SPEAK OUT: Pedestrian Safety in Bethesda
12 pedestrian and cyclist collisions have been reported in Montgomery County in 2013.
Just 10 weeks into 2013, Montgomery County Patch websites have reported 12 vehicle collisions involving pedestrians or bicyclists, and several of the collisions have happened in Bethesda.
Most recently, a pedestrian was critically injured on Old Georgetown Road Wednesday when he was struck by a car. Tuesday, a pedestrian was struck on Wisconsin Avenue and Chelsea lane, and Feb. 27, a stroller was struck in a crosswalk, dragged six feet and knocked over.
The baby's father said it was "pure luck" his three-month-old son was uninjured. In the east county, four pedestrians and one bicyclist have been killed.
Several readers are taking to Patch to discuss what should be done in Bethesda to keep pedestrians safe. Here's what a few of you had to say:
- "Cars need to respect pedestrians, and pedestrians need to cross at crosswalks with the light. I run through Bethesda and always assume that drivers don't see me, or if they do, won't stop." -- David Heyman
- "I've noticed since the the arrival of behemoth mini-vans, a mini-van mentality has emerged. I'm bigger, I'm better, I'm safer, so *I* have the right of way. Add texting and talking to that and you have one dangerous brew, not only in a mini-van but any vehicle." -- Steph Collins
- "I live in Bethesda and am amazed at how often a pedestrian enters the street and/or crosses the street [without] looking at all - they are engrossed in reading their phones and completely unaware. It's very dangerous and with right turn on reds and not everyone being local and aware of the various nuances of our roads, what's one way, lanes with mandatory turns, everyone needs to be aware and careful. There's no comfort in having right of way if you are seriously injured, killed or do harm to others." -- Beth Esdian
- "I'm upset by the previous two comments about pedestrians being more aware. I agree that pedestrians need to know their surroundings, but the simple fact is, it is the law to stop for the crosswalks if pedestrians are waiting to cross. I have stood for several minutes trying to cross the street, pushing a stroller and waving my arms. I frequently am half way across and drivers still don't stop. Drivers need to be aware of where crosswalks are and slow down as they approach. And there needs to be consequences for those who don't stop." -- Suzanne
What do you think? How can Bethesda's streets be made safer for pedestrians and cyclists? Tell us in the comments.