosswalks across Stringtown Road at Observation Drive are completely unmarked. There are no signs, either on the side of the road or in the median, to alert drivers to the possibility of schoolchildren crossing. There isn't even paint on the pavement. And though the law requires drivers to stop for pedestrians in unmarked crosswalks, they don't, even when children are standing in the median obviously waiting to finish crossing.

Parents in Gateway Commons wanted the unsafe street crossing to be made safe. So they asked MCDOT at the beginning of this school year to install a pedestrian crosswalk across Stringtown Road at Observation Drive.

But MCDOT said no. They gave four reasons.

First, according to the MCDOT traffic engineer who first denied the request, the crossing at Observation Drive is in "close proximity" to the marked, signalized crosswalks at Frederick Road (MD 355), 550 feet to the northeast, and Gateway Center Drive, 650 feet to the southwest.

From a windshield perspective at 35+ mph, these crosswalks are indeed in close proximity. But they are not so close from the perspective of Gateway Commons parents and children walking to school. For them, crossing at these crosswalks instead of at Observation Drive means an extra ¼ of a mile out of their way and double the travel time.

Second, if MCDOT marked the crosswalk, then people might use it, and that would be unsafe. According to an e-mail from Emil Wolanin, chief of MCDOT's Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations, "inappropriate crosswalk installations" dangerously "encourage pedestrians to cross at a less than optimal location".

This is an odd reason, given that the request for the crosswalk came about specifically because pedestrians are already crossing there, and the crossing is already unsafe.

And for whom is the location less than optimal? Not for pedestrians, or else they wouldn't have asked MCDOT to mark the crosswalk there.

Third, not enough people cross at the crosswalk. MCDOT's study found "little or no pedestrian activity", according to an e-mail from an engineer at MCDOT. And, again according to Mr. Wolanin, "[i]nstalling marked crosswalks at locations with very low pedestrian volumes diminishes their overall effectiveness. When motorists cross [marked crosswalks] rarely if ever seeing a pedestrian they are "trained" to not expect someone to be using them."

The people who asked for the crosswalk installation are walking evidence that there are pedestrians at this crossing. And, by the logic of Mr. Wolanin's previous argument, a marked crosswalk might even increase their numbers.

In addition, it's not as though drivers were currently stopping at the unmarked crosswalks. Is it worse if a driver blows past pedestrians at a marked crosswalk, rather than an unmarked one?

Fourth, the safe way to get across Stringtown Road is to take the school bus that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) provides to Gateway Commons because crossing Stringtown Road on foot is not safe.

The school bus stops on the south side of Frederick Road, at the entrance to Gateway Commons. It then goes 2 miles southeast on Frederick Road to pick up children from another development, turns around, and goes the same 2 miles back, plus another half a mile, before finally dropping the children off at school. The bus trip takes about 20 minutes. Walking takes about 5.

In short, MCDOT's message to Gateway Commons parents is clear and simple. If they want to get their children safely to a school many can see from their windows, they should either cross the street where it causes the least inconvenience to drivers, or put the children on the bus.

Using a motor vehicle to cross the street is as ridiculous today as it was in 1924. Isn't it time for Montgomery County to join the Complete Streets Coalition and tell MCDOT that streets are for everyone, not just people in cars?

Miriam Schoenbaum lives in Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve. She serves on the MARC Riders' Advisory Council and is a member of the Action Committee for Transit

Comments

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I can see some legitimate issues here but having to walk 550 or 600 feet to a legit cross walk isn't one of them.

Every metro platform in the system is 600 feet long and tens of thousands of people, kids included walk the full length of them daily, or multiple times a day. This isn't an issue

by anona on Nov 13, 2012 10:13 am • linkreport

Given the signals 500 feet in either direction, can you clarify the timing of the traffic patterns at these crosswalks during the morning and afternoon crossings? If both lights go read at the same time, for example, that should create a predictable time to cross unless the traffic getting onto the highway at those lights is heavy--and even then, because they are just getting on they should be relatively slow.

If not, it might be possible to tweak the light timing a bit to make crossing safer. I agree that a painted crosswalk can help as well. However, another option is to just push the police to do a few stings at that unmarked crosswalk.

In addition, push MoCo to develop a warning sign stating that it is state law to stop for pedestrians at all intersections instead of "crosswalks" since msot drivers don't know what a crosswalk is.

by Jim T on Nov 13, 2012 10:35 am • linkreport

Nobody walks the full length of a metro platform. The only way one would do that is of there were only one set of stairs at the extreme end of the platform and the only place to get off a train was at the complete other end of the platform.

