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MCDOT Continues Making Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Improvements Along Arlington Road in Bethesda; Recent Study Recommendations Already Being Implemented

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) recently completed a wide-ranging safety evaluation of the entire length of Arlington Road in Bethesda, between Old Georgetown Road and Little Falls Parkway, that recommended improvements to make this stretch of road safer for pedestrians and motorists. Over the past few years, numerous safety enhancements have been made, particularly around Bethesda Elementary School. MCDOT initiated the study to take a more comprehensive look along the entire corridor and determine what other measures could be taken to improve safety.

MCDOT has already completed many of the study recommendations to enhance pedestrian safety, including:

  • Installed detectable warning surfaces at the crosswalk locations where they were missing, including at the intersections of Moorland Lane, Edgemoor Lane, Elm Street and Kenwood Forest Lane.
  • Trimmed foliage blocking pedestrian signage and pedestrian signals.  
  • Re-striped crosswalks using high visibility ladder style markings at the intersections with Montgomery and Hampden Lane.
  • Repaired a school zone flasher near Bethesda Elementary School and changed the associated signage to reflect the current school times.  
  • Installed school crossing signs on the south leg crosswalk at Moorland Lane.
  • Installed ground-mounted pedestrian warning signs approaching crosswalks on Edgemoor Lane and Elm Street.
  • Replaced the pedestrian warning signs between Little Falls Parkway and Bradley Boulevard with fluorescent yellow signs.
  • Upgraded lighting at the unsignalized crosswalk on Kenwood Forest Lane.
  • Repaired all street light outages. 

The study recommended making a number of traffic signal modifications and MCDOT will make these changes in early 2018, including:

  • As a pilot project, install the County’s first All Pedestrian Phase traffic signal timing at the intersection of Arlington Road and Bethesda Avenue to give pedestrians time to cross when all other traffic is stopped.
  • Put in a Lead Pedestrian Interval for pedestrians crossing Arlington Road at Moorland Lane and Edgemoor Lane to allow pedestrians to begin crossing and establish themselves in the crosswalk before traffic proceeds.
  • Add "No Right Turn on Red" signs on the northbound and southbound approaches on Edgemoor Lane.
  • Near Bethesda Elementary School at Moorland Lane and Edgemoor Lane., give pedestrians more time to cross by increasing the amount of time for the flashing "Don't Walk."
  • Change the traffic signal phasing on the eastbound and westbound approaches to Edgemoor Lane to remove conflicts between pedestrians and left-turning vehicles by providing a left turn arrow for vehicles.
  • Modify the signal phasing on the eastbound and westbound approaches to Elm Street to split phasing to separate pedestrian crossings from left turning vehicles, removing conflicts. 

In addition, during Fiscal Year 2019, the traffic signal at the Elm Street intersection will be reconstructed and the signal cabinet and associated wires will be relocated to provide space for a wider sidewalk.

The study also recommended changing traffic signal phasing and adding a marked crosswalk on the east leg of the Bradley Boulevard intersection. As Bradley Boulevard is a State road, these changes will be coordinated with the State Highway Administration.

The changes recommended in the most recent study build on improvements that MCDOT made during the past three years at Arlington Road and Edgemoor Lane and in the vicinity of Bethesda Elementary School, including:

  • Installed high visibility crosswalks on all legs of the Arlington Road and Edgemoor Lane intersection.

  • Installed “Speed Limit 25, School Days, 8:15 AM to 9:15 AM, 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM” signs along northbound and southbound Arlington Road.

  • Extended the time before and after school during which school flashers operate.

  • Installed “Speed Limit 30 MPH” signs along northbound Arlington Road between Elm Street and Montgomery Lane.

  • Installed a “School” sign on westbound Edgemoor Lane east of Arlington Road.

  • Replaced school zone and “No Parking” signs along Arlington Road.

  • Deployed a speed monitoring awareness radar trailer along Arlington Road to encourage motorists to observe the speed limit.

  • Installed “Turning Traffic Must Yield to Pedestrians” signs at the intersections of Arlington Road with Edgemoor Lane and Elm Street. These signs reinforce the message to motorists that pedestrians crossing Arlington Road have priority in the intersection. 

  • Upgraded the pedestrian crosswalks at the Arlington Road and Elm Street intersection to high visibility ladder style markings.

  • Installed additional intersection lighting at both the Arlington Road intersections with Edgemoor Lane and Elm Street.

Previous improvements made by MCDOT include:

  • Installed a new sidewalk in 2009 at the corner of Arlington Road and Wilson Lane to improve pedestrian access and safety near the Bethesda Elementary School.

  • In 2014, Arlington Road installed a new set of traffic and crosswalk signals at Arlington Road and the north entrance to the Bradley Shopping Center.



Release ID: 17-263
Media Contact: Esther Bowring 240-777-7170