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Md. lawmakers renew call for fixes at deadly intersection

Three people were killed in a multi-vehicle crash on River Road in Montgomery County, Md. on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON — A group of federal, state and local lawmakers is calling on a Maryland transportation agency to provide more information and make improvements at an intersection in Bethesda where three people were killed last year.

In a letter sent to the Maryland State Highway Administration Wednesday, lawmakers said the River Road and Braeburn Parkway intersection remains dangerous.

“Despite repeated requests for safety improvements at this intersection from community members and elected representatives at the county, state, and federal levels, little has been done to remedy the problem,” the lawmakers wrote.

The intersection is near Walt Whitman High School, and in February, 2016, it was the site of a crash that killed a high school student and his parents.

“Many said that they remain fearful of this non-signalized intersection,” wrote the lawmakers. “Some also said that they prohibit their children from using this entrance to the school.”

The letter was signed by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner, state Sen. Susan Lee and state delegates Ariana Kelly, Bill Frick and Marc Korman.

State transportation officials are in the process of installing flashing lights at the intersection in an effort to slow down drivers, but the group that signed the letter says more needs to be done to improve safety. They want the area designated as a school zone so the speed limit can be lowered.

In the letter, the lawmakers say the SHA advised them in October that it would evaluate the possibility of turning that stretch of River Road into a school zone.

“More than five months later, we have yet to receive formal notice of the result of that evaluation and would appreciate being notified,” the letter states.

Last week, Walt Whitman High School hosted a community meeting for people to vent their frustrations.

“The intersection remains just as it was on the date of the tragedy,” principal Alan Goodwin said at the meeting. “State officials have looked at it. They are thinking about doing something to that intersection, but they haven’t done anything yet. They have a lot to study, but they need to do something.”

The location of the intersection:


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