(OK, maybe this happens once in a while at Stadium Armory)

But all that aside, it looks like the average walk from the middle of that neighborhood to the school is about 1,000 feet. Having to go another 1200 feet out of your way to use one of the existing crosswalks is utterly ridiculous.

by Ryan S on Nov 13, 2012 10:35 am • linkreport

Given the recommendation to cross at alternative locations within an eighth of a mile the title here seems a little sensationalist. I also imagine that the number of children for whom there is a 15 minute difference between bus and walk time is pretty small as the walking distance will be longer the further you live from the road.

I think that you're a calculation of an extra quarter mile is a bit low. If the parent has to walk 550 feet to get to a safe intersection and needs to get to the same points as crossing at the intersection of Observation and Stringtown, then she will need to walk 550 feet on both sides and both the way there and back. 550 * 4 = 220 feet which is about 2/5 of a mile. That would quickly reach a half mile and more the further into the development you are.

by Shane on Nov 13, 2012 10:37 am • linkreport

Should be "your," of course.

by Shane on Nov 13, 2012 10:38 am • linkreport

@anona, Shane
I can see some legitimate issues here but having to walk 550 or 600 feet to a legit cross walk isn't one of them.

Except it isn't 550-600 feet, it's 1100-1200 feet. Because you have to walk all the way to the crosswalk, and then walk all the way back to your destination.

Looks like if you live all the way at the SE corner of that development it is about 1400 feet to the intersection in question. so if you tack on another 1200 feet of walking you are basically doubling the distance you have to travel.

It's a school for Pete's sake, we should be trying to encourage kids to walk - that means more exercise for kids and less county money spent on busing. But we can't because this crap is too hard for the entirely car-focused traffic engineers at MCDOT.

by MLD on Nov 13, 2012 10:45 am • linkreport

What about crossing guards at the nearest intersection before and after school? Then traffic would be forced to stop when there are children present, but only during those two time bands.

by mcr on Nov 13, 2012 10:46 am • linkreport

I second the crossing guard comment and a quick Google search reveals that MoCo has a crossing guard program run by the police. Maybe parents should petition to have a crossing guard stationed at the intersection.

by Thad on Nov 13, 2012 10:50 am • linkreport

@mcr -- from the Gazette article:

"Todd Watkins, director of transportation for the school system, said that placing a crossing guard at the crosswalk is unlikely. Because the highway is divided, Watkins said, two crossing guards would have to be stationed on each side of the road, which would cost more than busing students to school.

“The safest way is to have [the students] bused to school,” he said."

by Miriam on Nov 13, 2012 10:51 am • linkreport

I don't think Miriam's being unreasonable at all. The 1994 Clarksburg Master Plan envisions a "transit- and pedestrian-oriented community." Almost everything that's been built in Clarksburg has been done in the New Urbanist style, with houses pulled up to the street, sidewalks on both sides, short blocks, and lots of pedestrian passages like this one:

The Money Shot!

Unlike most of Montgomery County built after World War II, Clarksburg is being built for walking. In an environment like this, having a short, convenient walk to school should be a given, and I imagine many homebuyers moved here with that in mind.

Besides, once Observation Drive is extended south to Germantown, it'll carry enough traffic that a stoplight and crosswalks will be necessary, so cars will have to stop there anyway. MCDOT might as well just put in the crosswalks now.

by dan reed! on Nov 13, 2012 10:52 am • linkreport

@MLD

I realize that and recognize it in the second paragraph of my comment. I was just pointing out that the title isn't quite accurate.

by Shane on Nov 13, 2012 10:55 am • linkreport

MCDOTs arguments reminds my of the answer I get often when asking for extra-tall clothing sizes. "No sir, there is no demand for that size." I always correct them by pointing out that I am exactly expressing demand for that size, and that they have just lost a sale.

@ anoma:I can see some legitimate issues here but having to walk 550 or 600 feet to a legit cross walk isn't one of them.

I can see some legitimate issues here but having to walk 550 or 600 feet to a legit cross walk moving your ankle slightly to slow down for pedestrians legally crossing the road in an unmarked crosswalk isn't one of them.

Every metro platform in the system is 600 feet long and tens of thousands of people, kids included walk the full length of them daily, or multiple times a day. This isn't an issue

Nobody, except for metrorail drivers at end-stations, walks the entire length of a metro platform multiple times a day. The vast, vast majority of people stay near the escalator they use to the platform.

