Pedestrian Safety Improvements Planned for Arlington Road in Bethesda

Pedestrian Safety Improvements Planned for Arlington Road in Bethesda

County aims to install new signals and signage in early 2018

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The intersection at Arlington Road and Bethesda Avenue will get a new all pedestrian phase traffic signal

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Montgomery County plans to move forward with adding new signage and pedestrian signals to Arlington Road in downtown Bethesda early next year.

The county’s transportation department announced Wednesday that it plans to install the county’s first “all pedestrian phase” traffic signal at the intersection of Arlington and Bethesda avenues.

The signal stops traffic in all directions and enables pedestrians to cross at all four crosswalks at the same time, according to transportation department spokeswoman Esther Bowring. That crossing is often used to get between Bethesda Row and the Giant grocery store.

The department will test the signal as part of a pilot project.

Also being added are new “lead pedestrian interval” signals for crossings at Arlington and Moorland Lane and at Arlington at Edgemoor Lane. These signals let pedestrians begin crossing before the traffic light in the same direction gives vehicles the green light to pass through the intersection. The signals are designed for pedestrians to clearly establish themselves in the crosswalk before a car has the ability to make a turn at a green light, according to Bowring.

The department also plans to add “no right turn on red” signs on the northbound and southbound approaches on Edgemoor Lane before it meets Arlington Road. The county also will increase the time pedestrians have to cross Arlington at Moorland and Edgemoor lanes near Bethesda Elementary School.

Bowring said the transportation department decided to carry out the changes after a consultant reviewed the traffic and pedestrian patterns on the roadway. She said the study is being finalized and could not be released this week.

In November, the county rolled out its two-year Vision Zero action plan that aims to eliminate traffic deaths and severe crashes on county roadways by 2030.

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