With its iconic cobblestones and trolley tracks, the Germantown Avenue commercial corridor is ready to serve and satisfy, but combined with the insufficient number of safe, controlled pedestrian crossings, along the two-mile stretch in Mt. Airy, it can be a challenge for anyone who isn’t fleet of foot. Between Sedgwick and Phil-Ellena Streets, for instance, there is almost a half-mile gap between controlled crossings.
“Making the Avenue safe for pedestrians has long been a priority for the Mt. Airy BID and its business and property owners,” said Ken Weinstein, President of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District. “We want to do everything we can to make doing business, shopping or dining out as easy and safe as possible for our customers and employees.”
Improved pedestrian crossings reached a significant boost at the BID’s 2019 Annual Meeting, when representatives of the city’s Commerce Department committed to support 9 new pedestrian crossings along Germantown Avenue. The Commerce Department subsequently dedicated streetscape funding for the design and engineering phase, which began in March with a field survey conducted by Gannett Fleming, the transportation engineering firm contracted for this project.
A preliminary concept was shared by Gannett Fleming at a June 10th meeting with a community steering committee for review and feedback.
Click here to view the presentation.
Click here to view the feedback provided by the steering committee.
As you will see in the powerpoint presentation, the intersections that are under consideration for new controlled crossings are: Durham, East Gorgas, Carpenter/Meehan, Pelham/Slocum Street, Phil-Ellena, Hortter, and Cliveden.
The proposed crossings will include “bump-outs” (see example in the power point presentation) that will increase pedestrian visibility and shorten the length of the street crossing. Installed at the bump-outs will be “Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon (RRFB” (also visible in the power point presentation), which can be activated by the pedestrian to create a strobe light flashing pattern to get the attention of motorists.
A site tour is scheduled for July 9th, after which the steering committee will reconvene in late summer.
For more information about the site tour, or to give feedback on the proposal, contact Janis Risch, executive director of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement, at Janis@mtairybid.com.
Mt. Airy Community Steering Committee on Pedestrian Crosswalks
Linda Bell, East Mt. Airy Neighbors
Mike Boyle, Owen’s Antiques
Carol Campbell, East Mt. Airy Neighbors
Susan Dannenberg, West Mt. Airy Neighbors
Libbie Hawes, Cliveden of the National Trust
Maisha Jackson, Senator Art Haywood’s Office
Brad Maule, Mt. Airy CDC
Kathryn McKenzie-Zeigler, West Mt. Airy Neighbors
Scott Seibert, Bancroft Green
Natalia Serejko, East Mt. Airy Neighbors
Ken Weinstein, Mt. Airy Business Improvement District
Peggy Zwerver, Earth, Bread and Brewery