And again, the effort asked from drivers is moving their ankle.

And while I admit that MCDOT has their head up their @$$ and that the response is ridiculous, the parents can also fairly easily walk to the signalized cross-walks.

Kudos to the parents for walking their kids to school and teaching them to cross the street. I am saddened to see some kids in my neighborhood that are not allowed to cross the street, even at the 4-way STOP.

mcr:What about crossing guards at the nearest intersection before and after school? Then traffic would be forced to stop when there are children present

If drivers would follow the law, they would already stop for pedestrians crossing in the unmarked crosswalks.

Not to set up a flame war, but this is a prime example of drivers ignoring the law, and getting a formal excuse for it from MCDOT.

by Jasper on Nov 13, 2012 10:58 am • linkreport

The contents of this article typifies everything that is wrong in our society right now.

by William on Nov 13, 2012 11:03 am • linkreport

How so?

by Ryan S on Nov 13, 2012 11:05 am • linkreport

I regularly walk the entire length of platforms so I can actually get a seat to myself.

by selxic on Nov 13, 2012 11:32 am • linkreport

@selxic - I am curious which station you walk the entire length of the platform at. I can only think of one where the platform can be entered at the end.

by Ben Ross on Nov 13, 2012 11:57 am • linkreport

Is most of the traffic generated at this particular spot children or most others?

Although it might be more convenient, is it really that taxing to walk an additional 500ft? How much more travel time is incurred by walking the additional steps? If it's 20 by bus, does it change to 10minutes from the actual crosswalk?

Is the preferred location more optimal (safety) than the one w/the actual crosswalk?

by HogWash on Nov 13, 2012 12:15 pm • linkreport

Is it really that taxing to slow down a bit when drivers see a crossing guard letting children go across?

by drumz on Nov 13, 2012 12:17 pm • linkreport

Some stations may have multiple entrances, but only one is convenient most of the time. As Ryan S noted, Stadium Armory is a popular example. If headed into DC, I go to the end of the platform where the front of the train stops (the opposite end of the entrance I used). That puts me at the end of the platform for other locations like Court House, but I am more likely to have my own seat.

by selxic on Nov 13, 2012 12:18 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash -- is it really that taxing to stop where the law says that you have to stop? How much more travel time is incurred by obeying the law and stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk?

by Miriam on Nov 13, 2012 12:21 pm • linkreport

An extra 600/1200 feet is significant if you are dragging along a 5 year old who walks slowly and is distracted by every interesting thing he sees.

Then is exhausted, hungry and cranky on the way home from school.

And I'm curious if the 600 feet is walking along the side of this busy rode which almost certainly has no parking or safety buffer which therefore makes it an unsafe walk with the above referenced 5 year old.

And remember the parents in most cases are doing this roundtrip so in fact for many of them it will be an extra 2400 feet so suddenly it is almost half a mile.

I simply can't believe people are defending the status quo and are opposed to asking cars to stop to yield to children. Or anyone else for that matter.

There is some peculiar and obnoxious entitlement that drivers have - that when they are in their car they must must be moving as quickly as possible at all times.

I see it almost every day at lunch - there is a stream of pedestrians crossing the street and some turning motorist is just going bonkers and gesticulating and sometimes honking the horn if they are not first in line about having to wait for the numerically superior pedestrians to clear so that they can gun it and get to the usually red next intersection (since they are turning).

It really is not going to kill any of the mostly self entitled motorists if they have to wait for pedestrians to cross here or anywhere else - we all need to slow down a lot and relax.

by TomQ on Nov 13, 2012 12:45 pm • linkreport

Farragut North is another station where people might walk th length of the platform. In the evenng, I enter at the L & 17th entrance (east side, by the CVS), which puts you at the "back" of Glenmont-bound trains. I walk to the front because I have to transfer to the green line at Gallery Place. Makes for a less crowded car and a (marginally) quicker trnasfer.

Those of us who transfer from the green/yellow at Gallery Place to the Shady Grove-bound red line can (and do) walk close to the entire length of the platform to avoid the chaos and crowding at the "back" of the platform.

All that said, Montgomery County is being ridiculous. There is, in my opinion, absolutely no good reason to bus these children when the simple and cost-effective solution is to install a crosswalk and a handful of signs warning drivers of a school crossing.

by Birdie on Nov 13, 2012 12:54 pm • linkreport

For them, crossing at these crosswalks instead of at Observation Drive means an extra ¼ of a mile out of their way and double the travel time.

