Perhaps you’ve seen and heard the ads. Or maybe you’ve traveled on the stretch of Piney Branch Road in Montgomery County where new curb markings draw attention to where it IS and ISN’T safe for pedestrians to cross the street. We’re in the midst of the regional Street Smart program’s fall 2011 campaign which reminds all area residents—from those biking on the District’s urban streets to those crossing major thoroughfares in outer and suburban communities—of the importance of pedestrian and bicycle safety. And it’s a two-way problem: not only must drivers up their awareness and follow safety laws but pedestrians and cyclists need to do so as well.
Across the region pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities (an average of 89 a year) account for 30 percent of the region’s traffic-related deaths a disturbingly high share that’s grown in recent years. If we’re going to create sustainable livable communities the situation must improve.
A major step in this direction includes reaching out to the region’s diverse population. For example the local Spanish language public affairs show Linea Directa in partnership with COG will be airing a new episode on pedestrian safety this Sunday at 11 am on the D.C. area’s Telemundo station WZDC Channel 25. The show will include a panel of regional guests including Walter Tejada of the Arlington County Board who also serves on the COG Board of Directors.