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I used to use that crossing on my commute from between the Olney area and Bethesda. Traffic moves fast, visibility is bad, and few use the crosswalk. I once caused a chain-reaction rear ender by getting a little too assertive (being a jerk, actually, and luckily no one was hurt). I think there have been other serious incidents involving cyclists/peds there and this saddens, but doesn't surprise me in the least.

on the westbound side, that advance beacon looks on googlemaps like it's closer to 800 feet away. At the speed limit, that would be ~12 seconds of driving time where a trail user could push the button, and a westbound driver wouldn't see any warning beacon.

The cross walk is at on the stream valley floor so from either direction on Viers Mill its a downhill grade to the crossing. People driving fly through there - in fact most drivers probably don't realize that its a trail crossing there. Just like the Sligo Creek crossing at Riggs Road this is a very dangerous spot. I hope the county can somehow improve this crossing or manage to slow traffic down on the approach.

Yes, my recollection is that there is is plenty of warning to motorists. However, my impression is that people think it's a constant-on flasher marking the crossing and thus ignore it.

I've crossed here. Even when pressing the button most traffic does not yield.

Very dangerous crossing.
Awhile ago MCPD did a pedestrian sting here.

It's very dangerous as some drivers stop and some do not. I personally have caused two cars to get rear-ended just by standing there. One was very serious and required ambulance etc.

Cars go freeway speeds on Veirs Mill Rd there and elsewhere. 45 is the minimum speed.

But most dangerous is the fact that one or two lanes will stop and the second or third lanes will keep going. Very easy for a ped or cyclist to not realize that and end up in front of a speeding vehicle.

Very deficient design. Drivers are inattentive and don't encounter cross walks like this frequently enough. Needs a real red light or grade separation.

Here's a link to a GGW posting about the sting operation at this very, very dangerous crossing.


I contacted the DOT about this very dangerous crossing twice, recommending that they change the signal to blinking yellow at the crossing with solid yellow then solid red coming on when a pedestrian activated the crossing button. I was basically stonewalled, being informed that two studies resulting from my requests showed that no change was needed.

DOTs generally don't like to put in red lights because that would affect vehicle level of service (cars would have to stop!!!!) This is one of the worst trail crossings I've ever seen--you can't even cross quickly, because there's a wall across your path so you have to slow down while crossing to make a sharp 90 degree turn. Whatever engineer approved this should be sanctioned. He won't, because it's a pedestrian facility, but if that level of negligence were employed for an automobile facility he'd be looking for a new line of work.

Trey: Yes, the unpredictability is very dangerous for drivers, too. I might not stop if I had a maniac two feet from my bumper.

Incidentally, before they built the ped crossing at Turkey whatever, I used to cross at the Parkland intersection, at the fire house on the top of the hill to the West. That one has a real traffic signal and somewhat better visibility. However, it lacks the time-saving button.

As for another flyover, like the one down the road, some would argue that it would be a very expensive capitulation to the notion that this mighty river of motor vehicles can't be forded or slowed, and end up forcing anyone wanting to cross the road on foot or bicycle to make a lengthy detour. I also wonder what the local residents prefer.

There's a bus stop there and when I've used the crossing I've often seen people waiting including some with young children or strollers.

The Z-shaped crosswalk is for your safety: pedestrians must turn and face the traffic in the direction they're about to traverse. And, in this case, look their killer in the eye.

I think there should be a trail bridge over Viers Mill RD at the Matthew Henson Trail just like the Rock Creek Trail over Viers Mill Rd. After I explored the whole trail once. I waited more than 5 Minutes at the crossing on non rush hour during the early afternoon weekend. I'm Like never again, I would prefer to jog the Aspen Hill Rd sidewalk detour. Since then, I am turned off just to run on that part of the trail.

I used to live near this crossing one and two living situations ago. I remember when the crosswalk button was installed here, but being puzzled and wondering "where is the traffic light?" and "how is this actually stopping cars so I can safely cross?" I began to use it as an anecdote in conversation and jokes, "I found a button that does nothing when pressed"

When you press the button, is it clear to the pedestrian what it does? What does the little sign by the button say? I know you can't see the flashing lights from the crosswalk. If the pedestrian thinks the button causes traffic to stop, he's very wrong.

"[Also, can we get a sidewalk on the north side between Havard and Turkey Branch Parkway? That desire line is such a well worn trench that I expect to see X-wing fighters flying through it.]" I have made this request to MD SHA in the past and will renew my request.

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