Montgomery Co. lobbies state to improve deadly Veirs Mill intersection

WASHINGTON — The Montgomery County Council is calling for safety improvements at an intersection in Rockville, Maryland, where two bicyclists died in separate incidents in less than a year.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and state transportation leaders, council members said the intersection at Veirs Mill Road and Turkey Branch Parkway is “undeniably dangerous.”

“There is no question this intersection remains a pedestrian and cyclist hazard,” the letter reads.

In December, Frank Towers, 19, was struck and killed by an SUV as he tried to cross the intersection on his bike. Then, another fatal crash occurred this past weekend. A 31-year old bicyclist, Oscar Gutierrez Osorio, died after being struck by a car Sunday.

“We’re at our wit’s end,” Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen told WTOP. “It’s a tough location, we all admit.”

After the fatal December accident, state transportation officials added yellow flashing lights leading up to the intersection along Veirs Mill Road, a state highway, but Montgomery County Council members say those lights “are insufficient to address the problem.”

“They require motorists to slow down and exercise caution but not stop,” reads the council’s letter.

Council members are asking the state to consider other safeguards such as a traffic light with a button that pedestrians and bicyclists can use to halt drivers for a short period of time.

“We’ve got to take some more aggressive action,” said Floreen.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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