Thursday, September 30, 2010
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett celebrated the completion of a pedestrian refuge island on Grubb Road that is enhancing safety, not only for children at Rock Creek Forest Elementary School (ES), but for the entire community. This innovative improvement has successfully been used by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) in other locations and has proven to be effective in reducing motorist speeds and making it safer for pedestrians to cross. The project was initiated by a request from two members of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association. The school is located across Grubb Road from the Rock Creek Shopping Center, which is a popular destination for students and residents.
The pedestrian refuge island located between lanes of traffic provides pedestrians a safe place to wait for traffic to clear, reduces the crossing distance for pedestrians, and narrows travel lanes on the roadway to reduce vehicle speeds. MCDOT also installed a marked crosswalk, school crossing signs, “State Law: Stop for Pedestrians” signs, lane markings and raised pavement markers.
Before deciding to install the refuge island, MCDOT analyzed traffic volumes and speeds along Grubb Road. It found a high volume of traffic using the road, with 38 percent of vehicles traveling at 30 mph or more on the 25 mph road, and seven percent of vehicles traveling 35 mph or more. MCDOT will conduct a re-evaluation of traffic speeds this fall.