The death of a Germantown teen who was struck by a car while walking to school Halloween morning will be part of a Montgomery County transit advocacy group’s broader discussion Tuesday about pedestrian safety.
The Action Committee for Transit (ACT) is scheduled to meet 7:30 p.m. at the Department of Health and Human Services Silver Spring Center. Miriam Schoenbaum, ACT vice president, is expected to discuss the death of Christina Morris-Ward.
Morris-Ward, 15, of Germantown, was in the process of crossing Germantown Road when she was struck by a vehicle travelling north on a green signal. Police said she died at the hospital.
Morris-Ward's school, Seneca Valley High School, is bordered by Middlebrook Road and Great Seneca Highway, two of Germantown’s busiest streets. Seneca Valley Principal Marc Cohen said the route Morris-Ward took across Germantown Road — another major thoroughfare — was a common path for students who walked to school, Patch has reported.
"Designing and building the landscape for people in cars kills pedestrians," Schoenbaum said in an email to Patch on Monday.
Schoenbaum described her own experience crossing the intersection on foot and said she observed a mother and a small child unable to make it through the intersection before the light changed.
During a vigil for Morris-Ward, parents circulated a petition calling for improved safety measures at the intersection. Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2), who represents Germantown, said a meeting had been convened with Montgomery County police and Montgomery County Public Schools administrators to discuss ways to improve pedestrian safety for students.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said during the vigil that Morris-Ward's death was “tragic” and that it was his hope to reduce the number of car collisions with pedestrians to “zero.”
Morris-Ward’s death also framed the discussion of the county’s pedestrian safety program during joint meeting of the Montgomery County Council’s transportation and public safety committees. Councilman Phil Andrews (D-Dist. 3), of Gaithersburg, said her death was a “tragic reminder of the additional work necessary,” The Gazette reports.
The transit advocacy group also plans to discuss other problem areas in the county.
Ed Rothblum, vice president of Gateway Commons Homeowners Association, is expected to talk about unmarked crosswalks on Observation Drive in Clarksburg.
Tracey Johnstone, ACT secretary, is expected to talk about the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Stanford Street in Bethesda, in front of Trader Joe's.
If you go …
WHAT: Action Committee Transit meeting: Pedestrian safety, death of Germantown teen on the agenda
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13
WHERE: Department of Health and Human Services Silver Spring Center, 8818 Georgia Ave.
MORE: Visit ACT’s website, ACTForTransit.org.