Wednesday, June 19, 2013
From all 50 states and the District of Columbia, tens of thousands of school children across the country biked to school throughout the month of May as part of the second annual National Bike to School Day. In all, 1,705 schools registered Bike to School Day events—80 percent more than the inaugural national event in 2012—setting a new National Bike to School Day record.
“In March, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute told the National Bike Summit that societal trends are favoring bicycling, that at this moment there is a tremendous bicycle wave rolling through America,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which coordinates National Bike to School Day. “If the success of our second annual Bike to School Day is any indication, I’d say Mr. Katz is on to something.”
For more information, see the National Center for Safe Routes to School's website. Also see MCDOT's Safe Routes to School website for more tips on safe walking and biking to county schools.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership in the Greater Washington region hosted a webinar on June 5 about Montgomery County’s approach to improving pedestrian safety. Speakers shared data detailing the results of the program and discussed engineering, education and enforcement efforts that are reducing the severity of pedestrian collisions and the number of collisions in targeted, high risk areas.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett released a strategic plan in December 2007 to improve pedestrian safety that uses a multifaceted approach. Speakers discussed the use of data to guide program priorities; the role of road audits and targeted infrastructure improvements; pairing education with engineering and enforcement; successes in the Safe Routes to School program; and the integral role of law enforcement.
Click below to view the Webinar:
The Safe Routes to School Greater Washington region is a partnership of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Jeff Dunckel (MCDOT) and Captain Thomas Didone (MCPD) address students at Seneca Valley High School about pedestrian safety
The morning of April 11 marked the beginning of a pedestrian safety education and enforcement campaign at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown. The campaign kicked off with a student assembly featuring Seneca Valley High School Principal Marc Cohen, Montgomery County Police Captain Thomas Didone, and Montgomery County Department of Transportation's Pedestrian Safety Coordinator Jeff Dunckel. Mrs. Gwendolyn Ward, mother of Christina Morris-Ward, a 15-year old Seneca Valley student who was tragically killed crossing Germantown Road this past Halloween morning, also spoke to the crowd of more than 1,200 high school students about the potentially life-threatening consequences of not obeying pedestrian safety laws. The assembly also featured a 10-minute Public Safety Announcement produced by students at the high school, which highlighted the importance of being a safe pedestrian and driver.
Over the next week and a half a team of pedestrian safety Champions, comprised of parents and members of the community, as well as representatives from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, were out on the streets talking to the high school students about crossing safely and handing out reflective materials. The Champions reminded pedestrians to practice the following safe behaviors:
· Cross the street at marked crosswalks and intersections
· Look left, right, left, and over their shoulder for turning vehicles when crossing the street
· Begin crossing the street on the "walk" signal
· Stay visible after dark
· Make eye contact with drivers
· Stop texting and talking on the cell and remove earphones
Following the education campaign, police were out on the streets around the high school issuing citations to pedestrians and drivers who did not obey the law. Pedestrians were fined $50 for crossing outside of a crosswalk if both adjacent intersections have traffic signals, or starting to cross at a signalized intersection if the pedestrian signal is red or flashing red. Drivers were fined $80 for not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The purpose of the education and enforcement campaign is to inform the students about crossing safely so that future tragedies can be avoided. The campaign will encourage students to BE SAFE, BE SEEN, and BE STREET SMART.
The pedestrian safety Champions plan to continue efforts at the school next year. If you would like to partcipate as a Champion in this campaign, please contact Ruthanne Stoltzfus: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read aticles on the Seneca Valley HS Pedestrian Safety Campaign:
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Station 22 Distributing Pedestrian Safety Materials to Seneca Valley High School Students
Seneca Valley High School Principal Marc Cohen with Derrick Gilliam (MCPS Security) and pedestrian safety Champions Ellyn Terry and Ruthanne Stoltzfus
Friday, March 22, 2013
MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator recently gave a pedestrian safety presentation to 120 middle school student leaders from 22 County schools.
The Coordinator created an “It’s Academic”-style game to both entertain and educate the students. Questions on pedestrian safety statistics and safe walking tips included, “If a pedestrian is hit by a car traveling 40 mph, what is the chance they will survive?” The team with the most points received wearable blinking lights as a prize. As hoped, the game was engaging, with the students enthusiastically talking amongst themselves about the answers.
