Monday, April 28, 2014

County DOT Reaches Out to Bethesda Neighborhoods on Pedestrian Safety

The following is text of a letter sent to Bethesda neighborhood leaders.

As part of County Executive Ike Leggett’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has been focusing on “High Incidence Areas” (HIAs) for pedestrian collisions. With the significant level of pedestrian traffic in Downtown Bethesda, it is probably no surprise to you that your community is one of these HIAs – areas of the County with the highest rates of pedestrian crashes. Over the last year and half, MCDOT has been working with a group of fabulous volunteers in the Wheaton area, who have helped us spread the word to the community about how to be a safe pedestrian, and how drivers can keep pedestrians safe. We began to form a similar group in Bethesda last fall. We are now looking forward to expanding this group of volunteers, and in working with the local community to spread the word about how to keep pedestrians safe. 

The County’s Pedestrian Safety Initiative uses a three-pronged approach that coordinates Engineering, Education, and Enforcement with the intention of influencing pedestrian and driver behavior. We have already begun working with a group of students and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School through the Walk Your Way grant program, and are looking forward to efforts there. We also partner with Montgomery County Police, and you may have noticed that officers are in the community ticketing drivers and pedestrians who do not follow the law.

We would love to partner with you to spread our important message to your community, and we hope that you are interested in working with us. Here are some ways we can work together on this effort:

  • We are developing and will soon be sending along a social media toolkit, which will include pedestrian safety themed Facebook posts, Tweets, and e-mail messages that can be sent out to your community.
  • If you have well-attended resident meetings, we are happy to come out and speak to your group about pedestrian safety.
  • If you have children in the local schools, we would love to get connected with your PTA and/or school administrators to identify opportunities to educate kids and parents about important safety tips.
  • Please consider volunteering with us! We will be at several local special events this Spring, including Strut Your Mutt and Imagination Bethesda, and would love to have community volunteers help with these efforts. We also offer SSL hours for middle and high school students who participate in our programs.
  • You can learn more about our program by visiting our website: We will be in touch in the very near future, but in the meantime please feel free to contact us directly with questions, to sign up for volunteering, or with suggestions for how we might reach your community.

We look forward to working with you!

Jeff Dunckel

Montgomery County Pedestrian Safety Coordinator

Jeff.Dunckel (at)

Joana Conklin

Montgomery County Pedestrian Safety Education Specialist

Joana.Conklin (at)