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Council to Ask SHA to Improve Pedestrian and Biker Safety on Greenbelt Road

Greenbelt Rd design schematic

Greenbelt Rd design schematic

At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will send a letter to the State Highway Administrator (SHA) to ensure safety of pedestrians and bikers during their reconstruction work on Greenbelt Road (MD 430).

Please click here to see a map of the proposed design here.

Last week, a representative from the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) presented the Council a plan for improvements to Greenbelt Road as part of a SHA resurfacing project.

This is an important opportunity to create a safer road and connectivity for multiple users on both sides of the street, as the current vehicular capacity and lack of bicycle facilities are not in line with desired use and safety.

In the meeting, the Council expressed some concerns about the safety of the cyclists and pedestrians in the proposed design. The Council will consider sending a letter to SHA about these concerns. In the letter the City will ask the SHA to provide SHA’s study of actual vehicular speeds, and its assessment of the appropriate speed for this area that would protect drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

The letter says that if the actual speeds are in excess of the appropriate speed, then additional measures should be designed to ensure that the changes will in fact reduce speeds to the appropriate level.

The letter also asks for separated bicycle lanes, or at least wider on-road bicycle lanes, with rumble strips or reflectors to help protect the lives of cyclists. Additionally, it will recommend convenient pedestrian and bicycle crossings with activated priority crossing lights and visible signage encourage drivers to slow down and anticipate pedestrians and cyclists, and encourage the safe use of the road by these users.

Finally, the letter asks that the SHA consider enhanced connectivity to the bicycle trails, and possibly safety areas for pedestrians to use when crossing.

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1 Comment to “Council to Ask SHA to Improve Pedestrian and Biker Safety on Greenbelt Road”

  1. By Bob Smith, February 26, 2014 @ 8:13 am

    I appreciate the council stepping up for the pedestrians and bikers! I agree more needs to be done to improve the safety for all users, especially Rhode Island/Greenbelt Road. As a pedestrian, I do not feel safe making this crossing–it’s too wide and traffic too fast. Additionally, I’m a bit sad that even though the road will contain bike lanes–they look like mere decoration. Does SHA think that all cyclists traveling westbound Greenbelt Road will choose to turn right onto northbound US-1? What provisions do they recommend for bikers who wish to turn left–across 3 lanes of traffic that doesn’t involve some crazy lane maneuvers or pedestrian signals/ramps. I appreciate the council’s input on this and hope they can curtail at least the speeding aspect through this area.