Montgomery Co. officials discuss ‘Vision Zero’ roadway safety plan

In 2020, 18 pedestrians in Montgomery County were killed, while 501 others were injured out on the roads.

On Saturday, the “Vision Zero Virtual Conference” invited residents to discuss plans to reach zero traffic fatalities by 2030.

Councilmember Evan Glass and Congressman Anthony Brown organized the event to engage with community members about improvements made and what is still in the works.

Most recently, Glass said a new Vision Zero coordinator has joined the team to help unify the vision across the county. Some of the newest changes out on the roads include more parking spaces for cyclists and pedestrians.

“When we think of the pandemic over the last 10 months, these efforts really have been a sliver of a silver lining as we make changes to our infrastructure,” Glass said.

Council President Tom Hucker also took part in the conference, stressing the need for more enforcement out on the roads. He said that means legislation for more cameras and lower speed limits.

“We need to keep our foot on the electric car accelerator in this area and push ahead on our safety improvements for bikes and pedestrians. Today is a step in the right direction,” Hucker said.

High speed crossings and other busy roads across the county were also the center of the conversation when it comes to kids making it to the classroom safely.

Leon Langley, the assistant director of transportation for Montgomery County Public Schools, says they’re currently putting in a new routing program and evaluating bus stops.

“Things like major highways, can we move the stops? Is it possible, feasible and safe. We’ve taken this time, I feel, to look at our safety,” Langley said.

One of the challenges officials say they’re still facing is building or fixing sidewalks in areas with the greatest need.

Most of all, parents say accountability has been their biggest concern.

Nicole Bayles, one of the parents, had a message for the community.

“Do not give up, be the loudest voice in the room because they will listen,” Bayles, said.

Langley says residents with safety concerns should contact his office to help address concerns in their neighborhood.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up