Montgomery County Study on Pedestrian Navigation for the Visually Impaired in Urban Centers

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) received a Transportation-Land Use Connections (TLC) grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) to study how to make it easier and safer for persons with a vision disability to get around in urban areas, especially with a focus on getting to transit stops.

The grant will fund the development of a toolkit to help County engineers and planners better design roads and sidewalks to help those with a vision disability get around. The grant will also fund initial design work in a pilot area in downtown Silver Spring which could eventually lead to installation of innovative treatments in this area.

MCDOT has selected a portion of Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring for the pilot area design. The pilot area will run along both sides of Fenton Street from Ellsworth Drive to Thayer Avenue.

visually impaired street pedestrian navigation

Stakeholders Wanted

MCDOT is looking for stakeholders interested in participating in the development of the toolkit and the plans. We want to hear from you about how you navigate the urban environment. What obstacles do you face when trying to get to transit? What navigation features are missing on your route to work?
visually impaired pedestrian navigation photo

Get Involved

MCDOT hosted a virtual community meeting on Monday, January 11, 2021 to get input from the public. You can view a recording of the meeting at the following link:

The presentation slides for the January 11 meeting are available here.

To prepare for the pilot design effort, MCDOT is conducting a survey to get more information about Fenton Street from people, especially those with a vision or mobility disability, regarding issues they face navigating Fenton. The survey will remain open through March 21. You can visit the survey at the following link: (opens in new window)
Encuesta en Español: (opens in new window)

If you are interested in getting email updates about this project, please email Matt at  and request to be added to the email list.
visually impaired pedestrian navigation photo