WHAT'S UP THE PIKE: Freed slave's descendants explore homestead site in ICC path near Route 29; B'ville townhouses go green; former Council hopefuls say they'll be back in 2010.
A family attempts to cross Route 29 near Stewart Lane in White Oak. Montgomery County ranked among the region's most-dangerous places for pedestrians in a new study.
If you ever find yourself on foot in Montgomery County, you might want to think twice before stepping out into the crosswalk: a new study (warning! PDF file) from the Coalition for Smarter Growth revealed that we're the region's fourth most-dangerous municipality for pedestrians. The Coalition, which advocates compact, pedestrian-friendly development, analyzed pedestrian fatalities over past decades and ranked MoCo behind Fairfax County, Prince George's County and Prince William County in its "Pedestrian Danger Index."
While Route 29 has had only one recorded pedestrian fatality in the past six years, other local roads were less fortunate. Unsurprisingly, Rockville Pike was the county's most treacherous corridor, while the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard in Takoma Park - on the Montgomery/Prince George's county line - was considered to be especially dangerous as well.
Further east, the section of University Boulevard in Prince George's County was found to be the deadliest stretch of road in the Washington area, defined as the two suburban Maryland counties, four Northern Virginia counties, the District and the city of Alexandria. That portion of University passes through commercial centers in Langley Park, College Park and Greenbelt all with large pedestrian and transit-riding populations.
The study cites Montgomery County's Pedestrian Safety Plan as an example of what local governments can do to lower the occurrence of pedestrian-related collisions. Despite some of the plan's early successes - such as the installation of speed cameras in residential neighborhoods and school zones, or the construction of a sidewalk a along Route 29 in Burnt Mills - many improvements throughout the County were threatened by proposed budget cuts earlier this year.
For more about pedestrian safety, check out www.pedestrians.org and, of course, the saga of the Lindes, a Downtown Silver Spring couple fighting for safer streets.