State Lowers Speed Limit on River Road in Bethesda

Intersection has been site of multiple fatal incidents

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The State Highway Administration is lowering the speed limit along a 2.9-mile stretch of River Road, Md. 190.

The speed limit between Interstate 495 and Springfield Drive has been dropped from 45 mph to 35 mph.

SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said signs noting the new limit will be in place by the end of the month. Gischlar said the SHA reviewed the section of roadway and decided to lower the speed limit to be more consistent with the rest of the corridor.

River Road has been the site of multiple traffic-related crashes in recent years, including a December 2016 crash that killed three members of a Bethesda family. A Potomac man was traveling at more than 100 mph and collided with a vehicle heading east on River Road, killing the driver and two passengers.

Residents and Montgomery County officials gathered on Bethesda streets on a “Day of Action” in December 2015 to urge drivers to slow down and pay attention following two fatal incidents in the area, including the death of a 95-year-old woman struck while crossing at River Road and Springfield Drive.

On average each day, 47,030 vehicles travel River Road at I-495.

Gischlar said the SHA is considering additional pedestrian crossing enhancements, which will be addressed at a public meeting on Jan. 15 at Thomas W. Pyle Middle School.

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