New Signs In Maryland Tell Pedestrians: 'Do Not Cross' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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New Signs In Maryland Tell Pedestrians: 'Do Not Cross'

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Pedestrian curb markers installed on Piney Branch Road near University Ave in Silver Spring, Md.
Elliott Francis
Pedestrian curb markers installed on Piney Branch Road near University Ave in Silver Spring, Md.

A new pilot program launched in Silver Spring, Maryland that installs the state's first curb markings -- part of an effort to reduce pedestrian-related collisions. The focus and function of the program is simple, according to Jeff Dunkel, safety coordinator for Montgomery County.

"What we've done here is come up with an idea of putting markers on the curb, that tell the pedestrians, don't cross here, and that they should cross here," says Dunkel.

You'd think that'd go without saying, but last year the county recorded 13 pedestrian related collisions, and that's down slightly from the year before. The stretch of Piney Branch Road pictured topped a list of eight high pedestrian collision corridors. The markers are installed here, about 5-feet apart on both sides of the road.

Silver Spring resident Daniel Lyons was undecided about the potential impact of the markers after seeing them for the first time.

"They might work... then again they probably won't, cause you know a lot of people are in a hurry going to work, trying to go home," says Lyons. "But I think for the moms with kids, it's going to work well for them."

Police stepped up patrols and are set to write a ticket for any jaywalker who disregards the curb markers. If they are satisfied that the markers have reduced the number of dangerous crossings, the 'Safer Sidewalks' program will be expanded to other areas of the county, including Bethesda and Rockville Pike.

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