2021 | Transportation

Navarro urges state to review Georgia Avenue where pedestrian was killed

Transportation secretary says state is working with county to analyze crash

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Montgomery County Council Member Nancy Navarro wants state highway officials to review the stretch of Georgia Avenue in Aspen Hill where a pedestrian was killed last month.

Claire Grossmann, 63, was fatally struck by a car on April 28 while trying to cross Georgia Avenue near its intersection with Rippling Brook Drive. It was about 1,000 feet from where her husband, Robert, 64, was struck and killed while crossing Georgia Avenue in October 2016, WTOP reported.

On Friday, Navarro, whose district includes Aspen Hill, wrote a letter to Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater pointing out that both Grossmanns were killed in the same stretch.

She noted that the State Highway Administration (SHA) has lowered the speed limit on Georgia Avenue before and has installed other signals to help improve pedestrian safety.

“…This incident is a stark reminder of the continued vigilance that will be necessary to provide safety for all roadway users and to ensure that our shared goal of Vision Zero is achieved,” she wrote.

Vision Zero refers to the county’s efforts to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

Navarro also asked that the SHA “take immediate action to examine safety deficiencies” along Georgia Avenue and “take corrective action as quickly as possible.”

She asked that the state install a HAWK signal — a high-intensity activated crosswalk beacon that turns red, forcing motorists to stop for pedestrians to cross. The county installed a HAWK signal on Aspen Hill Road between two busy shopping centers in May 2019, and has installed others.

Slater wrote in a statement to Bethesda Beat on Friday that he is saddened by the April 28 fatal crash and plans to communicate with Navarro about the matter.

“Our team at MDOT SHA is working with Montgomery County and our law enforcement partners to analyze the circumstances around this incident and we remain committed to improving safety on our roadways for all users,” he wrote.

Slater added that the state is committed to the goal of no deaths on Maryland’s roadways and agrees “these types of incidents are happening far too often.”

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com