This is not quite accurate, as there are several throughways paths, accessible from Scholl Manor Way, that cut between "blocks" of homes and converge into a small paved path directly accessing Stringtown Road, about 270 feet from the crosswalk at Gateway Center Drive. This means that trips starting at this paved path feeding directly onto the sidewalk at Springtown Road adds 500 feet to a one-way trip (compared to using the same path and crossing at Observation Drive), or about 1000 feet to the round trip. This isn't quite the great distance that the article makes it out to be. It adds about 2 minutes (or less) to a typical 1 way trip.

Now, since Observation Drive is the nexus of the development, and offers the most direct footpath to the school, it makes sense to add a marked crosswalk there -- at least painted lines and a crossing sign. However, the trip using the crosswalk at Gateway Center Drive does not seem to be as onerous as the author of this post makes it out to be.

by Scoot on Nov 13, 2012 1:10 pm • linkreport

@Jasper: I can see some legitimate issues here but having to walk 550 or 600 feet to a legit cross walk moving your ankle slightly to slow down for pedestrians legally crossing the road in an unmarked crosswalk isn't one of them.

lol.

We have been through these arguments before -- that drivers should slow down when they expect schoolchildren, even in the suburbs. But given how stubborn drivers can be to human impediments to their journeys, I predict that a child will die before something is done.

by goldfish on Nov 13, 2012 1:29 pm • linkreport

Stadium Armory is a popular example.

There's also Union Station, Dupont, Tenley, Mazza, Anacostia, Cong Heights, S Avenue, DCA, Pentagon City and others where you can walk the entire length of the platform to get to the front or end of a train (usually best seats).

@Miriam is it really that taxing to stop where the law says that you have to stop?

Not at all. I've become quite the citizen cop, purposely flaunting my recent appreciation for crosswalks. But we're not talking about the law because there isn't one. A more relevant question is whether this location is the most optimal in terms of safety and distance.

An extra 600/1200 feet is significant if you are dragging along a 5 year old who walks slowly and is distracted by every interesting thing he sees.

Absolutely. But I'm thinking time here. If the existing "illegal" path takes parents 5-6 minutes, how much time does an additional 600ft cost? 2-3? Is it fair to say it might take parents 10-11 minutes as opposed to 5-6? I so, I don't think 10 minutes is onerous. Then it could be because I live in the city and am accustomed to seeing children, adults, elderly etc. regularly performing 10min walks.

by HogWash on Nov 13, 2012 1:50 pm • linkreport

Every study we have of pedestrian behavior has the same conclusion: pedestrians walk in a straight line.

We know this; thus we should design around it. Doing anything else is equivalent to trying to stop the rain.

1) we want to encourage more walking generally as a matter of habit for public health reasons
2) its indecent to expect someone walking to go 5 minutes out of their way so someone driving doesn't have to stop for 20 seconds.

by Tina on Nov 13, 2012 1:58 pm • linkreport

@ Hogwash

Many of those stations don't count as no one walks the entire length due to the entrance not being at the end. Stadium Armory along with Farragut North, Anacostia and Union Station are probably the only stations that have the entrances pass the platform so that if you want to exit one of the entrances you will literally be walking to the end of the platform.

by kk on Nov 13, 2012 2:22 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash, there is nothing illegal about the crossing. It's a legal crosswalk, whether it's marked or unmarked. And Maryland law requires drivers to stop at crosswalks when a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk is:

(i) On the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling; or

(ii) Approaching from an adjacent lane on the other half of the roadway.

by Miriam on Nov 13, 2012 2:30 pm • linkreport

Wow, I thought we had it bad in Prince George's county.

I love the Catch-22 reasoning, essentially this: "No one crosses there because it's unsafe, therefore we don't need a crosswalk since no one crosses there..."

I got an analogous response from the Greenbelt city planner when I proposed language in a recent comment letter on the draft Route 193 sector plan. I proposed saying:

"the current [Route 193 and 201 interchange] design is unsafe and virtually impossible to navigate by foot or bicycle."

The Greenbelt planner (with essential a traffic engineer's way of thinking) challenged my assertion as unproven, since there were no empirical studies of whether the interchange was unsafe for biking or walking, perhaps due to the fact that so few people bike or walk there!

