Maryland launches new urban mobility-focused program in Capital Region

MDOT SHA to lower speed limit, narrow lane widths and upgrade crosswalks in central business districts

March 27, 2019
reduced speed limit; urban mobility; traffic safety; pedestrian safety

The Maryland DOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is reducing speed limits on MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) in Wheaton and Silver Spring, Montgomery County, this week.

The changes are part of MDOT SHA’s bold new comprehensive urban mobility-focused program tailored to central business districts with dense populations and multimodal transportation demands. MDOT SHA continues to identify locations within urban areas in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties for speed limit reduction, narrowed lane widths and upgraded crosswalks.

The goal of the speed limit reductions on MD 97 and other roads in the National Capital Region is to significantly enhance pedestrian safety in some of the busiest areas of the state.

As an active partner with local government officials, enforcement agencies and advocacy groups, MDOT SHA has initiated a comprehensive strategy to address pedestrian and bicyclist safety on MD 97 and similar urban roadways. The speed limit reductions are part of other major pedestrian and bicycle initiatives, including narrower lane widths. On MD 97 between south of I-495 (Capital Beltway) and north of the Wheaton Triangle, lane widths were reduced from 12 ft to 10 ft. The narrowed widths influence slow traffic speeds and add additional buffer space to protect pedestrians and bicyclists.

Speed limits have already been reduced on MD 190 and MD 187 in Montgomery County. Additional improvements are planned this year along MD 410 and MD 188 in Montgomery County, and MD 210, MD 410 and US 1 in Prince George’s County. 

In addition to the speed limit reductions, this spring MDOT SHA crews will upgrade to high-visible continental crosswalks (crosswalks with vertical bars) within the Wheaton Triangle, which will improve safety for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The agency also will adjust traffic signal timing within the Wheaton Triangle. 

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Source: Maryland DOT State Highway Administration

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