Pedestrian Safety Improvements Proposed for Goldsboro Road in Bethesda

Pedestrian Safety Improvements Proposed for Goldsboro Road in Bethesda

Plans include widening street between MacArthur and River, adding bike lanes

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Photo via Montgomery County Planning

Widening a 1-mile stretch of Goldsboro Road in Bethesda to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians is being proposed by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

The proposal, discussed last week by the county Planning Board, includes adding 4- to 6-foot-wide bike lanes, continuous sidewalks on the north side of the road and intermittent sidewalks on the south side, where space is available.

The project area stretches from MacArthur Boulevard to River Road.

The $21 million project is included in County Executive Marc Elrich’s proposed fiscal 2019-2024 capital improvements program, with construction expected to start in 2025.

“You’re changing the entire character of that community,” said Gill Carpel, president of the Goldsboro Homeowners Association, who said area residents have concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety. “I don’t think this group should vote on that project until they actually go to that area and see what the impact would be.”

Carpel said the project will drastically increase area traffic during rush hour, which is already a concern for residents.
County Department of Transportation staff said they believe many of the community’s concerns can be addressed and mitigated at later phases of project design.

The project’s environmental and historical impact “need to be weighed in developing a final design solution,” according to Planning Board documents.

Planning Board staff recommended exploring a lower speed limit along Goldsboro Road — from 35 mph to 30 mph — if the lanes and sidewalks are added.

Also included in plans is installing three new, mid-block pedestrian crosswalks east of an Exxon gas station, between Tulip Hill Terrace and Rannoch Road and west of Wedgewood Road.

“No Turn on Red” signs are proposed at intersections with traffic lights to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, according to the Planning Board report.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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