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Maryland lowers speed limit around dangerous intersection

Maryland lowered the speed limit along a dangerous stretch of River Road in Bethesda from 45 mph to 35. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

BETHESDA, Md. — The speed limit along a notoriously dangerous stretch of River Road in Bethesda, Maryland, has been lowered from 45 mph to 35 mph.

New signs went up earlier in the week around Walt Whitman High School.

The new 35 mph speed limit zone extends from the Capital Beltway to just west of Springfield Drive, according to Maryland State Delegate Marc Korman.

“Elected officials and the community have been working on how to improve the situation and prevent further accidents,” Korman said. “This is one of a series of steps being taken.”

Residents have long advocated for safety improvements around the intersection of River Road and Braeburn Parkway.

The area has been the site of several crashes, including a devastating incident in February of 2016. A Whitman High School senior and his parents were killed after a speeding driver struck the car they were traveling in.

“Unfortunately there have been some really serious traffic incidents right near Whitman High School on River Road,” Korman said.

Earlier this year, residents met with state transportation officials to review plans for permanent safety improvements that are coming at the River Road and Braeburn Parkway intersection.

The changes will include concrete dividers, which will only allow drivers to turn off River Road onto Braeburn, and a traffic light, which will stop traffic for people trying to cross the road at Pyle Road, which is just south of Braeburn.

They will take the place of flexible poles and flashing yellow lights that were installed in the area to try to slow drivers down.


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