A top lawmaker in Montgomery County, Maryland, introduced a bill Monday that would put tighter regulations on some of the busiest intersections in the county.
According to Evan Glass, the president of the Montgomery County Council, the legislation would impact intersections in downtown and town center areas.
“Those are some of the most heavily-utilized areas of our county,” said Glass. “This will allow for people to cross those intersection in a more timely and safer manner.”
The legislation would prohibit right turns on red lights in those areas, while extending walk times at crosswalks by three to seven seconds.
Glass said pedestrians are currently running out of time too often.
“You start crossing the street and all of a sudden it says, ‘stop walking,’ and you are halfway through the intersection,” said Glass.
The legislation would also require a review of any incident that involved someone being hit by a vehicle in a county school zone.
After such an incident, county leaders would need to closely examine infrastructure and traffic issues in the area where the crash occurred to see if any improvements could be made to stop it from happening again.
“This is personal for so many of us,” said Glass, who noted that, in 2022, 19 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in the county, and 541 were seriously injured.
Glass read the names of each of the 19 individuals who died, and asked for a moment of silence after he was finished.
“These are not just statistics,” Glass added. “These are our family members, our neighbors and our classmates.”
One supporter of the legislation who spoke alongside Glass was Mindy Badin, whose 32-year-old son Brett Badin was killed when he was hit by a vehicle while crossing Rockville Pike in 2020.
“The common sense measures in this bill will greatly enhance safety for everyone,” Badin said. “We have a chance to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our Montgomery County roadways.”