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Pedestrian Master Plan

 

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.

The plan will complement the 2018 Bicycle Master Plan and plans for other modes of transportation through strategies for making streets safer and more accessible.

This plan will be comprehensive. In addition to prioritizing needed infrastructure, it will recommend new and amended policies and operational practices, design standards and programming.

Read the July 2022 Draft Design, Policy, and Programming Recommendations here.

Background

In 2016, Montgomery County approved a resolution adopting a Vision Zero approach to road safety and committing to eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. Vision Zero represents a fundamental change in how we plan and design our roads, shifting from a focus on maximizing motor vehicle efficiency to ensuring that our roads are safe regardless of whether travel is by car, bus, bicycle or foot. Developing a Pedestrian Master Plan is a key action item in the County’s Vision Zero Work Plan.

The project team will prioritize countywide pedestrian infrastructure using, among other factors, a pedestrian level of comfort analysis, similar to the Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress developed for the Bicycle Master Plan. This prioritization will provide guidance to the Montgomery County Council and Montgomery County Department of Transportation in directing resources to improve pedestrian infrastructure. The analysis will also incorporate data about existing sidewalks and pedestrian crossing accessibility now being collected by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

The Plan will pay particular emphasis to those pedestrians with vision and/or mobility issues, including recommending design treatments and policies that exceed basic Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

“Pedestrian” is defined for Plan purposes as any person who travels by foot or a wheeled conveyance that is not a bicycle, including scooters, wheelchairs and other mobility devices. “Walking” is defined as “the act of being a pedestrian.”

Similar to the Bicycle Facility Design Toolkit, the plan’s guidance on pedestrian-oriented design treatments and operational approaches will be highly visual and include definitions, dimensions and tips on appropriate uses. Existing programs and public awareness events, such as Safe Routes to School, will provide opportunities for community engagement and education. Public engagement strategies will include walk audits and interactive maps to determine community priorities for access and safety.

Read the Approved Scope of Work for the Pedestrian Master Plan here.

Last Updated: December 1, 2022