About Councilmember Navarro

I serve as the Council Vice-President and the Montgomery County Councilmember representing District 4. I am the chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and also serve on the Health and Human Services Committee.

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August 7, 2009

Pedestrian Safety on Fairland Road (Press Release)

For Immediate Release: August 5, 2009

Leggett Announces Pedestrian Safety Improvements on Fairland Road

At Site Where He Encountered Fatal Pedestrian Collision

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today announced the completion of pedestrian and traffic safety improvements along an approximately two-mile stretch of Fairland Road between Randolph Roadand Old Columbia Pike. Last year, on his way to an event on Randolph Road announcing the use of speed camera revenues for pedestrian safety improvements, Leggett came upon a collision scene where a pedestrian died near the intersection of Fairland Road and Cedar Creek Lane.

The County’s Department of Transportation worked with neighborhood residents to develop and implement enhanced safety measures.

“One of the highest priorities of my administration has been to improve pedestrian safety,” said Leggett. “Everyone talks about the importance of pedestrian safety, but it’s quite another thing to actually witness the destructive effect a car has on the human body. Last year, on my way to a press event to promote safety, I came upon the truly tragic scene of a struck pedestrian who was lying in the road – dead -- from injuries sustained in a collision. I will never forget what I saw that day – and the memory only increases my resolve to makeMontgomery County more walkable and prevent such future misfortunes.”

On September 9, 2008, the day after the death of the 29-year-old woman who was struck and killed, the County Executive and representatives of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and Department of Police met with community residents and followed up with immediate changes to improve both traffic and pedestrian safety. These changes included increasing police enforcement of speed limits; installing more speed limit signs and larger replacements for existing signs; installing on-pavement speed limit markings; and trimming overgrown foliage.

“We need to keep improving pedestrian access throughout the County, but particularly in areas like this that have proven to be dangerous,” said District 4 County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, whose district includes the Fairland community. “The completion of this project will mean this stretch of Fairland Road will be much safer for all who walk in this area.”

MCDOT then undertook a comprehensive two-month study to determine what else could be done to calm traffic and improve safety. After meeting with residents, MCDOT installed the additional improvements that are listed below:

  • Bus stop improvements near Colefair Drive, Fairridge Drive, and Westwind Drive that included bump-outs to calm traffic, bus pads with kneewalls, sidewalk connections, crosswalks and signing;
  • Bump-outs with a crosswalk and signing near the Twin Farms Swim Club;
  • Bump-outs at Partridge Drive; and
  • Traffic signals at Tamarack Road and Serpentine Road.

The net results of these efforts are:

· Average travel speeds have been reduced from nearly 50 miles per hour (MPH) to about 40 MPH;

· Well signed and marked bus stop crossings enhance safety for transit passengers;

· Signalized crossings at Tamarack and Serpentine Way enhance safety for both pedestrians and motorists; and

· Traffic signals provide gaps in traffic, giving motorists traveling into or out of neighborhoods at non-signalized locations more opportunity to turn onto Fairland Road.

During the spring, MCDOT’s Division of Highway Services also made improvements in the work area that included enhancements to curbs and gutters where needed, sidewalk modifications where necessary to ensure compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act standards and additional roadway repairs.

One of the Leggett administration’s highest priorities is to improve pedestrian safety, and in December 2007, the Executive released his Pedestrian Safety Initiative - - a strategic plan that outlines the action stepsMontgomery County is aggressively pursuing to achieve the goal. Enhanced engineering and enforcement along with increased education are important components of the strategy. Enhanced initiative efforts are being funded by a newly approved fiscal year 2010 budget of $4.9 million, part of which comes from speed camera revenues.

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Media Contact: Esther Bowring, 240-777-6507

Mary Depenbrock of the Fairland Estates Homeowners Association speaks during the press conference.


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