WASHINGTON — Along a Montgomery County, Maryland, road where tens of thousands of motorists travel daily, there’s a new pedestrian signal meant to keep drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe.
The overhead signal, which was activated last week along Veirs Mill Road/Md. 586, sits at the Matthew Henson Trail/Turkey Branch Parkway, which is often used by pedestrians and cyclists for commuting or recreational purposes.
The Maryland Department of Transportation says 42,000 drivers travel Veirs Mill Road every day.
The new light flashes a constant yellow, which means drivers should always maneuver through the area with caution.
When a pedestrian or cyclist activates “walk” buttons on either side of Veirs Mill Road, the yellow light will flash faster, and then go solid. After that, it will change to a solid red in order to halt motorists traveling in both directions of Veirs Mill Road.
Portable variable message signs along Veirs Mill and Matthew Henson Trail are being used to alert motorists, cyclists and pedestrians about the new signal.
The Maryland Department of Transportation is also deploying “safety ambassadors” on the trail and in the nearby community to make sure bike and foot travelers know their role in getting traffic to stop so the intersection is clear and safe to cross. They must press that button.
Here’s a map of where the busy road meets the commuter trail.