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Another Death on Route 1: What Are Being Done to Improve Pedestrian Safety

We lost another young life  was lost yesterday. Police say the victim, 21-year-old Janelle Oni of Randallstown, was crossing Route 1 near the College Park Shopping Center around 3 a.m. Sunday when she was struck by a minivan driven by Lurangraj. She died at the scene. According to Police report, the driver had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit when he struck and killed a 21-year-old woman near the University of Maryland campus.

The city, university, county, and state officials have all been working collaboratively to bring much needed improvements to Route 1 since at least January (prior to the first fatality).  The officials walked the corridor and made a specific set of requests to the State Highway Administration.  SHA (and other stakeholders) have been implementing improvements with a number of changes slated to be done prior to the arrival of students in late August.  A workgroup of city, state, university and county officials has met with SHA regularly to follow up on progress being made.  The group’s last meeting was June 13 and our next is July 18.

Here are a few of the initiatives being done. Please let me know if you have any questions.

·         Increasing brightness of lighting (SHA and City) – SHA has initiated designs for its lights at intersections (design by mid-July, implementation will follow).  SHA also evaluating lighting (photometric analysis) for the corridor.  City and UMD have requested improvements in lighting from PEPCO.
·         Establishing lower speed zone (Berwyn to Guilford) (SHA) – The workgroup requested 25 mph speed limit. Speed data has been collected before school ended. Recommendation will be ready for next meeting.
·         Increasing Pedestrian Safety Education (UMD and all) – In development by UMD and SHA – “Be Smart, Be Safe” is the title of the campaign.
·         Prioritize pedestrian crossings (longer times and shorter intervals, explore ability for light to change immediately when button is pressed) (SHA) – Evaluated.  SHA has divided corridor into two different segments to address synchronization and crossings. Pedestrian crossing signal now automatic 24-7 and a longer ped cycle is provided at key intersections at certain times in focus area.
·         Increase enforcement of speed on corridor (City/UMD) – Will discuss request for 24hr cameras when speed data presented at next mtg. University and County Police have had a strong presence.
·         Increase signage/branding to indicate to drivers to slow down in lower speed zone (all) – SHA has increased signage; flashing yellow pedestrian signs being evaluated.
·         Upgrade all crossings with pedestrian countdown lights (SHA) – Existing intersections will have upgrades; in design; implementation before school begins.  Several intersections are being evaluated for complete upgrades to comply with new regulations.
·         Ensure that pedestrian signal comes on with red light even if button not pushed (SHA) – Done
·         Address safety of crossing at Hartwick-Add traffic light (SHA) – Data collected, recommendation for next meeting.
·         Deterrence of mid-block crossings (All) – SHA/UMD/City are working on a design for a median barrier as well as other improvements to be presented at the next mtg; new “no pedestrian x-ing” curb markings are in place. Focus is Knox to Hartwick. 
·         Shift lights in pedestrian zone to flashing red from 11pm to 4am (SHA) – Evaluated and not possible.
·         Evaluate crosswalks to see if additional markings could be added to increase reflectivity (SHA) –Restriping completed.  Keeping on list to evaluate once lighting improves.
·         Evaluate all way zone at Knox and Rt 1, so pedestrians could all cross at the same time (SHA) –Evaluating for 10pm-2am and will report at next meeting; cannot do for whole day.
·         Discuss with business owners using roping to keep guest closer to the building and decrease walking in street – (UMD) – Chief Mitchell is continuing to work with business owners.

 

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2 Comments to “Another Death on Route 1: What Are Being Done to Improve Pedestrian Safety”

  1. By Adelphi_sky, July 7, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    On-street parking from 10pm to 4am hasn’t been considered? Narrower streets have always calmed traffic. In addition, I haven’t read where Hawk Beacon (High-Intensity Activated crossWalK beacon) or a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon systems were suggested.

  2. By Fazlul Kabir, July 8, 2014 @ 5:59 am

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve passed them on to the safety committee.