Friday, January 8, 2010

Yield To Pedestrians

Kilimanjaro Road in Oakland Mills is like a lot of streets in Columbia. It's curvey, tree-lined, has a slight rise here, a dip there, and runs by schools, townhouses and single-family neighborhoods.

Oh, and the speed limit is 25 mph, not that anyone pays attention much.

But that may be changing.

Check out the list of measures the village is talking about to improve pedestrian safety:

The safety of students/pedestrians on Kilimanjaro Road is not a new issue. It is one that the community has been concerned with and discussing for years. Despite the conversations, there has been no resolution to improving the safety along the roadway.

Most recently however our discussions reached a new level. In November the board hosted a presentation with Diane Schwartzman, HC Chief of Traffic, Officer Russ Burris, HC Police, Frank Eastham, OMHS Principal and concerned parents and residents of Kilimanjaro Road. (Cindy Dillon, OMMS Principal was unable to attend but has been an integral part of our discussions.)

((The village also sent a shout-out to HoCo council member Calvin Ball, who represents the area))

The focus was on the student/pedestrian crossings both at the Middle and High Schools. As a result of the meeting the following will occur:

* Signs will be installed on each side of the road at the pedestrian crossings alerting drivers that fines double in school zones for those who do not stop at crossings for pedestrians. (early 2010)

* Middle road sign posts will be installed on April 1 through Dec. 1 stating the law to stop at crossings and fines for breaking the law.

* Additional “flashing signs on poles” will be installed so that there is one in each direction at each school zone. (Summer, 2010)

* HC Police will monitor the roadway. There will be no tolerance for those who disobey the law. (immediately)

* We will ask for a study to determine if the crossing at the middle school falls within the parameters to have a crossing guard assigned.

* We will ask county to review the roadway to determine if safer pedestrian crossings can be located at both OMHS and OMMS and determine where the crossings should be located.

Despite our best efforts the main issue is that drivers MUST obey the law - speed limit and school zone. It has been documented the “offenders” most often live in the neighborhood. Safety most certainly begins at home.

Please start the new year off by doing your part to make sure when traveling in your automobile, no matter where, that you obey the traffic laws and that you always think safety first.

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