Montgomery County’s state roads are dangerous. WABA wants them fixed.
Sharing a WABA press release…
Bicycling Advocates Launch Montgomery County Safety Initiative
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Complete State Roads initiative calls for reengineering of highly dangerous state roads and for new Maryland rules-of-the-road and safety legislation
WASHINGTON DC, December 20, 2023—
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) has launched the Complete State Roads initiative, calling for roadway reengineering and design changes that target highly dangerous Maryland state roads. The initiative calls for the application of “complete streets” principles – streets designed and operated to prioritize safety and mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users in addition to motor vehicles – complemented by proposed 2024 Maryland road-safety state legislation.
“Montgomery County has experienced 43 road deaths so far in 2023, including 14 pedestrians and one bicyclist, actually an increase over the five-year average. State roads top the list of our county’s most dangerous roads, so WABA has launched our Complete State Roads initiative to end this intolerable traffic carnage,” said WABA Maryland Organizer Seth Grimes. WABA’s Complete State Roads initiative report is available online at waba.org/stateroads and a presentation delivered at WABA’s October 29, 2023 4th Great Montgomery County Bike Summit is at bit.ly/SummitCSR-MC.
“At WABA, we keep a strong focus on bicyclists, walkers, and other vulnerable road users,” said WABA Executive Director Elizabeth Kiker. “We’re safer, healthier, and greener when we have better transit, bike lanes, trails, and lower speeds. We work for a transportation network that’s safe for everyone. Complete State Roads is a key WABA call to action.”
WABA’s Complete State Roads initiative has been funded by the Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Memorial Fund and the Bega Memorial Fund for Bicycling Safety. Several regional advocacy organizations have endorsed the initiative including Greater Greater Washington, the Action Committee on Transit, and Bike Maryland.
“Complete streets are safe for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists,” stated Amy Frieder, president of the Action Committee for Transit. “ACT strongly endorses the Complete State Roads–Montgomery County initiative and appreciates the focus on roads that are overrepresented in the county’s High Injury Network.”
Dan Reed is regional policy director at Greater Greater Washington and stated, “I grew up near Route 29 in East County, where everyone I know has a story about a crash or injury somewhere along the highway. A friend’s dad who biked to work and got hit by a driver. The flowers near the entrance of my parents’ neighborhood where a young woman was killed many years ago. Whether you’re walking, biking, scooting, or driving, we all take our lives in our hands on state roads. It’s time to get serious about making these major roads safer for everyone.”
“State roads are the key arteries and the place where the majority of crashes involving vulnerable road users are killed and injured. Bike Maryland applauds the creation of a blueprint for how the State of Maryland can create safer biking and walking in Montgomery County,” stated Chair Peter Gray.
As part of the Complete State Roads initiative, WABA has backed the development of legislation for introduction in the 2024 Maryland legislative session, which opens January 10. WABA’s Maryland legislative agenda includes bills making No Turn on Red the default at state-controlled intersections in Montgomery County, facilitating county speed-limit reductions, allowing cyclists to treat a Stop sign as a Yield sign, and creating a Maryland e-bike voucher program. WABA is also backing the Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Memorial Act, a bill that brings penalties for vehicle drivers convicted of striking a cyclist in line with those for hitting a pedestrian. The Act was developed in reaction to the August 2022 death of Sarah Debbink Langenkamp, who was crushed by a truck while bicycling in a bike lane on River Road, a state highway, in Bethesda, Maryland.
For more information about WABA’s Complete State Roads initiative including WABA’s Maryland legislative agenda, contact WABA Maryland organizer Seth Grimes at email@example.com or 240-556-2375.