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Safety improvements coming to Capital Crescent Trail months after fatal bike-car crash

Where the Capital Crescent Trail crosses Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda, former University of Maryland professor Ned Gaylin, 81, of Chevy Chase was killed by a car while riding his recumbent bicycle. (WTOP/Kristi King)

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County officials plan to reduce the number of lanes and lower the speed limit surrounding a Bethesda intersection where an 81-year-old bicyclist was fatally struck in October.

Starting next month, Little Falls Parkway will be narrowed to one lane in each direction approaching the intersection with the Capital Crescent Trail, Montgomery Parks announced Friday. In addition, speed limits will be reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph, and county officials will post additional signs alerting drivers, pedestrians and cyclists about the intersection.

The changes come nearly three months after Ned Gaylin, of Chevy Chase, was struck and killed crossing the intersection where the trail emerges from a wooded area and crosses four lanes of traffic.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred at this intersection,” said Michael Riley, director of Montgomery Parks, in a statement. “We recognize that immediate action is necessary as well as longer term solutions to address the ongoing challenge of keeping all trail users safe at intersections.”

County officials also plan to review 300 locations across the county to make long-term safety changes to places where paved trails come into contact with cars and major intersections. Changes could include more crosswalks, pedestrian-activated signals and redesigning intersections.

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