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Date: Nov 15, 2017

Kamenetz Announces $900,000 in Enhancements and a Pedestrian Safety Outreach Initiative

Baltimore County is giving Liberty Road a brighter, updated look and enhancing pedestrian safety with a beautification and pedestrian safety project. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced $900,000 in beautification and pedestrian safety improvements along Liberty Road, and a locally targeted “Walk Smart – Don’t Dart” pedestrian safety outreach campaign for the busy commercial and residential corridor.

Brick and Mortar Improvements along Liberty Road

Construction is underway to install 186 attractive Colonial-style lighting fixtures along Liberty Road that are much brighter for nighttime visibility, and brightly colored brick-patterned crosswalks to enhance five Liberty Road intersections. County contractors are installing brick-patterned thermoplastic crosswalks between Courtleigh Drive and Offutt Road and BGE crews have begun installing colonial-style streetlights for pedestrian lighting along a two-mile stretch from Rolling Road to McDonogh Road. The cost of the street lights is approximately $400,000 and for the crosswalks is about $500,000. This phase of the project should be complete by the end of the year. Much of the construction will take place at night during reduced traffic hours, and County engineers do not expect significant traffic congestion from the project.

“This attractive period lighting and upgraded pedestrian crossings will soften the look and feel of this vibrant community corridor to better reflect Randallstown’s strong neighborhoods and sense of community,” said Kamenetz. “We thank our Baltimore County Statehouse delegation, especially Speaker Pro Tem Delegate Adrienne Jones for helping us to secure the state funding for this important project.”

The improvements, paid for by the State, but managed by Baltimore County, developed from community interest and the County’s recommendation to the State Highway Administration last year for safety and aesthetic improvements. The request from County Executive Kevin Kamenetz led to a five-million dollar grant and to the upcoming project, which is the first phase of improvements. When the Rolling Road to Offutt Road portion of the beautification project is completed at year’s end, the County will assess the project for future enhancements, including the possibility of two additional phases that could extend the enhancements from McDonogh Road to Owings Mills Road, and then from Rolling Road to the Beltway.

“These are wise investments that are about keeping our streets safe for everyone,” said 4th District Councilman Julian Jones.

Communicating the Don’t Dart – Walk Smart Message

The Don’t Dart – Walk Smart outreach campaign is a Countywide education initiative to address the fact that Baltimore County first responders respond to an average of 400 pedestrian crashes annually, including 18 in the Liberty Road area last year alone. The campaign includes radio ads on 92Q, ads in the Northwest Voice newspaper, extensive social media outreach and street teams who will intercept pedestrians on Liberty Road with safety messaging, literature and giveaways. Sponsors include Baltimore County government, Northwest Hospital - a Lifebridge Health Center and the Baltimore County Professional Firefighters Local 1311.

Pedestrian Safety Messaging:

The realities of pedestrian crashes runs counter to the common perception that motorists are almost always to blame. Most pedestrian victims are adults. On average, more than half of victims are over age 40. About 80 percent of pedestrian crashes involve pedestrian error. The most common issues include failure to walk in crosswalks or intersections and obey crosswalk signals; wearing dark clothing that is not visible to drivers, especially at night; distracted walking and failure to stop and look both ways.

Pedestrian crashes are prevalent Countywide, but particular problem areas in Baltimore County include Liberty Road in Randallstown, York Road in Towson and Merritt Boulevard in Dundalk. The County’s Police & Fire departments note a high frequency of pedestrian injury near bus stops.

Pedestrians should:

  • Obey laws requiring pedestrians to cross at crosswalks or intersections.
  • Avoid being distracted by cell phones and other electronic devices while crossing.
  • Make sure they are visible by wearing bright clothing and wearing reflective materials at night
  • Be aware of their surroundings.
  • Make sure all traffic has stopped before crossing the street and make eye contact with drivers.

“We are very pleased with these initiatives that will make the Liberty Road commercial district even more attractive for businesses and people patronizing the shops and services along Liberty Road,” said Kelly Carter, Executive Director of the Liberty Road Business Association.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017