Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

Highway officials to look at Connecticut Avenue safety

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State Highway Administration engineers are expected to turn in a list of safety improvements they think are needed on Connecticut Avenue to the Town of Kensington this fall.

The Town of Kensington received a letter dated Aug. 3 from John D. Pocari, state transportation secretary, stating that residents’ concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety on Connecticut Avenue were being addressed by the State Highway Administration. The administration hopes to have that list compiled by Oct. 3.

The letter was addressed to Montgomery County Council members Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring and Nancy M. Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park.

During Monday’s Town Council meeting, officials set traffic safety as their number one concern for state lawmakers to address in the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January.

Kensington Town Councilman Al Carr said the town wants to make sure the administration understands the importance of safe pedestrian crossings and slowing speeding cars.

‘‘We really encourage citizens and different organizations around town to weigh in with state highway and also with the state delegates and Montgomery County Council members,” he said.

Town leaders said the study is a good follow-up from a May 2 meeting between Kensington residents, the Montgomery County delegation to the General Assembly, Chevy Chase View council members and representatives of the Coalition of Kensington Communities.

The State Highway Administration report would come in time for traffic safety meetings between county and state lawmakers scheduled in October.

The Maryland Department of Transportation Road Show, where the department seeks input from both the local elected officials and the general public on road improvements, comes to Montgomery County Council at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 in the third-floor hearing room in the Stella Werner Council Office Building in Rockville. The following week, the council will meet to set legislative priorities at 7 p.m. Oct. 11.

Kensington Councilwoman Sharon Scott said the meetings would be the perfect time for Kensington residents to voice their concerns about Connecticut Avenue traffic.

‘‘Speeding is really the issue [in town],” she said. ‘‘The residents are fired up, period. Now that school is back in session ... we have a lot of schools right on Connecticut Avenue, and a lot of school kids are walking these streets.”