by Marlene Berlin
DDOT would remove the crosswalk markings at four of the five uncontrolled Connecticut Avenue intersections in ANC 3F under a proposal presented to our ANC at its December meeting last week.
George Branyan, the District Department of Transportation’s pedestrian coordinator, revealed the results of a study of all ten unsignalized marked crosswalks from Appleton to Legation Street. Five of those ten fall within ANC 3F, at Appleton, Chesapeake, Cumberland, Ellicott and Everett. This study was a result of a pedestrian crash on Chevy Chase Parkway in May of 2013 and also coincides with recommendations of Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action, a project of Iona Senior Services. The study includes recommendations to improve pedestrian safety at each of these intersections.
And what does DDOT recommend?
Branyan spoke at length about the research on the risks. On heavily traveled streets like Connecticut Avenue, the risk of a crash involving a pedestrian is greater at marked crosswalks than at unmarked crossings. Branyan said traffic engineers think the markings give pedestrians a (sometimes false) sense of security, though he says the research doesn’t give a definitive explanation.
What we do know is that the neighborhoods on each side of our stretch of Connecticut Avenue has a higher than average population of residents aged 65 and older. And DDOT has received complaints, especially from the elderly and advocates, that it is difficult and dangerous to cross Connecticut Avenue at crosswalks without signals.
You can download a PDF of Branyan’s December 16th presentation from ANC 3F’s website and view it below or at Livestream.com. His presentation begins at 25:45.
What is important to remember while reading this report is that all unprotected intersections have crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked. Pedestrians have a legal right to cross at any of these intersections, and motorists have a legal responsibility to stop. Here’s a Crosswalk 101 refresher course for Forest Hills.
Please leave your comments or questions on our site or contact George Branyan directly at [email protected] or 202-671-2561.