Pedestrian Planning

Pedestrians

Walking is the most essential mode of transportation. Everyone is a pedestrian at some point in the day. Improving the safety and comfort of pedestrians in Montgomery County is a key element of the transportation planning effort in Montgomery County.

A pedestrian master planning process is currently underway, and pedestrian needs are also addressed in existing area and sector master plans. This webpage displays the county’s bicycle-pedestrian priority areas, as well as links to pedestrian-related programs and efforts.

Pedestrian Master Plan (ongoing)

The Montgomery County Planning Department is developing the county’s first Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan will make walking and rolling safer, more comfortable, more convenient and more accessible for pedestrians of all ages and abilities in all parts of the county. In addition to prioritizing needed infrastructure, the plan will recommend new and amended policies and operational practices, design standards and programming to support walking and rolling.

One important element of this data-driven plan is the development of a Pedestrian Level of Comfort analysis – an effort to understand how comfortable conditions are for pedestrians in Montgomery County using information like how wide sidewalks are, how many lanes of traffic people have to cross, and many other factors. The Pedestrian Plan project manager Eli Glazier recently presented to the County Council Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee about the Pedestrian Level of Comfort if you’d like to learn even more. For more information about the Pedestrian Level of Comfort approach and a map of the Pedestrian Level of Comfort, please view www.mcatlas.org/pedplan.

View the Pedestrian Master Plan webpage.

Bicycle Pedestrian Priority Areas

Bicycle Pedestrian Priority Areas (BPPAs) are defined in the Maryland State code as geographical area where the enhancement of bicycle and pedestrian traffic is a priority.

Montgomery County has designated 34 BPPAs and has established a funding program for pedestrian and bicycle improvements with these areas. Click here for maps of each area.

Map of Bicycle Pedestrian Priority Areas in Montgomery County

Map of Bicycle Pedestrian Priority Areas (BPPAs) in Montgomery County – Effective 04/30/2019

 

Pedestrian Counts

The Montgomery County Planning Department recently began collecting pedestrian volumes at intersections as part of the development review and master planning process. A small (but growing) number of pedestrian counts can be found on the department’s intersection analysis application.

Road Code Bill

Bill 33-13 took effect on December 3, 2015, specifying maximum lane widths, curb radii, and target speeds on urban roads, and other pedestrian improvements. Specific highlights of the bill include:

All Roads

  • 6 feet wide pedestrian refuges must be provided at every intersection on all divided 6-lane roads
  • All roads must include “complete streets” features to promote safe use by all travel modes, and all roads must serve bicyclists without exception
  • Shared use paths are typically 10 feet wide

Urban Roads

  • Through lanes and turn lanes must be no wider than 10 feet unless next to parking or a curb, in which case they must be no wider than 11 feet
  • Parking lanes must be no wider than 8 feet, including the gutter pan
  • Curb radii must be no greater than 15 feet, with a few exceptions
  • Target speeds must be no greater than 25 mph
Last Updated: November 2, 2020