Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pedestrian Identified in Piney Branch Hit-and-Run
Striking Vehicle Sought

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU) are continuing to investigate a serious pedestrian hit-and-run collision that occurred in the Piney Branch area of Silver Spring.

The pedestrian has been identified as Danny Elizabeth Alay-Mateo, age 22, of the 9100 block of September Lane in Silver Spring. She remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The description of the vehicle has been modified to a 1994 -1998 GMC Jimmy, Chevy S-10 pick-up truck, Chevy Blazer, or Oldsmobile Bravada. The vehicle will most likely have damage to the right front headlight, possibly dents in the hood, and cracks in the glass windshield. The damage may be slight. The right side exterior mirror was located at the scene and the plastic housing compartment, of the exterior mirror, is believed to still be attached to the vehicle.

On Saturday, September 25 at approximately 8:13 p.m., 3rd District officers and Fire/Rescue personnel responded to the 8700 block of Carroll Avenue, near Piney Branch Road, for the report of a pedestrian struck.

The preliminary investigation determined that for unknown reasons, Alay Mateo was in the northbound portion of the roadway of the 8700 block of Carroll Avenue. For reasons still under investigation, a dark colored vehicle struck her and failed to stop and remain at the scene. She suffered significant injuries and was transported to an area trauma center.

Investigators believe that there are members of the community who know more details about this collision and they are urged to call in. Please contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 301-840-2435.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.

HIA Report

Click here to see the March, 2010 reveiew of the County's High Incident Area Program.
Keep in mind that the data for pedestrians was collected after collisions.
This report presents one or two of the pieces of the puzzle. It will be impossible to draw many useful conclusions from this little bit of information - other than to say that collisions and fatalities are not dropping fast enough, if at all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do Speed Cameras Make Pedestrians Safer?

It you have ever wondered if speed cameras do anything to protect pedestrians, take a look at this report. The report mentions pedestrians and cyclists in passing. Most of the text addresses money, legal issues, and public perception. There is a lot of data concerning drivers, but pedestrians are only counted once they are hit. No information or consideration was given to pedestrian behaviors. There are a lot of charts showing what drivers are up to, and none on pedestrian traffic or activities.

Notice that pedestrians did not benefit from speed cameras as drivers did. Why is that, do you suppose?

Here are excepts from the report showing the portions that refer to pedestrians.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Separate but Equal?

(Police officers drove by this illegally-parked auto for hours with no response. The Police Station is just up the street from this location.)

If a Police Officer were to come upon a car parked across the street, blocking traffic so that cars had to drive-up onto the curb to pas,, what do you think would happen? The Officer would certainly ticket the car and call for a tow truck to get it out of the way and re-open the road for traffic. Even if no one called to complain, the Officer would see that there is a problem and act accordingly.

The road surface is only one part of urban neighborhood Rights-of-way. Sidewalks are also an important amenity on ROWs, and considering that a large portion of the population doesn't own or operate a motor vehicle, it should be equally important for sidewalks to remain as clear as the roads.Still, Montgomery County Police Officers seem reluctant - even resistant - to enforcing ROW laws as they effect pedestrians. Even if someone calls, Police officers will try not to ticket or tow individuals who are blocking sidewalks in violation of the law.

The priority is on vehicle traffic, that is plain to see. By contrast, pedestrians get little consideration, and even less enforcement. Twenty percent of adult Americans don't own or operate a car. With hundreds of pedestrian collisions and dozens of fatalities each year in Montgomery County, how can so little attention be paid to dangerous situations on sidewalks? An entire group of people that includes children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and lower income people are not being protected by law enforcement as they utilize County ROWs. In other words, your right to safety on the ROW is determined by your ability to own and operate a car. If you can drive you will receive protection, if you can't you're on your own.

Pedestrians receive second-class treatment in so many ways in Montgomery County. Ownership of a motor vehicle seems to be a prerequisite to inclusion and respect here. Equal access is not extended to non-drivers. Laws to protect pedestrians carry a lower-priority for Police and Permitting Services, among others. The death toll will never get better until this practice is abolished forever.
(Meanwhile, people with wheelchairs, stollers, or guide dogs have to negotiate both a big hole in the ground and a car parked across the sidewalk....)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Philaselphia Avenue at Gist Avenue, looking south. Murray's Auto Clinic.

Sligo Avenue at Fenton St., looking west. The Greyhound Terminal.

Gist Avenue, looking east. An auto repair shop.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SHA's Response

I met with Councilmember Ervin this morning, and she gave me a copy of this letter;

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010