In response, I suggested the following method of data gathering:

"Perhaps we could mount a helmet cam on a pedestrian and a cyclist trying to navigate the intersection a few times. If they survived, we’d have solid visual evidence of the unsafe and 'virtually impossible to navigate' [condition]. If they died, we’d still have all the evidence necessary."

Needless to say, I lost the argument and the APB letter went out with a wishy-washy statement about needing to further study the issue or something.

by Greenbelt on Nov 13, 2012 2:41 pm • linkreport

@ Miriam:And Maryland law requires drivers to stop at crosswalks when a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk is:

(i) On the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling; or

(ii) Approaching from an adjacent lane on the other half of the roadway.

Can someone remind me of the DC and VA laws on the same subject? When I google it, I get very confused by the legalese.

by Jasper on Nov 13, 2012 2:44 pm • linkreport

@Miriam: Is it easier or more difficult to get a time-limited (or flashing light limited) 25 mph speed limit sign? This intersection looks like a good candidate for a speed camera anyway.

by Jim T on Nov 13, 2012 3:23 pm • linkreport

@Jasper, I'm hoping that somebody can remind me too.

@Jim T, I don't know. I agree that it would be a good location for a speed camera.

by Miriam on Nov 13, 2012 4:03 pm • linkreport

@ Jim T: Is it easier or more difficult to get a time-limited (or flashing light limited) 25 mph speed limit sign?

The speed limit is irrelevant when people are ignoring it anyway, and the goal is to make them stop (speed=0) for pedestrians.

by Jasper on Nov 13, 2012 4:18 pm • linkreport

Why make people walk an extra 500-600 ft when they are currently using at THAT location, and its perfectly legal for them to do so.

by SJE on Nov 13, 2012 5:18 pm • linkreport

@SJE +1

by Tina on Nov 13, 2012 5:52 pm • linkreport

Ahh. Speed limits. In this suburban location the old rules still apply where "everyone knows" the speed limit is just a sign and many/most people exceed the limit every time they drive this stretch of road.

What a shock it would be if a DC-style camera was sited here: "What? Come on! We all know that speed limit is a joke. You can't seriously enforce it on everyone, all the time even when there are no pedestrians! Not fair."

Install a camera, paint a crosswalk and post a crossing guard or, at least, have one of those crosswalks with the embedded flashing lights in the pavement.

If it was my kid, I would just keep crossing at the location but I'm a shameless jaywalker.

by Josey23 on Nov 14, 2012 11:26 am • linkreport

@Jasper:
Here's a summary of DC pedestrian/cyclist regulations from DDOT that spells out motorists', cyclists', and pedestrians' responsibilities: http://ddot.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/Publication%20Files/On%20Your%20Street/Bicycles%20and%20Pedestrians/bike-ped_traffic_reg_summary.pdf

For Maryland: http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/content/DOT/dir/pedsafety/documents/md_ped_law.pdf and http://www.sauerburger.org/dona/roadrules.htm

I haven't looked up the regs in the DC Code so I cannot say definitively, but the difference seems to be that DC law is slightly more expansive as to what is considered a "crosswalk" (DC: Intersection of 2+ streets, marked or unmarked; MD: part of the roadway that is a lateral extension of the sidewalk, marked or unmarked) and that DC requires drivers on both sides of the street to stop while Maryland only requires the drivers on the half of the street in which the pedestrian is crossing to stop (unless the pedestrian is just about to step onto the other side, then the other side has to stop as well).

by 7r3y3r on Nov 14, 2012 12:29 pm • linkreport

@Jasper:
Sorry, misread your request.

Here's for VA: "In Virginia, a pedestrian has the right of way if they are not crossing in disregard of oncoming traffic when they are in a crosswalk, or if they are crossing at an unmarked crosswalk on a road that is 35 miles per hour or less. At a traffic signal, a pedestrian must obey the traffic signal. If a pedestrian is crossing and did not disregard oncoming vehicles, a driver that approaches must yield and allow the pedestrian to safely cross the street" from http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/pedestrian/pedfaq.htm
(code: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-924)

by 7r3y3r on Nov 14, 2012 12:33 pm • linkreport

@ 7r3y3r:if they are not crossing in disregard of oncoming traffic when they are in a crosswalk

Yeah, that's the line. What does that mean?

