Wisconsin Avenue PRSA
In December of 2008, MCDOT led a multi-jurisdictional team, including the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) in a two-day pedestrian road safety audit (PRSA) along Wisconsin Avenue in the Bethesda Central Business District. The PRSA study area extended from Leland Street to Montgomery Avenue, encompassing seven intersections. The audit team also included participants from the Bethesda-Chevy-Chase Regional Services Center, Bethesda Urban Partnership, and local community members.
Although this was the second PRSA completed in Montgomery County, the Wisconsin Avenue PRSA was the first performed in one of the County’s CBD areas, which revealed how distinctive pedestrian safety and mobility issues can be in this type of setting. Two notable findings were that the peak period for pedestrian-vehicle conflicts was found to be during midday hours; and a review of crash data revealed that pedestrian crashes primarily involved turning vehicles at intersections. In non-CBD areas, peak conflict conditions are typically during the morning or afternoon rush hours; and pedestrian crashes commonly occur at uncontrolled mid-block locations. As part of the Montgomery County Executive’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative, this area was identified as one of the “High Incidence Areas” (HIA) in Montgomery County based on collision data provided by the Montgomery County Police Department and the Maryland State Highway Administration, 29 pedestrian and bicyclist collisions occurred from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2007.
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