All nine members of the Montgomery County Council have signed a letter asking Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn to lower the 45 mph speed limit on a stretch of Georgia Avenue in Aspen Hill.
The letter comes in response to last week’s collision on Georgia Avenue in Aspen Hill in which four students from John F. Kennedy High School were struck and injured by a car as they were walking to a school bus stop. One of the students, 15-year-old Devin Garcia, sustained a brain injury, internal bleeding and broken bones in the incident.
“We want much more immediate safety relief along upper Georgia Avenue, including, but not limited to, reducing the speed limit: 45 mph is much too high for this suburban area. Furthermore, we expect the State Highway Administration (SHA) to be much more proactive on other state highways to reduce the chance of further severe accidents,” the council members wrote in the letter.
The council members noted in the letter that there have been 11 pedestrian deaths so far this year in the county, compared with 11 in 2017 and 8 in 2016. The council members praised the DOT for past improvements made at frequent accident sites along River Road and Veirs Mill Road.
The council members also stressed the need for the State Highway Administration to help carry out the objectives of the county’s Aspen Hill Vision Zero Study. Vision Zero began in September and aims to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities by 35 percent by November 2019 through traffic engineering, enforcement and education.
“We need a much streamlined (i.e., faster) process at SHA to implement pedestrian safety improvements. We all espouse the objectives of Vision Zero; now is the time to see those objectives translate into action,” the council members wrote.
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.email@example.com