Bethesda Elementary parents have launched an online petition asking Montgomery County to ramp up pedestrian safety measures on Arlington Road, asking for speed cameras, more visible crosswalk signage and turning restrictions.
The change.org petition comes nearly two months after a car struck a stroller carrying a 3-month-old baby as a mother was walking across Arlington Road towards the school. The child's father told Patch it was "pure luck" the child wasn't injured.
According to the petition, parents are advocating for:
• “No Turn on Red” in high-traffic pedestrian areas, particularly those near and around a school or playground.
• Better, more visible markings of pedestrian crosswalks on Arlington Road and Edgemoor Lane, and other streets around the school, similar to the crosswalk on Little Falls Parkway, along the Capital Crescent Trail.
• Installation of speed cameras on Arlington Road and a police presence when children are coming to and going from school.
• Installation of radar signs on Arlington Road to alert drivers to their rate of speed, and better signage indicating the legal speed within the school zone.
Parents are taking to the petition to discuss ways to improve pedestrian safety on Arlington Road.
"We know people who live within easy walking distance of the school who either drive their children to and from school, or put them on a school bus because the walk is so terrifying," wrote parent Wendy Leibowitz. "The cars do not yield to pedestrians crossing in the crosswalk, with the light. I love to walk, and love to walk with my child to our wonderful school. But if things don't change then I, too, will have to put her on the bus."
Pedestrian safety has been a cause for concern across Montgomery County this year, with 14 pedestrian and cyclist collisions reported in the past few months.
View a map of the collisions at Silver Spring Patch.
What measures do you think are necessary to increase pedestrian safety in Bethesda? Should speed cameras be installed on Arlington Road? Tell us in the comments.