In Montgomery county’s Silver Spring, Maryland, authorities are busy installing a new intersection. Currently under construction, it will slow down vehicles and also put a greater distance between them and cyclists.
The ‘protected intersection’ already has some of its features, like four corner islands, in place at 2nd Avenue and Spring Street. Its completion with signal modification, however, won’t happen before late September. It will then be the first of its kind on the East coast.
Division of transportation engineering at the county has announced how the new system will work on Twitter. According to those statements, it will “maximize safety” for pedestrians as well as cyclists.
Every year, tens of thousands of people lose their lives in traffic accidents across the nation. National Safety Council estimates suggest that in Washington, D.C., those fatalities increased by at least 5.8 percent last year.
Part of $1.5 Million Dollar Project
The intersection is actually part of a bigger project that cost the county some $1.5 million dollars. The project also entails protected bike lanes and three floating bus stops. A new bike lane on Second Avenue will, therefore, tie into an existing bike lane on Spring Street.
Montgomery residents may see more of this new intersection around. Future constructions, however, will rely on the success of the first one, a county official said in an August 6th report by WAMU.
For Montgomery County Transportation Planner, Matt Johnson, these intersections represent the “gold standard” in safe infrastructure. Users, though, might not be so receptive of this novelty at first.
In an August 5th report, one driver told NBC Washington that he doesn’t like the corner islands after failing to stop behind a line farther back than in the past.
“There is going to be a learning curve. Once the bike lane opens, there will be more conflicts… but we expect people will get used to it,” Johnson said.
The division’s messages on social media also included several images. The county promises to release more informative material to educate all the riders and pedestrians.