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Montgomery Co. Council to hold meeting on implementing 'Vision Zero'

Recent pedestrian deaths reinforce the urgency of enhanced safety measures to better protect residents throughout the County.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — The Montgomery County Council will hold a briefing on pedestrian and bicycle safety and the implementation of the County’s Vision Zero plan during its afternoon meeting Tuesday.

The Council meeting will include representatives from the Maryland State Highway Administration, Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation, the Montgomery County Police Department, Montgomery County Park and Planning, and Montgomery County Public Schools. 

Vision Zero, as defined by the County, is a multi-national road traffic safety project that aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic.

In addition to the briefing, the Council is planning a Vision Zero town hall meeting on pedestrian and bicycle safety issues on Sunday, Feb. 9 to hear directly from residents about the safety issues they are encountering on roadways and sidewalks and in crosswalks located in Montgomery County. 

Councilmembers continue to advocate for specific pedestrian and bicycle safety improvement projects throughout Montgomery County and have secured speed limit reductions on some state roads. So far in 2020, there have been three pedestrian deaths, with two of these deaths occurred within a week span on Rockville Pike.

RELATED: 7 pedestrians hit by cars in Montgomery County in 2 nights

RELATED: Montgomery County school bus struck by moped, injures 1

On Jan. 21, more than 100 Montgomery County residents came together to learn more about proposals to improve safety on local roads. 

Montgomery County Department of Transportation leaders held the meeting at East Silver Spring Elementary School in Silver Spring, and just before the meeting, Montgomery County police say a driver hit and injured a man near the entrance to Shady Grove Hospital in Gaithersburg.

Council President Sidney Katz issued the following statement on the need to step up pedestrian and bicycle safety measures for all residents.

“First and foremost, our condolences go out to all of the families who have lost loved ones on our sidewalks and roadways in Montgomery County. This month alone we have lost Jose Renan Guillen from Olney, Michael Louis Gamboa from Gaithersburg, and Brett Richard Badin from Rockville to pedestrian collisions. 

In addition to these deaths, there have been numerous crashes where pedestrians and bicyclists have sustained serious injuries.
One of the Council’s top priorities is creating safe, walkable communities in our County, and we need to ensure that the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists are addressed. County leaders are committed to continuously re-evaluating what we are doing in this area and providing the necessary resources for improvements.

As a Council, we will continue to work with our residents, advocacy groups and planning, transportation and public safety experts to find new and innovative ways to expand our pedestrian safety measures and revamp and enhance our public education campaigns to truly make our community a safe place to walk, bike and commute using multimodal transportation options.”

RELATED: Montgomery County residents push for increased road safety measures after 3 pedestrian deaths in January

RELATED: Pedestrian struck at entrance to Shady Grove Hospital, police say

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