Does that mean that as long as you don't hurl yourself in front of cars, you have the right of way
or
does that mean that you have to wait until any sign of traffic is gone?

by Jasper on Nov 14, 2012 2:07 pm • linkreport

Does that mean that as long as you don't hurl yourself in front of cars, you have the right of way
or
does that mean that you have to wait until any sign of traffic is gone?

It's between these two extremes: you don't have to wait until any sign of traffic is gone, but if a driver runs you over, that means you've "disregarded" oncoming traffic. In other words, you have no legal protections whatsoever, and drivers have no obligation to alter their behavior in any way if they encounter you.

At least, that's the commonly understood meaning of a crosswalk in most of America.

by oboe on Nov 14, 2012 2:55 pm • linkreport

Not to weigh in for or against, but a discussion on uncontrolled crosswalks isn't complete without at least considering the multithreat risk.

by Bossi on Nov 14, 2012 3:22 pm • linkreport

@Bossi -- why isn't it complete? That threat already exists there now. Marking the crosswalk wouldn't create a new threat. And a properly-designed marked crosswalk would actually mitigate it.

by Miriam on Nov 14, 2012 3:47 pm • linkreport

@Jasper:
It probably depends on case law, but I would presume the standard is much like that of DC and MD.

DC: "no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb . . . or other designated place of safety and walk or turn into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield."

MD: "they may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close or coming so fast that it is impossible for the driver to yield"

In the real world, along the lines of Oboe's commentary, you step out into the crosswalk and look at oncoming to traffic to see if they care to stop for you. I came here from California where, despite being an autocentric culture, drivers almost always yield to pedestrians. I learned really quickly here to stare at oncoming traffic as I cross intersections, even in marked crosswalks.

by 7r3y3r on Nov 14, 2012 4:02 pm • linkreport

@Jasper: My point about the speed limit is that because this is next to a school, a speed camera could be set up to help ensure compliance. Perhaps because pedestrians are more likely to assert, drivers at lower speeds tend morpe to stop for pedestrians.

by JimT on Nov 14, 2012 4:20 pm • linkreport

I see a guerilla cross-walk painting campaign.

by SJE on Nov 14, 2012 9:45 pm • linkreport

The solution to this problem is an easy one. Just make two fifth graders from the neighborhood "safety patrols" and have them act as the crossing guards in the morning and afternoon. The only cost to the county will be two reflective vests.

There is likely already a junior safety patrol program at the school in question.

by Doug on Nov 16, 2012 7:50 am • linkreport

we the people need to take action. fcvk mcdot. sunset is 4:45pm. rush hour is done by 7pm, and by 10pm the road is quiet. lets us meet up with our cars, paint, flashlights, green/orange reflection clothes and[PAINT A CROSSWALK OUR SELVES. We will use our vehicles to block off what part of the road is being painted.

Who is with me?

Ps: THANK YOU for adding the spam blocking questions!

by lilkunta on Nov 17, 2012 2:23 pm • linkreport

QUOTE:___ @mcr -- from the Gazette article:
"Todd Watkins, director of transportation for the school system, said ...Because the highway is divided, Watkins said, two crossing guards would have to be stationed on each side of the road, which would cost more than busing students to school. “The safest way is to have [the students] bused to school,” he said."
by Miriam on Nov 13, 2012 10:51 am • link • report___

wtf? how much are crossing guards paid per hour that IT COST MORE for 2 crossing guards for 1 hr in the AM and PM?

by lilkunta on Nov 17, 2012 2:32 pm • linkreport

And how much for a HAWK signal? Sounds like the real barrier is that they don't want to slow down cars.

by SJE on Nov 18, 2012 6:57 pm • linkreport

Definitely time for DEPARTMENT OF D.I.Y.

Get some crossing guards.

Or, more aggressively, get some road paint and some reflective jackets and some cones. (Traffic cones are cheap.) Bike lane advocates have done it in LA. It takes months if not years for the authorities to remove the paint.

It's already a crosswalk, so it's not like you're changing the designation. :-) The response from the county is ludicrous.

by Nathanael on Nov 18, 2012 7:19 pm • linkreport

nathanael, i am with you. i suggested he same thing { DIY, WE PAINT THE CROSSWALKS] just above your comment.

by lilkunta on Nov 18, 2012 9:55 pm • linkreport

They do this in my neighborhood in North Bethesda, there appear to be kids that live on Tuckerman that are bused to the school that's behind their neighborhood, no more then a quarter mile from their house. It'd completely insane.

by Evan on Jan 29, 2013 8:29 pm • linkreport

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