Updated: Mar 5, 2020
In October 2018 three Kennedy High School students where seriously injured on Georgia Avenue in Aspen Hill. They were doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing, exactly where they were supposed to be -- waiting at their regular MCPS bus stop to go to school - when two cars going way too fast collided on Georgia Ave, one of them flying off the road and into the students. Sadly, that was neither the first nor the last such serious and avoidable incident - pedestrians and bicyclists being injured - and even killed - is regular news in our county.
After the October 2018 pedestrian injuries, Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) immediately reached out to MCPS and the VisionZero folks in MoCo planning to see what -- together -- we could do to make the simple act of getting to and from school safer for students.MCCPTA's "Safe Routes and Safe Stops" committee was born. Many of its members -- like Alison Gillespie, Clarksburg senior Zoe Tishaev, Melissa Regan and Kristy Daphnis - are MoCo transit and pedestrian safety powerhouse advocates. Connecting with many other pedestrian safety and transit groups like Montgomery County Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, MCCPTA put together the first ever "Arrive Alive" forum last October.
There are lots of people working on pedestrian/bike/traffic safety, lots of good, common sense ideas, lots of innovative traffic calming technologies and designs to make MoCo truly pedestrian friendly - and some disagreement on priorities and approaches. But - bottom line -- we need to work together effectively and move faster to make our county safer for everyone. I was proud to attend the Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Safety Town Hall at Wheaton High School last weekend. As you Board of Education member, I will push MCPS to work with County officials to do everything we can - not just to talk about solutions - but to make them happen.
We can't educate our children until we make sure they arrive at school safely.