Pedestrian- and bicycle-involved collisions decline in Montgomery -- Gazette.Net


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The number of Montgomery County collisions involving pedestrians and those involving bicycles decreased in 2011, according to data compiled by CountyStat.

Between 2005 and 2009, pedestrian-involved collisions rose from 434 to 453 but then fell to a six-year low of 399 in 2011, according to a presentation Monday by CountyStat on the county’s pedestrian safety initiative.

CountyStat is a component of Montgomery County’s accountability system.

Most collisions involving pedestrians are caused by drivers, according to the presentation. Drivers between ages 40 and 49 were responsible for the most accidents, while children ages 10 to 19 were the most frequently hit.

Reductions in pedestrian-involved collisions were most notable in the County’s High Incidence Areas — locations targeted as having the highest density of collisions — as well as areas around schools and locations where traffic calming measures have been completed, according to a county news release.

Since the first High Incidence Areas safety audit was conducted on Piney Branch Road in 2008, HIA collisions as a percentage of total pedestrian-involved collisions in the county decreased from 10 percent of the 444 total pedestrian-involved collisions, to 7 percent of the 399 reported in 2011.

Among the Safe Routes to School program areas, where 129 engineering improvements were completed at elementary and middle schools, pedestrian collisions dropped from 48 before improvements to 12 after completion.

The report also looked at collisions involving bicycles. In 2011, there were 136 bicycle-involved collisions, down from 2010 when 139 were reported. Previously, collisions involving bicycles had been on a fairly steady decline, according to the presentation.

Fatalities resulting from both pedestrian- and bicycle-involved collisions also decreased. No bicycle collisions were fatal in 2011 and only 11 reported fatalities resulted from pedestrian collisions, according to the report.

kalexander@gazette.net