We, the parents of students attending Bethesda Elementary School, are horrified by the number of traffic accidents and near-accidents in and around downtown Bethesda, particularly around Bethesda Elementary School. For example, in February 2013, a motorist struck a mother pushing her 3-month old child in a stroller at the intersection of Arlington Road and Edgemoor Lane. Bethesda is a community of people who are largely drawn here because of its walkable urban setting. However, as the area has grown and continues to grow with many new development projects underway, which will bring more cars and more pedestrians, the safety of this walkable haven is at risk. We encourage the following actions to be taken immediately:
• “No Turn on Red” in high-traffic pedestrian areas, particularly those near and around a school or playground.
• Better, more visible markings of pedestrian crosswalks on Arlington Road and Edgemoor Lane, and other streets around the school, similar to the excellent crosswalk on Little Falls Parkway, along the Capitol Crescent Trail
• Installation of speed cameras on Arlington Road and a police presence when children are coming to and going from school.
• Installation of radar signs on Arlington Road to alert drivers to their rate of speed, and better signage indicating the legal speed within the school zone.
The requested changes are meant to improve safety for all: residents and visitors, drivers and pedestrians alike. It is our opinion that these changes would have an immediate and positive effect.