Category: Transportation (Page 1 of 2)

Sign On for Sidewalks

City’s Prioritization Policy Allows Residents to Petition for New Paths

Know a neighborhood that could use a sidewalk?

The city created a Sidewalk Prioritization Policy to address missing sidewalks in Rockville and the costs associated with constructing them. The policy helps determine if, and in what order, the city constructs sidewalks.

A missing sidewalk is any existing or potential pathway that, were it hard surfaced, would be used by pedestrians in their routine educational, recreational, business, shopping, working, civic and social pursuits. Sidewalks are along streets and are typically built within city rights of way.

Rockville residents may circulate a petition to have new sidewalks constructed. Once proposed, prioritizing is based on:

  • A utility score, which assesses a proposed sidewalk’s connectivity to existing sidewalks and its proximity to schools, bus stops, Metrorail stations, recreational centers and other nearby pedestrian generators.
  • A traffic conditions score, which assesses a proposed sidewalk’s connection to a street with higher speed limits.
  • Other considerations, such as the availability of city right of way, public support for construction of the proposed sidewalk, and potential environmental impacts.

Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/sidewalks to learn more about the policy, view a map of sidewalks prioritized for construction and find petition forms.

Before circulating a petition for a new sidewalk, residents should call the city’s Traffic and Transportation Division, at 240-314-8500, to discuss the proposed sidewalk.

Enforcement and Education Are Focus of Strategy for Safer Streets

Rockville is continuing its push for safer city streets for all with renewed enforcement and education efforts.

The Rockville City Police Department began the new year by redeploying patrol officers to traffic patrol and focusing enforcement efforts on high-incident areas.

A map of bicycle and pedestrian crashes from 2017-2019, presented during the Dec. 16 Mayor and Council meeting, shows a concentration of incidents in Rockville Town Center, as well as near the Rockville and Twinbrook Metro stations. The map and staff report, as well as video of the Mayor and Council discussion can be found with the Dec. 16 meeting agenda listing at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.

Other ongoing education and enforcement efforts include:

  • Patrols directed to address community concerns.
  • An educational and enforcement effort in Town Center that has distributed over 500 educational brochures and issued citations and warnings.
  • Increased emphasis on bringing criminal charges, when appropriate, in pedestrian-involved crashes.
  • Greater statistical analysis of pedestrian-involved crashes.
  • Education through community outreach events and by using city communication tools, including the city’s website, Rockville 11 (channel 11 on county cable and the city’s YouTube channel), “Rockville Reports” in print and online, printed materials and social media.

Meanwhile, the Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee, Rockville Pedestrian Advocacy Committee and the city’s Traffic and Transportation Commission are working on pedestrian and bicycling safety strategies, including advocating for the city’s Vision Zero plan. The plan’s goal is to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030 through improved road design, traffic law enforcement and education. A draft of the plan is expected to go before the Mayor and Council this spring.

Information about the commission and committees can be found under the “City Government” tab at www.rockvillemd.gov. The bottom of the website also includes a “Report a Concern” button for reporting non-emergency pedestrian or bicycling safety issues.

For more information about the city’s efforts, contact Alyssa Roff, the city’s pedestrian and bicycle coordinator, at aroff@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314-8527.

City Opposes I-270 Widening

The Mayor and Council continued efforts in January to oppose a state project to widen interstates 270 and 495 over the American Legion Bridge with toll lanes, as a state board approved the project.

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See a Pedestrian Safety Issue? Report a Concern

Notice a perilous intersection, problematic path or malfunctioning pedestrian signal? Tell us about it!

Whatever the issue, the best way to report it is online. Visit www.rockvillemd.gov, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Report a concern.”

You’ll be taken to a web form where you can describe details of the concern, where it is located, how we can contact you for a response, and even attach digital photos or other documents, if you need to.

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Mayor and Council Write in Support of Rockville Station Improvements

The Mayor and Council have sent a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority expressing their strong support for a study of the Rockville Metro Station, following notification in summer that money for the study was available through WMATA’s Project Development Program.

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Mayor and Council Discuss Strategy for Safer Streets

Rockville is honing its pedestrian safety efforts with an emphasis on engineering to create safer streets, enforcement of traffic laws, and education to raise awareness of safe practices while driving, walking or biking.

City staff briefed the Mayor and Council on these efforts during their meeting on Dec. 16. The update detailed safety improvements that the city completed and enforcement that city police conducted in recent years, as well as educational outreach, and plans for future efforts and projects.

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Snow and Tell: How the City Helps Residents Be In-the-Know About Snow

Quick Links, Facts and Phone Numbers

When winter weather strikes, turn to the city’s website at www.rockvillemd.gov.

Closure and snow emergency information will be available on the website, as well as through Facebook (www.facebook.com/cityofrockville) and Twitter (@rockville411), and by signing up for Alert Rockville notifications at www.rockvillemd.gov/alerts.

City crews treat and plow roads in the following priority order:

1) Primary roads that consist of major arterial roads, emergency routes, central business districts and primary residential roads near schools.

2) Secondary roads that consist of the remainder of neighborhood streets, alleyways and cul-de-sacs. To check if an address is within the city limits, find the Address and Residency Check map at www.rockvillemd.gov/maps.

Removing snow from sidewalks, driveways and entrances is the responsibility of the property and/or business owner or occupant unless a community association has assumed the responsibility. Snow and ice must be cleared from all paved sidewalks abutting a property as follows:

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Eyes Up Rockville: Stay Alert When You Drive and Walk

Traveling in winter, with snow, ice and precious little daylight, can be treacherous for pedestrians and motorists alike.

The Mayor and Council will discuss pedestrian safety in Rockville during their meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16. Last year, the Mayor and Council endorsed Vision Zero, setting a goal of eliminating traffic-related deaths and serious injuries on Rockville roads by 2030 through improved road design, traffic law enforcement and education.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers safety tips for walking and driving. Here are a few:

Driving Safety Tips

  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility.
  • Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the cross-walk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
  • Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
  • Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.

Walking Safety Tips

  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
  • Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
  • If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
  • Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.

Find more pedestrian safety tips at www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety, on Rockville 11 and at youtube.com/cityofrockville. Search “pedestrian safety.”

SHA to Host Workshops on Section of I-270

The State Highway Administration will host a series of public workshops in Frederick and Montgomery counties in mid-November to provide an overview of plans for Interstate 270 between interstates 370 and 70. The workshops will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. as follows:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Clarksburg High School, 22500 Wims Road, Clarksburg.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 13 at Lincoln Recreation Center, Lincoln Elementary School, 200 Madison St., Frederick.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Urbana Fire Department Banquet Hall, 3602 Urbana Pike, Frederick.
  • Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg.

The workshops will provide an overview of pre-National Environmental Policy Act activities and the NEPA process; discuss the transportation needs of the corridor; and identify potential solutions and existing environmental considerations.

Pre-NEPA activities include a review of existing and future traffic, roadway and environmental conditions to inform the development of alternatives. There will be a brief presentation at 7 p.m. during each workshop. Attendees will be able to review display boards and meet with SHA staff.

Meeting materials, including an online presentation, will be available at 495-270-p3.com.

Funding Approved by Transportation Planning Board Will Help Improve Stonestreet Avenue

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has approved $280,000 to help improve pedestrian and bicycle connections to the Rockville Metro Station.

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