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MoCo In Need Of More Pedestrian Safety Volunteers

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 5/1/2014, 12:40pm  ET

Pedestrian crosswalk sign on Wisconsin Avenue near Battery LaneIt’s probably no surprise that Montgomery County has designated downtown Bethesda as a “High Incidence Area” for pedestrian collisions.

As part of the county Department of Transportation’s effort to improve pedestrian safety, it’s looking to grow its group of local residents who act as volunteers in spreading the word about what to do and what not to do when walking along Bethesda’s crosswalks.

MCDOT officials Jeff Dunckel and Joana Conklin sent a letter to Bethesda neighborhood letters last week asking for their help in recruiting people to promote their message through social media and volunteering when they set up at events such as Strut Your Mutt on May 17.

MCDOT also asked for the chance to come and speak at resident meetings and to get connected with local PTAs and school administrators to partner on pedestrian safety education for kids.

The county’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative is working with students at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School through a grant program.

They also just wrapped up a spring pedestrian enforcement initiative that included police crosswalk stings in one of the most notorious Bethesda crosswalks.

Police have shifted their enforcement strategy to put more focus on drivers, instead of pedestrians crossing without a signal or crosswalk. Last year, the issue reemerged when a baby in a stroller that was hit by a car in a crosswalk near Bethesda Elementary.