Montgomery County lowers speed limits on busy streets as part of pilot program; ’20 is plenty’


Montgomery County is one of the first counties, nationally, to roll out a Vision Zero Plan

NORTH BETHESDA, Md. (WDVM) — At the intersection of Nicholson Lane and Woodland Drive in North Bethesda, the speed limit is 30 — but Montgomery County leaders are saying it might be too high.

‘20 is Plenty’ is a pilot program aiming to lower speed limits across the county. Speed is a major factor in serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways.

Montgomery County Department of Transportation Director Christopher Conklin said, “When a crash happens over 20 miles an hour, the chances of fatalities increase 8 fold.”

Last year, Maryland had 9,000 crashes resulting in over 70 deaths and over 4,000 injuries.

Montgomery County Council President, Tom Hucker stated, “Every pedestrian fatality is an avoidable and permanent loss to our community, so we can’t let any more children or adults be injured or killed walking or riding their bikes or scooters on their own residential street.”

Drivers can spot these signs as a reminder to slow down in Germantown, North Bethesda and Long Branch. The Maryland General Assembly passed a bill that authorizes Montgomery County and its municipalities to decrease the maximum speed limit to no less than 15 miles per hour on highways, but only after performing an engineering and traffic investigation.

“On streets where we have a lot of activity, pedestrians and bicycles and higher traffic volumes, 20 is plenty, and that’s part of the Vision Zero culture,” Conklin said.

Montgomery County is one of the first counties, nationally, to roll out a Vision Zero Plan. The pilot program falls under the county adopted Vision Zero Action Plan to eliminate serious and fatal collisions on county roadways for vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists by 2030.

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