Montgomery Co. council member seeks changes on dangerous stretch of Georgia Ave.

Less than two weeks after a woman was struck and killed by a car on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland, just a few blocks from where her husband was also hit and killed a few years ago, a member of the Montgomery County Council is seeking action.

Calling the tragic coincidence “particularly distressing,” Council Member Nancy Navarro wrote to Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater to ask that the State Highway Administration “take immediate action” to make that stretch of Georgia Avenue safer for pedestrians.

Claire E. Weissmeyer Grossmann, of the Aspen Hill neighborhood of Silver Spring, was killed crossing Georgia Avenue near Rippling Brook Drive on April 28. She was 63. Her husband, Robert Grossman, 64, was crossing Georgia Avenue when he was hit and killed by a car near Regina Drive, about 1,000 feet away from Rippling Brook Drive, in October 2016, a neighbor said last month.

Navarro noted that the state had lowered the speed limit and made changes to traffic and pedestrian signals, but added, “this incident is a stark reminder of the continued vigilance that will be necessary to provide safety for all roadway users and to ensure that our shared goal of Vision Zero [a local initiative to eliminate pedestrian deaths] is achieved.”

Navarro recommended the installation of HAWK signals, similar to one already in place on Aspen Hill Road, and better lighting at busy pedestrian intersections.

“Pandemic recovery efforts at the state and county level are bearing fruit, and as we look towards reopening, there will be increased activity on our roadways, so I believe now is the time for the State Highway Administration to be proactive to make sure we have a smooth transition into reopening for all roadway users,” Navarro wrote.

In a statement to WTOP Friday evening, Slater said he was “saddened by the fatal crash” and shared Navarro’s concerns about the roadway. Incidents like Grossmann’s are happening “far too often,” Slater said as he also asked residents to slow down and pay attention to the roads, especially as it gets warmer and more people head outside.

“Our team at MDOT SHA is working with Montgomery County and our law enforcement partners to analyze the circumstances around this incident and we remain committed to improving safety on our roadways for all users,” said Slater. “As Councilmember Navarro notes, we are all dedicated to achieving the goal of zero deaths on Maryland roadways.”

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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