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Report: Germantown Teen’s Death Frames Discussion on Pedestrian Safety

Montgomery County Council members discussed pedestrian safety at joint-work session Thursday, The Gazette reports.

The death of a Germantown teen who struck and killed during her morning walk to school framed the discussion of Montgomery County Council members Thursday, The Gazette reports.

The council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment and Public Safety committees discussed pedestrian safety as part of a yearly joint work session on the county’s pedestrian safety program.

Councilman Phil Andrews, D-Dist. 3, of Gaithersburg, reportedly said the pedestrian death in Germantown Wednesday was a “tragic reminder of the additional work necessary,” according to The Gazette, which offers a full account at its website, Gazette.net.

According to police, Christina Morris-Ward, 15, of the 19900 block of Sweetgum Circle, was in the process of crossing Germantown Road when she was struck by a 2010 Ford Fusion traveling north on a green signal. Police said she died at the hospital. No charges have been filed against the driver.

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.

According to The Gazette, the county plans to evaluate school-related foot and vehicle traffic. The county has already established a program, “Safe Route to School,” which addresses some of these issues, The Gazette reports.

According to county records, there were 399 collisions involving pedestrians in 2011 in Montgomery County with 11 fatalities.

Germantown Road was not flagged as a “high incidence” area in the data presented to the council members.

Piney Branch Road—from Flower Avenue to the Prince George’s County border—had the largest number of pedestrian collisions, 41 between 2006 and 2011, county records show.

Barbara November 03, 2012 at 06:39 PM
How much can we do? On Wisteria Drive they have built lane barriers and cross walks at what seems like every few feet. Has become an obstacle course for drivers who have to drive thru them as well as watch for pedestrians. But worse is the fact that with all these cross walks the people still cross everywhere but the cross walks. And driving on Great Seneca at 55 mph is really dangerous with all the folks darting across all lanes of traffic. I don't pretend to have an answer but there is likely to be even more fatalities. So sorry for this girl and her family.

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