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Montgomery Planning releases Pedestrian Master Plan’s draft design, policy, and programming recommendations

July 14, 2022

a family walking along a sidewalk in Bethesda
Recommendations offer strategies for enhanced pedestrian connectivity, safety and accessibility across Montgomery County

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, has released the draft Design, Policy, and Programming Recommendations for the Pedestrian Master Plan. Part of Montgomery Planning’s first dedicated effort to specifically improve the countywide pedestrian experience, these recommendations offer solutions and strategies to make walking and rolling safer, more equitable, and more direct in support of the plan’s four goals:

  • Increase Walking Rates and Pedestrian Satisfaction
  • Create a Comfortable, Connected, Convenient Pedestrian Network
  • Enhance Pedestrian Safety, and
  • Build an Equitable and Just Pedestrian Network

View the draft recommendations.

The recommendations build on years of analysis and community feedback to establish a path toward making Montgomery County safer, more navigable, and more comfortable for pedestrians of all ages and abilities. The recommendations are organized around six themes: build, maintain, protect, expand access, monitor, and fund. Notable recommendations are:

  • Plan to build more sidewalks faster
  • Eliminate the need to push a button to cross the street
  • Assume county control of state highways in some locations
  • Improve the quality of pedestrian lighting
  • Remove sidewalk obstructions
  • Identify new revenue sources to fund pedestrian improvements

Planners are asking the public to weigh in on the draft recommendations online and at a community meetings (7-9 p.m.) on September 7 (virtual) and September 13 (in-person). Following this engagement period, planners will present the draft recommendations to the county Planning Board in September 2022.

The recommendations are informed by the March 2022 Pedestrian Master Plan Existing Conditions Report, which provided a deep understanding of existing pedestrian conditions and attitudes in the county and was based on four main data sources:

  • A statistically valid pedestrian survey, sent to 60,000 households, that documents pedestrian activity and perceptions for the county as a whole and for different land-use types;
  • A student travel tally that describes how public-school students arrive to and depart from school, completed by over 70,000 students;
  • A comfortable pedestrian connectivity analysis that catalogs pedestrian conditions along the entirety of the pedestrian transportation network in Montgomery County; and
  • A 2015–2020 pedestrian crash analysis identifying trends in pedestrian crashes.