WASHINGTON – Bethesda Elementary School parents upset by the number of traffic accident and near-accidents in downtown Bethesda launched a petition calling for increased safety measures.
Because Bethesda is a walkable community, the parents want the Montgomery County Council, the police department and the county department of transportation to make a number of changes, including the following:
“No Turn on Red” signs around schools and playgrounds;
Speed cameras on Arlington Road;
A visible police presence around schools;
Radar signs on Arlington Road and better signage in the school zone;
Better markings on pedestrian crosswalks around the school and on Arlington Road and Edgemoor Lane.
In February, a driver struck a stroller with a 3-month-old baby in it as the child’s mom tried to cross Arlington Road at Edgemoor Lane near Bethesda Elementary School.
“The baby stroller was hit and dragged under the car for several yards,” says Wendy Leibowitz, one of the Bethesda Elementary School parents who launched the online petition. She lives just two blocks from the school.
“That baby could have been killed. It is a miracle that baby was not hurt.”
Montgomery County says it’s looking at improving pedestrian safety on the road, including beefed up a police presence.
“I know people who drive their children to school and pick them up in a car or who put their kids on buses because they’re too scared to have their children walk to school. I’m one of them. I’m walking my children,” says Leibowitz.