Another training activity underway is Train the Trainer sessions, where high school students learn how to teach elementary kids to walk safely. These programs are especially important due to the recent return to daylight savings time. Now, more students are walking in darkness during the early morning hours, so stay alert!
For more information, see the County's press release and visit MCDOT's revamped pedestrian safety website. You can also call our Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Nadji Kirby, at 240.777.7169 or email her.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
MCDOT’s Safe Routes to School program just wrapped up one of its two-year grants from the Maryland Highway Safety Office. It promotes the 3 E’s – Engineering, Education, and Enforcement – at schools. Read More
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
On December 17, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett celebrated the five-year anniversary of his December 2007 Pedestrian Safety Initiative, which for the first time provided a blueprint for action to improve pedestrian safety based on measurable strategies. Since 2009, pedestrian collisions have decreased 12 percent and the most severe collisions, those where pedestrians are incapacitated or killed, has declined 21 percent.
“In 2007, we charted a course to dramatically improve pedestrian safety and accessibility in Montgomery County – a course that is proving to be successful,” said Leggett. “We are seeing significant reductions in pedestrian collisions in areas where we have taken a comprehensive and targeted approach. Every resident deserves a truly walkable community where pedestrians can safely cross the street. Our challenge in the future is to continually reassess what we are doing, keep what’s working well and find new and creative ways to significantly expand our pedestrian safety efforts.”
The Initiative outlined an approach to pedestrian and traffic safety that focused on three essential components: education, engineering and enforcement. The Initiative significantly enhanced the County’s investment in educating motorists and pedestrians, keeping enforcement efforts visible and intensive and aggressively applying the most innovative and pedestrian-friendly road engineering designs.
To fulfill Leggett’s vision for increased pedestrian mobility and safety, the Initiative established goals to:
• Reduce pedestrian-related crashes, injuries, fatalities, and their associated social and economic costs; and
• Ensure that all areas of the County provide safe and convenient travel options for pedestrians.
Some of the achievements of the Initiative include:
• Reducing pedestrian fatalities from a high of 19 fatalities in 2008 to 11 last year and six so far this year.
• Reducing pedestrian collisions 12 percent since 2009.
• Reducing the most severe collisions that incapacitate or kill pedestrians 21 percent since 2009.
• Reducing collisions 35 percent in areas where traffic calming measures have been installed.
• Reducing collisions by 45 percent In High Incidence Areas (HIAs), locations with the highest concentrations of collisions.
• Reducing collisions by 72 percent within a quarter mile of schools targeted for engineering, education and enforcement activities under the Safe Routes to Schools program.
Mr. Leggett was joined at the event by County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, County Councilmember Hans Riemer, Department of Transportation Director Arthur Holmes, Police Chief Thomas Manger, Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Graham, and PBTSAC Chair Erwin Mack.
Click here for the press release, including additional statistics on the results of the initiative. Click here to view the Transportation Update on the event.
For articles about the event, please click below:
Friday, October 05, 2012
Montgomery County Councilmembers Valerie Ervin and Craig Rice; Department of Transportation Director Art Holmes, Fire Chief Richard Bowers, local officials and other dignitaries joined Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School students, staff and parents celebrating International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 3rd. Over 40 other schools across the county celebrated the day with various activities.
Also joining the walkers at Dr. Charles Drew were Montgomery County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent for the Office of Teaching, Learning and Programs Dr. Kimberly A. Statham; Principal Gail Scott-Parizer and Assistant Principal Emmanuel Jean-Philippe.
Following the walk, AAA Mid-Atlantic sponsored two assemblies featuring the robot Otto the Auto, who taught children safe walking tips.
Walk to School Day is expected to include 5,000 schools throughout the United States and 40 countries around the world. Walking to school helps promote:
• Healthier students
• Safer streets
• Stronger communities
• A cleaner environment
Sponsors of this year’s event at Drew Elementary School include Safe Kids Montgomery County, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Foundation for Safety and Education, Federal Express, Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Montgomery County Police, Maryland Safe Routes Network, Maryland Highway Safety Office, Safe Routes to School National Partnership and Clif Kid.