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May 6, 2016

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Feedback: At the intersection of Old Georgetown Rd. and Center Dr., I have witnessed conflicts over the right of way for bikers and pedestrians crossing at the crosswalk at the NIH entrance, versus cars turning left with a left turn arrow from southbound Old Georgetown Rd. I believe the source of the confusion is that there is no pedestrian walk signal at that crosswalk, hence individuals on the sidewalk cannot tell that there is a left turn arrow for cars entering NIH. This leads to dangerous confusion about right of way. Can something be done to remedy this situation, such as a walk signal for pedestrians and bikers?

Response from the Office of Research Services and Office of Research Facilities: The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) investigated the pedestrian signal situation at the intersection of Old Georgetown Rd. and Center Dr. They identified tree leaves slightly blocking pedestrian signals on the southwest corner, a malfunctioning pedestrian push button on the southwest corner and some light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs burnt out. As part of their maintenance responsibilities, MDOT is in the process of making these repairs.

Additional improvements will be made as part of the MD 187/Cedar Ln. construction project, to include modifications to the Center Dr. and Old Georgetown Rd. intersection. This project includes audible pedestrian signals, sidewalk and sidewalk ramps for Americans with Disability Act compliance and new traffic signal heads with brighter LEDs for greater visibility. Presently, the project engineering team is not able to provide a more precise estimated completion date for these items other than the current estimate of late summer 2016.

As work progresses this spring and summer, MDOT and the State Highway Administration project engineering teams will continue to keep us updated with a more precise timetable.

Until all intersection improvements for the project are complete, NIH employees who feel unsafe in terms of vehicles not yielding the right of way to pedestrians and others should contact Montgomery County Traffic Enforcement at (240) 773-5581.

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